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Paul T Kidd's eManufacturing Pages

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eManufacturing Case Examples

eManufacturing Case Examples


Agilent Technologies

Application: Agilent Technologies was formed in 1999 from the former Hewlett-Packard test and measurement, chemical analysis, semiconductor components and medical products businesses. Agilent Technologies uses an Intranet and the Internet to support its product development teams. Teams located in different parts of the world share data and information and practice design reuse to save development time. The collaborative environment is also used to help achieve a cross-functional perspective, with marketing, design and manufacturing sharing data and information. The application helps to save time and money as a result of less travel and improved communications leading to fewer misunderstandings and the resulting rework.

Illustrates: The use if the Internet and an Intranet to improve communications between geographically distributed teams engaged in product development, and also to improve cross-functional working.

Clyde Blowers

Application: Clyde Blowers, an engineering company, manufactures products such as the tools used to clean the insides of coal-fired power station boilers. It has manufacturing plants in Europe, the US, China and India. The company has been using the Internet for a number of purposes. Document exchange and e-mail are used based on Lotus Notes (a widely used group working software tool) and video conferencing software is used to enable face to face meetings, thus helping to reduce travel costs. Also, the firm uses Lotus Notes to track customer enquires, so that firms throughout the group can see what is going on thus helping to avoid the situation where firms within the group are competing with each other for the same business.

Illustrates: The use of the Internet to improve communications between geographically distributed parts of the firm and to increase co-ordination of activities.


Application: Frigomeccanica is a small Italian company that designs, assembles, installs and maintains freezing and defrosting machines, drying cells and other in-process and post-process treatment cells for the food industry (ham, salami, meat, cheese, etc.). Frigomeccanica's markets, clients and network of sales agents are geographically distributed all over the world. It is common for clients to demand customised machines as well as continuous, cost-effective and efficient support during the entire working life of the machine, from pre-sales assistance, to installation and post-sales support. Frigomeccanica's equipment is always tailor-made to meet the needs of each individual customer. Many unforeseen problems have to be faced at the machine installation stage and during the initial period of use at the customer sites. Huge costs are usually incurred to assist customers on-site during these phases. Here, the problem solving process is based heavily on the skills and knowledge of a small number of very experienced technicians, who are forced to rush around the world in order to ensure the necessary customer support, and their expertise represents a scarce and critical resource. Hence modern communication technologies such as desk-top video conferencing operating over the Internet are being investigated and piloted to support pre and post sales support without increasing the price to the customer.

Illustrates: Using the Internet to increase the productivity of skilled employees by making their expertise more accessible without the need for expensive and time consuming journeys.


Application: GKN, a British engineering company that manufactures among other things automotive components, is using its Intranet as a knowledge management tool. The objective is to enable knowledge about manufacturing techniques, normally communicated within a single plant, to be made available throughout the group, thus reducing duplication of problem solving and also unnecessary capital expenditure on eliminating problems that may have a simpler solution discovered elsewhere but not communicated company wide. In addition to sharing explicit knowledge such new ideas generated at each of its plants, GKN is also expecting that tacit knowledge will be shared.

Illustrates: Knowledge sharing between geographically separated parts of a large firm using the Internet as the prime means of communication.

Other manufacturing case examples are included in our publication "Electronic Business: The Executive Guide".

Dell Computers



General Electric



Rover Group

Styles Precision Components


United Technologies

There are also a number of non-manufacturing examples in the Executive Guide:

British Airways

J. Sainsbury

More detailed information on two of the manufacturing case examples, General Electric and Styles Precision Components, can be found in our publication "E-business Strategy: Case Studies, Benefits and Implementation", along with a detailed case study from the retail sector.

Executives and managers can learn more by reading our e-business publications "Electronic Business: The Executive Guide provides an introduction to the Internet and its potential. It is written for the benefit of non-specialists and avoids the use of jargon. No prior knowledge of the Internet is assumed. "E-business Strategy: Case Studies, Benefits and Implementation" is a much more detailed publication which is focused on both understanding and development of an e-business strategy. ""E-business Strategy Tools: Practical Help for Executives" is a publication that provides a number of practical tools to help formulate an e-business strategy or to check/verify an existing strategy. E-business Technical Change: A Manager's Guide" is a publication that provides assistance to managers wishing to manage the organisational and people changes associated with the introduction of e-business technologies - includes guidance, checklists and analysis tools.


Some of Paul T Kidd's Books

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