Beating complexity, achieving operational excellence
IDC Manufacturing Insights recently conducted on behalf of Infor and IBM a worldwide study of over 700 small and medium-sized enterprises in the discrete manufacturing industry across four sectors and in eight countries. We discovered that for European and North American manufacturers achieving operational excellence has become more complex, the pressure to reduce costs and improve productivity as ever top priorities, and perfecting the customer experience from bid to fulfillment a critical business need. For respondents in China we found the same priorities and concerns but also found some differences, for example handling demand volatility and planning, compliance with regulations and inadequate IT systems. While discrete manufacturers worldwide all face similar challenges, our study clarifies how strategic initiatives and priorities vary by sector, geography, and job description. We also evaluated the role of Information Technology (IT) as discrete manufacturers strive to manage increasing complexity, lower costs and deliver even greater customer satisfaction.