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U.S. manufacturers want social media and environmental management functionality in their business software, shows a vendor study released Monday.
A survey of 260 manufacturing executives found that most seemed ill-equipped to track the impact their operations had on the environment in the areas of carbon footprint, solid waste, air and water pollution, product lifecycle, and product end-of-life impact, IFS said. The survey was conducted by a third-party research firm hired by IFS, a maker of enterprise resource planning software.
When it came to measuring environmental impact, mid-market manufacturers did worse than companies with more than $1 billion in revenue. Among companies with revenue between $250 million and $999 million, only 20% were tracking any sort of environmental impact in the manufacturers' business software. For companies of $1 billion or more in revenue, that percentage jumped to 36%, IFS said.
In the area of social media, a minority of respondents were interested in integrating Facebook or Twitter into ERP systems. But there was strong interest in incorporating social network functionality.
For example, 64% of the respondents said they wanted their ERP systems to capture and record the knowledge of senior experienced engineers and professionals, so that the information could become part of a corporate knowledge base. Such tacit knowledge from groups of people can be pulled from corporate wikis, blogs, and other social networking applications.
IFS offers a component-based ERP suite built on a service-oriented architecture. The company claims to have more than 2,000 customers in more than 50 countries and focuses on seven industries: aerospace and defense, utilities and telecom, manufacturing, process industries, automotive, retail and wholesale distribution, and construction contracting and service management.