The rate of change in manufacturing today is faster than ever. Retailers and consumers demand flexibility and responsiveness, regulatory oversight is on the rise, and increasing consolidations require companies to demonstrate cost and efficiency improvements. Information Technology for Manufacturing describes how IT can help manufacturers effectively respond to all of these changes. By reviewing common strategic errors and pitfalls as well as success stories, the book outlines how manufacturing companies can use IT to their advantage in two fundamental ways: to cut costs and to add valuable new capabilities. Citing examples from their work in the field, the authors recount how savvy companies use IT to improve manufacturing processes, and subsequently save millions of dollars, become more competitive, and avoid fines from regulatory agencies. The book takes a comprehensive look at five major areas where IT systems can play a pivotal role in improving any company's manufacturing processes. Going beyond theory, the authors show how to ensure that IT investments bring a real payback to manufacturing companies.