The best laid plans of manufacturing companies are all too often scuppered by inadequate or inappropriate IT systems, a West Midlands summit of industry leaders will be told this month.
Manufacturing leaders and IT experts addressing The Manufacturer Live 2005 in Telford will say that time invested in identifying exactly the right system for the job is time well spent.
A series of sessions is being held over the two day summit, looking at the role of IT in manufacturing. A succession of industry experts will put their success down to understanding exactly what sort of technology was needed for a particular job and how it would be used to greatest effect.
John Greaves, deputy managing director of Coventry automotive component company UYT will explain how his company has prospered by deploying effective business and shopfloor systems to achieve a lean organisation.
He asserts that many companies have systems, but few maximise the opportunities they create.
UYT is the largest supplier of body components to Honda UK. The firm opened a new £7 million press shop in Coventry last year and employs more than 400 people. Its main products are sunroofs.
International defence and aerospace company Thales operates globally and generates efficiency and increased revenue by having first class systems in place.
Business process architect Anne Power says the systems amount to "a real time version of the truth."
Thales, with its headquarters in Surrey, employs 10,000 people throughout the UK, and has developed sophisticated systems to help it "talk" right through the supply chain.
Meanwhile, Chris Jones, business systems manager with Cambridge pharmaceutical company Napp, says that using exactly the right manufacturing and finance systems in this highly regulated industry has helped ensure a clean bill of health and regulatory compliance throughout the 850-employee business.
These three will present in the IT in Manufacturing area of The Manufacturer Live 2005.
The two day event at the Telford International Centre on September 28 and 29 will be attended by more than 2,000 manufacturing decision makers, who will hear from more than 50 speakers from leading companies hosting workshops, seminars and debates on UK manufacturing's big issues.
Glen White, group chief executive of Conquest Business Media, which organises the Telford event said he was looking forward to a series of inspirational presentations.
"We are going to be hearing from people who have been there and done it. Academics have a voice in the debate, but there's nothing like first hand experience to provide the lessons for all of us for the future," he said.
The Manufacturer Live 2005 event is sponsored by Barclays and supported by the DTI. It will offer manufacturers the chance to learn from their peers and share their own best practice, and will culminate in the prestigious Manufacturer of the Year Awards.
Andy Martin, head of UK Manufacturing at Barclays, said the bank was delighted to be the corporate sponsor of The Manufacturer Live 2005.
"As the leading bank covering the UK manufacturing industry, we are committed to helping the industry grow and remain competitive on a global scale," he said.
"We believe The Manufacturer Live is the perfect forum for people who share both this commitment and the desire to promote and share best practice.
"This year's event is particularly important given the current challenges facing the industry, and we are very pleased to be associated with it."