IDC Launches Manufacturing Insights; New Company Assists Manufacturers In Assessing the Impact of IT Investments on Business Processes

FRAMINGHAM, MA – January 18, 2005 – IDC today announced the launch of Manufacturing Insights, a new independent research and advisory practice focused on providing the manufacturing industry fact-based research, business cases, benchmarking and analysis on best practices and the use of information technology to assist clients in improving their capabilities in key process areas.

"Manufacturers face a host of challenges in bringing products to market faster, decreasing costs, and improving the effectiveness of their sales and marketing efforts," said Bob Parker, IDC's vice president of research for Manufacturing Insights. "After extensive investment in enterprise applications, they are now funding projects that harvest value from those applications."

"Manufacturing Insights research is designed to assist manufacturing companies in achieving value from their enterprise applications investments by providing information on the benchmarks, best practices, and business cases for transforming critical processes such as new product development, supply chain, and demand management," said Kirk Campbell, IDC president and chief executive. "This fact-based approach to industry research results in more informed priority setting with lower risk and more effective investment strategies for the client."

Manufacturing Insights will provide the manufacturing IT market with critical information to their success, including:

— Best practices information of interest to manufacturers, technology leaders, and decision makers. Manufacturers can use this research to make informed decisions as they make technology or business process plans, including their strategies for future IT investments.

— Research which allows clients to benchmark where they stand compared to other manufacturers, and provide subscribers with expert analysis and feedback to help them sustain their key manufacturing IT decisions.

Bob Parker has been appointed as the vice president of Manufacturing Insights. In this role, Parker will be responsible for the research and consulting offerings of Manufacturing Insights that will provide manufacturing executives with information on the benchmarks, best practices, and business cases for transforming critical processes. Mr. Parker comes to Manufacturing Insights with a strong background in both the manufacturing industry and market advisory services business.

Parker brings more than 20 years of industry knowledge and experience. His most recent experience at an industry-specific research firm included heading up research on the discrete manufacturing team. He has extensive experience in both manufacturing and IT and has managed successful turnaround engagements in the manufacturing and retail industries.

Parker has served as director of operations, CIO and division controller throughout his 20 year career. In addition, Parker was the chief operating officer and principle of Open Access/Technology Distributors, a start-up ISP that served 1000+ consumers and 150+ corporate customers.

About Manufacturing Insights, an IDC Company

Manufacturing Insights, an IDC Company, provides business and IT decision-makers with fact-based research and analysis to inform and support critical business decisions. The global independent research and advisory firm closely follows processes associated with the design, development and distribution of goods across markets including Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, High Tech/Electronics Manufacturing, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Retail. Manufacturing Insights' research and analysis is critical for end-users, as well as hardware and software vendors, service providers, and purveyors of IT outsourcing. Founded in January 2005, Manufacturing Insights is headquartered in Framingham, Mass. Visit www.manufacturing-insights.com for more information.

IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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