PLANO, Texas, Jan. 16 /CNW/ -- As they head into 2008, manufacturers are
anxiously wondering what lies ahead. With a record number of news stories
during last year focused on recalled products, raw material shortages and
industry consolidation, the list of challenges grew a little longer these past
12 months. Manufacturers continue to see an impact on their entire business
model as the world shrinks and flattens, and centers of manufacturing activity
shift to new locations. How can manufacturers prepare for the uncertainties of
the future while becoming even more agile?
"Manufacturing companies are forced to shift their strategy across the
board in order to thrive in our flat world," said Ben Langlinais, EDS director
of global manufacturing industry solutions. "Agility and the need for an
adaptive enterprise will remain a top priority for manufacturers around the
EDS, a leader in providing IT services to manufacturers, predicts that
these major trends will influence companies in 2008.
1. Global Integration and Collaboration -- With accelerated
globalization to tap emerging markets for new sources of revenue and
benefit from low-cost regions for production capacity, manufacturers
are experiencing an increased risk level in their supply chain,
product development, the creation and management of new alliances,
and their global workforce management.
2. Moving Beyond Lean -- In addition to the continued focus on lean,
challenges such as shorter product cycles, increased customer
demands, the pursuit of lower-cost locations and the race to new
markets all require that manufacturers move toward an agile and
adaptive enterprise while creating a new culture of flexibility.
3. Going Green -- Growing demand for natural resources including oil,
steel and resin have created a new generation of environmentally
conscious customers who are demanding greener products. These
concerned consumers are forcing manufacturers to change their design,
production processes and product mix.
4. Regulatory Pressures -- Government and industry regulations,
including environment, safety, corporate governance and product
performance, are being enforced around the world with different
standards. Different standards have created a new criticality for
data tracking, including a need to collect and report more
information and an increased tracking of products.
5. Proliferation of Electronic/Digital Content -- The continued increase
of electronic or digital content in products is creating a new level
of security concerns and product sophistication, while simultaneously
causing skill shortages and a demand for new competencies.
6. Product Commoditization -- While customers want products they feel
are customized to their own unique needs, the pressure on cost and
quality continues to increase. Products are becoming commoditized at
a much faster pace due to growing consumerism, forcing manufacturers
toward demand-driven manufacturing.
7. Service Focus -- The shift from a product to a service focus is
forcing manufacturers to gain real-time market insight by working
closely with customers. While client service remains a priority,
manufacturers have a need to collaborate with customers in addition
to their existing supply chain.
8. Convergence of Business and Technology -- While outsourcing of
non-core processes continues to grow, the focus will shift toward
tighter alignment of business and technology. Innovative use of
information and integrated manufacturing enterprise will be key to
gain a competitive advantage.
EDS has significant industry-based knowledge in the aerospace & defense,
automotive, high tech and industrial manufacturing segments, with more than 30
years of experience working with manufacturers. More than 25,000 EDS employees
serve over 220 manufacturing clients in 40 countries.
EDS (NYSE: EDS) is a leading global technology services company
delivering business solutions to its clients. EDS founded the information
technology outsourcing industry 45 years ago. Today, EDS delivers a broad
portfolio of information technology and business process outsourcing services
to clients in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare,
communications, energy, transportation, and consumer and retail industries and
to governments around the world. Learn more at eds.com.
Annabelle Baxter -- EDS
972 605 0978
For further information:
For further information: Annabelle Baxter of Electronic Data Systems
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