The transformation of US manufacturing, led by computerintegratedmanufacturing CIM systems, has already begun to take root. Thisarticle examines the potential benefits to firms which understand andcan exploit CIM technology to its fullest extent. Because CIMsimultaneously provides high product variety with low costs,conventional assumptions about competitive strategy and organisationdesign need reevaluation. As companies must work with increasinglyscarce capital, human resources and time, CIM becomes an attractiveoption not only for highly capitalintensive industries such asautomobiles, but also for fastchanging areas such as textiles, fashiondesign, and consumer appliances. CIM combines the benefits of economiesof scope with the scale economies traditionally garnered only withlarge, rigid and dedicated factories. Success with CIM and other newmanufacturing technologies depends on new organisational designs andincentives that foster fast innovation and crossfunctional integration.CIMs promising role in transforming the manufacturing firm into aservice business across many different industries will spur many USfirms efforts to enter a global marketplace.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1991