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In manufacturing, two days can feel like an eternity. Sometimes, split-second decisions are required--for example when a supply chain is disrupted at the exact same time as a marketing promotion drives a spike in demand for a new product.
Given such scenarios and the fact that supply chains are spread out across the globe and rely on multiple parties working in different time zones, companies must have an efficient way to communicate with partners and collaborate in real time, even if it's 6:30 a.m. in Seattle and 10:30 p.m. in Shanghai.
At the same time, manufacturers can't ignore collaboration inside their own virtual walls. For example, dispersed engineering teams need to communicate design changes, and manufacturing relies on sales information in order to schedule production cycles. New social networking and other Web 2.0 tools for manufacturers can create tight-knit communities where conversations and information flow freely and decisions are made on the fly. But rules must be enforced to maintain good business practices.
Source: Managing Automation
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