The Profound Impact of Modern IT on the Manufacturing Industry in Wooden Windows Or Other Area

The Profound Impact of Modern IT on the Manufacturing Industry in Wooden Windows Or Other Area

It was much talked about topic in recent years is the emergence of a “new economy,” characterized by sustained economic growth in the late 1990s. Many researchers attribute the accelerated productivity growth to heavy investment and to rapid developments in information technology IT. A study by the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress concludes that information technology is an important factor in the recent acceleration of productivity growth and that both the production and the use of IT contribute to the productivity revival. Indeed, the new generation of IT, especially web-based electronic business technologies, have dramatically changed the nature of business competition and have altered the structure of markets in a number of industries. Significant advances in the related technologies of computers, telecommunications, data access and storage devices, and software packages have created a wide spectrum of new opportunities for organizations.

The speed, cost, size, and capabilities of the new IT continue to improve rapidly and there appear to be unlimited applications that could be computer-enhanced. As the backbone of the U.S. economy, the manufacturing industry may well be the biggest beneficiary of all of these IT innovations. Manufacturing has traditionally been viewed merely as a functional area buffered from environment, but Skinner 1969 points out that some of the seemingly routine manufacturing decisions may, in fact, significantly influence corporate strategy. Wheelwright 1984 further defines the missing link between manufacturing strategy and corporate strategy. Subsequently, manufacturing is increasingly viewed as a strategic enterprise covering the entire value chain of new product development, materials purchasing, production, product distribution, and customer service. The changing role of manufacturing is due, in large part, to rapid advances in both power and functionality within the new IT, especially with the help of highly-integrated and computerized supply chain management SCM systems. Interestingly, contemporaneous information systems IS literature discusses the changing role of IS from a back-office support function into a competitive weapon.

This is not mere coincidence. Researchers indicate that today’s turbulent manufacturing environment is primarily customer-driven but, more importantly, that it is IT-enabled. It is also necessary to clarify the scope of IT within this article. In a narrow sense, IS literature defines IT as information systems hardware and software used to organize, store, retrieve, and transfer data. It also facilitates communications such as office automation systems, management information systems, and decision support systems. In a broader sense, IT encompasses both IS and a wide variety of advanced manufacturing technologies AMT such as computer-aided design and manufacturing CAD, CAM computer-aided process planning CAPP, computer numerically-controlled CNC machines; and flexible manufacturing systems FMS. A common characteristic of IS and AMT is the use of computers to manipulate data and to control operations. When islands of AMT integrate through IS, the result is a computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) system, which is commonly regarded as the basis for the factory of the future.

Doll and Vonderembse 1987 define CIM as a computer automation system that blends recent developments both from manufacturing and from IT to achieve competitive advantage. In fact, Frohlich and Dixon 1999 find that IT adaptation during the course of AMT implementation is the most important action for systems success. Both information systems literature and manufacturing management literature illustrate the profound impact of IT on manufacturing enterprises.