Industry 4.0 • December 8, 2016

Manufacturing Technology Survey Pinpoints Improvement in 2017 and Beyond

iBase-t Experts

iBase-t conducted a survey among Manufacturing Technology experts to identify topics of the utmost importance to those working within the manufacturing industry. To provide perspectives from a range of job functions, survey respondents varied from Lean Champions and Continuous Improvement Leaders to Sr. MES Administrators and Sr. Manufacturing Engineers. After analyzing the results, we were left with the following conclusions:

  • Over 93% of respondents validated the significance of manufacturing collaboration with suppliers and customers.


No surprise here, partnering with suppliers and customers to establish deep, mutually beneficial relationships over the long-term is often cited as the means to develop a streamlined supply chain. Benefits from closer collaboration between suppliers and customers delivers tangible benefits of efficiency, resulting in improvements being made on a continuous basis, thereby reducing the instances of waste or low quality.

Research has shown an increasing trend of senior leaders leveraging Supplier Quality Management (SQM) systems to transform challenging supplier relationships into a competitive advantage. With the use of a SQM system, these progressive leaders are shifting from reactive supplier quality strategies towards proactive strategies that leverage next-generation automation, communication, and collaboration technologies.

  • 75% of respondents identified Quality as the most important piece of information obtained from suppliers.

2In today’s manufacturing environment, supplier quality is a basic requirement needed to deliver superior products to consumers. And more often than not, behind every complex manufacturing product is an even more complex supply chain, making it critical that manufactures define and quantify quality specifications to suppliers. To decrease the Cost of Poor Quality (CoPQ) from suppliers many manufacturers have implemented a SQM system to streamline and continually improve supplier quality through regular audits, incoming inspection and traceability, ultimately reducing manufacturing costs.

For specific areas of improvement download our eBook, 7 Strategies for Improving Supplier Quality Management.

  • 73% of companies plan to adopt On-Premise technology.


With much of the conference discussion around cloud technology, less than half of respondents stated they have plans to adopt Private Cloud technology. Much of the concern stems from the security risk associated with this type of technology, which is why we were not surprised to see only 13% of respondents planning to adopt Public Cloud and a whopping 73% with plans to adopt on-premise technology.

On-premise software is one of the most common, traditional methods of using enterprise applications and with many having the ability to integrate with existing software we do not see on-premise fading away. Until those in the manufacturing industry can overcome their fear of security breaches with cloud technology we believe the more secure on-premise technology will remain on top.

  • Over half of all survey respondents identified Cycle time, Cost Reduction & Quality as short-term business drives.


In order to obtain your business’s strategic objectives, short-term business drives must be identified. This means your business’s productivity and profitability depend on making sure all of your workers, suppliers and partners are performing up to their full potential. And to help manufacturers meet the need to innovate faster, improve quality and reduce costs many are planning implemented a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) as a piece within a larger Smart Manufacturing environment.  This is because an MES solution often serves as the missing link needed to stitch together core enterprise systems in an effort to evolve Lean strategies.

Manufacturers Will Focus on Creating a Smart Manufacturing Environment

Smart Manufacturing is the inevitable outcome of a data-driven world where ubiquitous connectivity is breaking down barriers, and the traditional ideas of what a product or company is are fast becoming history. This new way of doing business will disrupt markets and those manufacturers who realized the Smart Manufacturing strategy early will have a decided advantage over their competition. Download our White Paper for more information:

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Research Reports
Model-Based Enterprise Strategy

Based on a survey of 250 discrete manufacturers, this research study, conducted by Tech-Clarity, establishes a "state of the market" for MBE adoption.