E-Business Will Change Manufacturing Strategies

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Initially E-Business was surrounded by much hype, but, eventually, E-Business will enable new business models in manufacturing. Collaboration processes, touted in E-Business, are only possible if manufacturing is an agile component of the extended supply chain. A product must be made to a demand signal or accurate forecast to fulfill the order and ensure a satisfied customer. However, EBusiness has not yet been adequately translated by the business into actionable manufacturing priorities. E-Business Trading Exchanges will eventually move from procurement buy side to sell side processes. In the automation process, more inventories will be eliminated from the supply chain. Reliable delivery from manufacturing will become more critical as the margin for error diminishes. Manufacturers must focus on consistency and delivery to demand. Integration of plant information processes and product specification management as part of managing the product lifecycle is important manufacturing foundations for E-Business. S88 and SP95 provide a useful framework to support these strategies. Most manufacturers are still translating business strategies into coordinated IT and business initiatives. They are trying to do too much and many IT initiatives are still disconnected. This will constrain E-Business initiatives dependent on integrated back end IT and business processes. To prepare for E-Business manufacturers must build organizational readiness and governance, manage integration, and integrate information across the extended supply chain against priorities set by the business strategy. This paper will discuss industry trends, pitfalls, and make pragmatic recommendations for manufacturers confronted with the challenge of moving manufacturing to align with emerging EBusiness Strategies.