The manufacturing industry depends on efficiency, but efficient operations are possible only with close collaboration both internally and throughout the supply chain.
That's why manufacturers are ahead of other industries when it comes to collaboration software. Sixty-six percent of manufacturers deployed new collaboration tools in the past year, compared with 58% of all respondents to the InformationWeek 500 survey.
Aerojet, the highest-ranked manufacturing company on this year's InformationWeek 500, uses Microsoft SharePoint for engineering collaboration, says CIO Craig Halterman. "If there's a space engineer in Redmond and we want him for a project in Sacramento, we can cut down on the travel and logistics," Halterman says. "We can let people stay where they are, and leverage them, without any kind of adverse affect."
Given the reach of today's supply chains, manufacturers also are thinking globally. Sixty-four percent of manufacturing industry survey respondents are making global support and development part of most IT employees' regular jobs, compared with 42% of all respondents. Fifty-five percent of manufacturers involve IT employees in global business operations, compared with 38% of all respondents.
|Industry Snapshot: Manufacturing|