SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

December 06, 2007 17:12 ET

Best-in-Class Industrial Machinery & Component Manufacturers: 117% More Likely to Make a Rigorous Commitment to Lean

Top Performers Use Lean Methodologies to Balance Stakeholders' Expectations of Growth Against the Need to Improve Customer Service and Response Times

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 6, 2007) - ERP is viewed as a strategic weapon to streamline and automate business processes in order to improve efficiencies according to the recently published "ERP in Industrial Machinery and Components Manufacturing" benchmark report, announced by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). Companies that combine Lean manufacturing with ERP produce significantly more cost reductions and schedule improvements. Best-in-Class make judicious use of selected Lean methodologies and distinguish themselves by using 24% more modules and functionality available in their ERP systems. Findings in the report concluded that:

--  Best-in-Class achieve 96% inventory accuracy, manufacturing schedule
    compliance, and complete and on-time shipments
--  Best-in-Class have 120% to 320% more reductions in cycle times
    measuring bid preparation, manufacturing and order to shipment
--  Best-in-Class produce seven times (733%) more reductions in inventory
    levels than Laggards
--  Among those going Lean, Best-in-Class are 82% more likely to do Value
    Stream Mapping to remove waste from both manufacturing and non-
    manufacturing processes
--  Seventy-four percent (74%) of Best-in-Class implement work cell
    manufacturing and 61% employ Kaizen (continuous improvement teams) and
    adopt the 5S's (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain).

"In the manufacture of industrial equipment and machinery, it is critical to provide visibility across the enterprise to all phases of the project or contract from the initial bid preparation process to the submission of the proposal, as well as the management of the processes involved from the award of a contract, project, or order, to final delivery," said Cindy Jutras, Vice President and Group Director, Aberdeen. "For these companies, the manufacturing processes often represent the lion's share of both time and effort, but also must be well-coordinated with all other front and back office functions."

This study is made available to the public by the following underwriters: Cincom, Epicor, IBM, Infor, JobScope, and nFocus. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, please visit:

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to

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