Technologies based on the Internet of Things have the potential to radically improve visibility in manufacturing to the point where each unit of production can be "seen" at each step in the production process. Batch-level visibility is being replaced by unit-level visibility. This is the dawn of smart manufacturing.
The transformation that it implies is huge. SCM World's recent field survey on smart manufacturing and the Internet of Things finds that while one in five today admit their factory operations are offline completely, this will drop to near zero in five years. In fact, half of all manufacturing executives expect to have visibility across the supply chain at this unit level. Only 10 percent predict they'll still be limited to single factory-level insights and control - drop of 75 percent from today's state of affairs.
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