Think differently about lifecycle costs: connect automation and the supply chain


Oak Brook, Ill. - Manufacturing interconnections to the supply chain will result in significant benefits for early adopters, according to a 'Make Pavilion' keynote presentation for SupplyChainLinkExpo , a two-day online conference and trade show.

Many automation end-users, given present market conditions, are seeking new ways to justify technology investments. Quantifying the added benefits of enterprise and supply chain connections helps justify automation investments and upgrades.

The presentation, moderated by Control Engineering (Cahners Business Information), will be available online Oct. 17 at noon EDT and be accessible for viewing for 90 days thereafter. Attendance is free; register at .

Keynote presenter is John Moore, vice president and general manager for supply chain & enterprise software, ARC Advisory Group (Boston, Mass.). Moderator is Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering (Oak Brook, Ill.).

Recommendations expected to be covered in the 'Make Pavilion' keynote, 'Lifecycle Costs: Automation and the Supply Chain,' include the following:

  • Understand that integrating manufacturing with the enterprise and supply chain requires numerous stakeholders and may involve significant cultural changes:

  • Organizations and their supply chains are early in the process of adopting interconnections with manufacturing;

  • Establish a business case first, with support from senior executives;

  • Do not focus only return on investment for justifications; many benefits will be those usually not quantified; and

  • Realize that technology will not be the biggest issue.

The keynote also will cover current demands customers are placing on manufacturers, pressures manufacturers face, and resulting strategies including: buyer-centric focus; build to order; faster time to market; collaborative design; widespread use of automation; outsourcing; and optimization of manufacturing, supply chain, value chain, and business processes.

'With the 'Detect-Distribution-Deliver, 3D Model,'' Mr. Moore explains, 'the supply chain becomes a demand chain focused on what customers want, not what suppliers have to sell.'

Such interconnections, continues Mr. Moore, require open systems, flexible architectures, security, automated processes on multiple levels, and close collaboration among supply chain partners, inside and outside the enterprise. While most supply chain connection investments have taken place at the business level to date, leading automation and controls vendors have been moving rapidly to offer these advantages.

To help justify investments to allow automation interconnections, end-users are changing how they think about lifecycle costs. Some of automation vendors' acquisitions, investments, and alliances that have helped also will be covered in the presentation.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief

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