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Report Details Advances in Manufacturing Commerce Network Interaction, Collaboration

A report from IDC Manufacturing Insights evaluates the progression of commerce networks for manufacturers from traditional point-to-point communications to collaborative commerce networks that support many-to-many interactions among manufacturers and their trading partners.

The report, Business Strategy: The Progression Toward Collaborative Commerce Networks in Manufacturing,  establishes the context for commerce networks in manufacturing companies' procurement and sourcing efforts and offers essential guidance for moving through the phases of commerce network participation.

Commerce networks have assisted manufacturers in procuring direct and indirect materials for more than 15 years. Over this time, commerce networks have progressed from largely EDI-based, point-to-point data transmission, to richly interactive hubs for a manufacturer and its suppliers and partners to share structured and unstructured data. Today, commerce networks support near-real-time communication and drive efficiency gains throughout manufacturing supply chains. The industry is on the precipice of a significant transformation, a transformation that leverages all the so-called 3rd Platform technologies (cloud, social, mobile, and big data) and moves manufacturers toward true "collaboration" with their business networks. The core questions manufacturers must address are what expanded role they want commerce networks to play in their sourcing processes and how can they participate successfully in these commerce networks.

The ultimate goal of these commerce networks and modernized B2B infrastructures is to support the seamless many-to-many interactions that run throughout a supply chain. Commerce networks enable manufacturers, partners, suppliers and customers to communicate, collaborate, transact and optimize their interactions and operations. Manufacturers are on a path to reach this goal, but as with all transformations, much work still needs to be done.

Key findings from the new report include:

Manufacturing sees the dawn of "collaborative commerce networks" that include M2M data acquisition, rich data interchange, process orchestration, and collaboration among all trading partners.

 3rd Platform technologies such as cloud, big data/analytics, social, and mobile finally enable the vision of collaborative commerce networks. Manufacturers are increasing their adoption of these technologies.

 Successful participation in collaborative commerce networks requires manufacturers and their trading partners to modernize aging B2B commerce infrastructures.

 Manufacturers can derive the greatest value from collaborative commerce networks by maximizing partner participation and optimizing their underlying B2B commerce business processes.

 Understanding the progression of commerce networks will help manufacturers identify their current participation level and explore the steps to take to move toward collaborative commerce network involvement.

The new report outlines the four phases through which commerce networks have moved over the past 15 years, including Traditional, Spontaneous, Enabled, and Collaborative. The report also identifies the ways participants interact and visualizes how 3rd Platform technologies have laid the groundwork for the emergence of collaborative commerce networks, guiding readers through an exploration of the different phases of commerce networks and their underlying technology requirements. Finally, the new report includes essential guidance for manufacturers that want to evolve their participation from one phase of commerce networks to the next.

Source: IDC Manufacturing Insights

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