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Companies with an integrated company-wide business management system (or enterprise resource planning [ERP] system) are likely to have more and more accurate information readily accessible. Companies that have already implemented well-managed processes to deal with inventory, receivables, payables, and managing the supply chain are more likely to be in a relatively strong cash position. Those manufacturers can invest to differentiate themselves from their competition.
What investments are needed? An enterprise system that can fully address volatility, help speed new offerings to market, and support collaborative decision-making. These are the new challenges that discrete manufacturers must address.
This paper examines some of the requirements for collaboration in the context of those three major strategic initiatives:
- Customer focus, to thoroughly understand the needs and execute to deliver products and services that will keep customers happy.
- Innovation to differentiate what the company offers and fend off competitors, even in fast-changing market conditions.
- Supply chain excellence to reliably deliver perfect orders in a timely fashion at a reasonable cost leveraging the best trading partners around the world.
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