Manufacturers Face Challenges to Serve Customers, Manage Inventory, Grow Business

Majority of high-tech, discrete manufacturers say business goals hindered by outdated order management processes

Fremont, CA — July 5, 2005 — Preliminary results from a survey and analysis of high-tech and discrete manufacturing executives show their businesses goals are undermined by expensive, antiquated order management systems and processes that weaken customer relationships, increase inventory management costs and limit their company's ability to grow.

The partial results of the research were shared by Infosys Technologies, a consulting and information technology solutions provider, at AMR Research's Supply Chain Conference in early June. The conference was attended by operations, information technology (IT), and supply chain executives from semiconductor manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers and fabrication companies.

According to Partha Bose, Solution Leader for Infosys Technologies, some 64 percent of research respondents indicated they have limited or immature order management capabilities.

"It's quite clear that manufacturers are not satisfied with outdated processes and technology across geographies and divisions," Bose said. "The results of the research are even more remarkable when you consider that more than 50 percent of the executives said the order management process was critical to customer experience and satisfaction."

These issues were echoed during the round table discussion. According to one participant, "Currently it is challenging for customers to do business with us. Lack of visibility to global data hampers accuracy of promise dates and service personalization."

Bose commented": "To address this issue, a metrics-driven approach can help companies create differentiated service and delivery capabilities for profitable and strategic customers. Capturing insights hidden in transaction data is essential for aligning performance to key metrics such as customer profitability, order productivity and revenue leakage. Infosys has pre-defined maturity models and metrics-driven change programs that accelerate realization of measurable business results."

Romit Dey, associate vice president, Infosys Technologies, added, "Most high-tech companies experience rapid changes in order volumes and have grown through multiple acquisitions and through diversification of customer segments. This makes it difficult to seamlessly engage new customers and grow the business across product lines and geographies. Over time, companies should invest in areas such as multi-tier visibility of demand signals and guided selling."

According to David Caruso, senior vice president of Industry Research, AMR Research, "Leading companies have recognized that demand-driven operations are the best way to create customer loyalty and enhance operating efficiencies. A customer-centric approach in every aspect of the order process is the key to significant market advantage. AMR has defined this through the Demand-Driven Supply Network (DDSN) framework that is relevant across multiple industries."

The Order Management Benchmarking Study surveyed 150 leading companies in the high-tech and discrete manufacturing industries.

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