Three such topics that arose immediately were:
- A Strategic Approach
- The Organisational Implications
- Hardware and Software Communications
In this Guide we have concentrated on the first of these and tried to encapsulate all the major points which a senior executive should consider when developing a Strategy for Integrated Manufacturing Systems (IMS). Note that this is not a 'Manufacturing Strateg' - that is dealt with in another Institution guide. Here we are concentrating on the strategic considerations raised by integration.
Integration brings dramatic performance improvements and the system element - IMS - is one of the powerful ingredients which can help to bring about such a change. Every manufacturing business must now decide if, and when, to go for IMS. Some would say that the 'if' is not in question and that IMS will soon become a mandatory tool because all global competitors will have it. This Guide cannot answer the 'if' and 'when' directly but it aims to make you aware of the high-level issues involved in making IMS work.