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Industrial equipment makers not all embracing e-business

A study of industrial-equipment manufacturing companies indicates that less than half of the 120 U.S. firms studie...


A study of industrial-equipment manufacturing companies indicates that less than half of the 120 U.S. firms studied use e-business applications to improve their business functions.

Just over 53% maintain web sites to provide information about products and services only, according to the study, which was compiled by Roland Berger & Partners LLC, Troy, Mich.

The other 47% of companies have implemented more sophisticated e-business methods: 35% have taken the first steps into electronic procurement and are making a gradual shift to a paperless order-to-delivery system; 11% have developed an integrated system that connects product development, supply-chain planning, sales, and customer-relations management; and just 1% have adopted Internet-based technologies for all internal and external processes.

Commenting on the low level of adoption of e-business opportunities, Reinhard Geissbauer, head of Roland Berger’s Industrial Equipment/High Tech Competence Center in North America, believes there is a lack of awareness about what e-business means and how it can be applied. Also, companies are struggling with daily issues to maintain competitiveness. “Almost daily they are putting out fires and are not strategically thinking about e-business.”

The report partly focuses on the best practices of the 47% of industrial-equipment manufacturers that are extensively using e-business applications to improve their operations. The study includes companies such as Ingersoll-Rand Co., Honeywell International Inc., John Deere Co., Dana Corp., and Otis Elevator Co.