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Three criteria should be taken into account :

1. The quality, that can be defined, in this context, as the adequacy of creditworthy client demand to the company's production capacity.

2. Productivity : computer technology and the increase in world-wide application will lead to an increase in productivity. The economies of scale and the wave of buy-outs that we've seen since 1995 is not the only answer to increase productivity.

3. Speed : in an economy which is evolving ever more rapidly, management needs to be able to take decisions and react as quickly as possible.

In other words, the arbitrage between agents, sub-contracting and internal production should allow the company the highest possible level of quality, productivity and rapidity. This is the same as finding the highest answer to the following equation :
(Qa+Pa+Ra)*A + (Qs+Ps+Rs)*S + (Qp+Pp+Rp)*P
where A, S and P represent the part contributed by the agents, sub-contractors and internal production in the company's production,
where Qa, Pa and Ra represent the level of quality, productivity and rapidity obtained as a result of using agents,
where Qs, Ps and Rs represent the level of quality, productivity and rapidity obtained as a result of using sub-contractors,
where Qp, Sp and Rp represent the level of quality, productivity and rapidity obtained from internal production.

Understanding agents in order to use them better

Agents are still the subject of numerous fantasies, but few actual applications. Even more irritatingly, they are thought of as gadgets which are only useful in the context of personalised marketing or comparison shopping, whereas they represent entirely separate production factors, which will be integrated throughout the process of e-business and the working of the electronic company. To simplify matters, we should remember that agents are programmes of varying complexity which replace people for simple repetitive tasks. The method which I use to see how an agent can be incorporated into an everyday professional context, is to break down the job which I want the agent to take over into a series of simple tasks. Once I've clearly identified the degree of complexity of each element of the job, I am able to decide whether an agent can be created to take them on.

This depends on each individual's working methods, but personally I consider that each work module in a company follows four distinct stages :

Audit (analysing the existing situation)
Preparing the task in hand
Execution (carrying out the work)
Evaluating the results

In the same way, agents can be divided into four categories :


 


 

 

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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

Contact us if you need webmarketing services:

Raphael Richard, founder

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