Tins paper describes how an integrated set of commercially available computer systems can facilitate Next Generation Manufacturing by linking a company's New Product Design and Change Processes to the Order Fulfilment and Product Support Processes. The primary focus of the paper is how INSO's manufacturing customers use integrated systems to support Global/Virtual and Lean/Agile Manufacturing.
Major investments in new application systems are being made by just about every major manufacturer to address the Year 2000 Problem, replace old mainframe systems, and to take advantage of the latest technological advances. These new systems are replacing systems that were supporting the supply chain or order fulfilment business process.
Very few manufacturers have an integrated set of systems in place that can be used to manage the product design and change processes. Very little of the massive new system investment is going into tools for these processes.
How an integrated system of commercial software packages can be used to support Next Generation Manufacturing concepts will be detailed with examples that address:
· The concept of design anywhere, make anywhere
· Managing partnerships and risk sharing consortiums
An integrated system can also facilitate the following Next Generation Manufacturing concepts:
· Active supplier participation
· Virtual world-wide manufacturing
· Managing product costs
For these concepts the business challenges are described and the specific critical business issues addressed by an integrated system are listed.