The adoption of integrated computer‐based manufacturing and management techniques by small, traditional engineering companies often represents an unaffordable and high risk investment strategy in technology that is often not well understood by its recipients. Paradoxically, the opportunity for complete success in a small to medium‐sized enterprise (SME) is greater than in a large company which very often is incapable of full integration due to the divisions and inertia implicit in a large hierarchical organization. To derive full benefits from such an investment the company must possess a meticulous understanding of its market, fiscal environment, operations management, engineering and technological skills, manufacturing facilities and product range. It must adopt an appropriate implementation of CIM that does not debase previous ad hoc investments in what are often termed islands‐of‐automation or information technology. For success a well‐planned stepwise approach is vital. Reports on the approach adopted by a small to medium‐sized Scottish engineering company specializing in the production of mechanical actuation systems. Over a three‐year period the company embarked on a low‐cost, phased implementation of software and hardware systems that exploit a database to integrate its design, manufacturing the business operations. A major element in these systems is the distributed Command, Communication and Control (C3) environment which has transformed the effectiveness of operations. The company′s investments were based on a prudent assessment of its current and planned product range, existing and planned manufacturing facilities, the scale of its operations and business objectives.
Abdullah, H. and Chatwin, C. (1994), "Distributed C3 Environment for Small to Medium‐sized Enterprises", Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 20-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/09576069410064724Download as .RIS
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