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The implementation and integration of information systems for production management in manufacturing: an empirical study

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Information technology support for manufacturing systems embodies complex and systematic activities in modern industrial enterprises. In order to successfully and profitably operate in rapidly changing markets, highly flexible production, computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), supplychain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) need to be developed. The aim of the paper is to describe the results of a comparative study of the implementation and integration of computer aided production management (CAPM) in Taiwan and the UK, one of the emerging 'little dragons' of Far East Asia and manufacturers in the developed Western economy of the UK. The research design used both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques to introduce and examine a model of best practice in the CAPM for manufacturing systems, by drawing on the practical experience of senior managers of production and MIS in Taiwan and the UK. Two phases of fieldwork were undertaken. In the first phase, 20 case studies on the use of CAPM in Taiwanese manufacturing companies were developed. In the second phase, a questionnaire was sent by post to senior mangers of MIS and production in both Taiwan and the UK. Although the industrial development and manufacturing histories of the two countries are very different, it was found that manufacturers in the two countries appear to be pursuing CAPM development strategies, which are leading to convergent solutions. While UK manufacturers have more experience with computerization of manufacturing than their Taiwanese counterparts, and the initial systems designs in the two countries were different, developers have encountered similar difficulties in developing systems. However, Taiwanese manufacturers appear to be improving the quality of their CAPM systems in a more systematic and thus faster manner than their UK counterparts. Some Taiwanese firms have overcome systems development barriers to achieve a high state of CAPM implementation and integration and many UK and Taiwanese firms had plans in place to further develop and integrate CAPM. A comparison of CAPM in the two countries suggests that Taiwanese manufacturers have created the platforms on which to build CAPM systems, are aware of the problems they face and have plans to overcome them. When these plans were examined and compared with the UK, both countries appear to be moving towards similar designs for their manufacturing systems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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