We empirically analyzed the linkage from computer-based information technologies utilized for production activities to the perceived benefits of production information systems, further to the competitive performance of each manufacturing plant, after presenting our research framework and a series of hypotheses. A database used for the analysis includes forty-six manufacturing plants located in Japan from three industries (machinery, electrical & electronics, and automobile). Information technologies we took up include computer aided design (CAD), computer aided engineering (CAE), computer aided processes planning (CAPP), local area networks (LAN) linking design and engineering stations, computer or direct numerical control (CNC/DNC), flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), automated retrieval and storage, material requirement planning (MRP), just-in-time (JIT) software, simulation tools, statistical process control (SPC) software, database for quality information, and electronic data interchange (EDI) linkages among others. The benefits of production information systems were measured in terms of manufacturing cost reduction, decrease in inventories, quality improvement, lead time reduction, increase in flexibility to changing product mix and production volume, new product introduction time reduction and so on. We found that there were several information technologies which did not necessarily show the hypothesized effects, and there were considerable unexpected or secondary effects upon the benefits of production information systems. Furthermore, some important benefits of production information systems, particularly manufacturing cost reduction and increase in flexibility, didn’t lead to the improvement in the corresponding competitive performance indexes.
Matsui, Yoshiki and Sato, Osam, "An Empirical Analysis on the Benefits of Production Information Sysem for Japanese Manufacturing Companies" (2001). ICEB 2001 Proceedings (Hong Kong, SAR China). 64.