A Training Programme on Life Cycle Management Tools

Seizing the Wind - External and Internal Information Demands on SMEs and Gathering Information

Content description -
Captain's log
Training description -
Captain's route
Training material -
Captain's reference

Valid information is crucial for sound internal decisions as well as external communication, such as corporate reporting. External information demands result from stakeholder pressure ranging from NGOs or large customers to small and medium sized enterprises. As product chain information and management is getting increasingly important, information demands can also come from up- or downstream, reflecting civil societies pressure. Internal information demand results from daily and strategic business decision. The various specific tasks in a company, like design decisions, require different tools, like Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or Life Cycle Costing (LCC).

Facing these demands, companies should try to establish an active information management, comprising identification of hot spots, collection of data and measurement, setting targets and disseminating information through corporate reporting.

However, gathering the right information in the right way can be a tricky and expensive task, especially in small and medium sized enterprises. Some data may already be available, e.g. through financial accounting or technical specifications. Other, more specific data, or information concerning the supply chain has probably to be researched. Making external and internal demands explicit and comparing them with already available data can help to identify information gaps.