E-manufacturing - the roadmap for South African manufacturers
The original publication is available at http://www.isem.org.za/index.php/isem/isem2011
Conference of the ISEM 2011 Proceedings, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 21 - 23 September 2011.
Conference theme - Innovative Systems Thinking: Unravelling Complexity for Successful Solutions
Globalization and the internet have given customers a wide choice of products to choose from and they are now expecting a lot from products. Customers are demanding more value, less risk and better integration of products hence products now have a shorter product life cycle. E-manufacturing can help companies to optimize the use of production assets, reduce production cycle times and costs to meet these customer requirements. The paper shows factors that influenced an economy to successfully implement an emanufacturing model that transformed the economy from a struggling economy into an advanced economy. E-manufacturing models are discussed. Taiwan is used as a case study of how engineering chain can be utilized for SMEs to enjoy equally or even higher competitive advantage than their larger competitors by appropriately utilizing external networks. The situation in South Africa shows that the country can benefit from the growth of SMEs and e-manufacturing if networks and a culture of sharing information are built among SMEs and companies in the country.