Companies in virtually every industry today are striving to meet the ever-increasing demands of their customers. The issues of innovation, price, quality and delivery have never been greater. Customers want what they want, when they want it and how they want it. They want customized products, low prices, and short turnaround times – essentially, they want an exact match to their needs. And, to give their customers what they truly want, manufacturers need to have a deeper understanding of the detailed attributes of the products that meet these needs. Winning companies, those who will prosper now and well into the future, will need to manage the use of this knowledge with advanced information technology as their key competitive strategy.
Addressing all of these issues simultaneously is a daunting task for any manufacturer. But, they may seem even more so in the traditional industries that ostensibly produce commodity products like food, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper, and metals. Companies in these industries have the common need to manage highly variable raw material inputs and consistently produce a wide variety of standardized outputs using complex manufacturing processes – all for extremely thin margins. But, with the right tools, those involved in these basic, mass-produced commodities can successfully rise to these competitive challenges as well. Using an integrated attribute management approach, effective strategies can be developed to address the major business issues facing manufacturers today.
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