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Manufacturing has always been an area with a strong need and ambition to integrate data from the shop floor to the executive suite, and back, to improve operations and increase innovation. Until recently, advances in manufacturing software were highly dependent on proprietary investments by the manufacturers themselves. Now off-the-shelf software has developed to the point that common infrastructure software, from Microsoft, can be used to drive the development of innovative solutions from the factory floor to the supply chain to the master production schedule. We’ve seen the rapid maturing of software for manufacturing over the past six or seven years.
What’s more, the pace of software innovation will accelerate over the next 10 years. The increasing sophistication, interoperability, security, and usability of software will enable manufacturers to transition from rigid, process-based solutions based on costly, custom-developed proprietary technologies, to role-based solutions using familiar, centrally managed platforms. These applications will give workers the ability to configure the interface and the application to fit the way they work, enhancing productivity. Using these role based activities will create an empowered workforce.
The Value of an Empowered Workforce will show that:
- People will lead and innovate, collaborating with suppliers, engineers and product designers using shared platforms to exchange ideas.
- People will drive operational excellence. Manufacturers can excel by focusing on operational excellence-running their businesses more efficiently than the competition and at lower cost.
- People will strengthen value chain partnerships. Agility requires working closely with suppliers and industry partners to reduce time-to-market, manage inventory and share financial responsibility if markets shift. And,
- People will build customer relationships. Manufacturers’ employees must have the tools to meet their commitment to serve customers well.