This IDC Manufacturing Insights Perspective takes a look at the importance of and challenges associated with leveraging accurate data in strategic decision making. As manufacturing firms continue to look for opportunities to reduce costs, increase margins, and improve customer service levels in an effort to create sustainable business growth, the firms are increasingly looking at expanding operations into new geographic markets. This effort is driven by an increasingly global marketplace where products and services must be tailored to local customers and also maintain alignment to the organization's strategy and core competencies. For manufacturers, meeting these goals is typically very capital intensive. As a result, a strategic approach to decision making must be taken when considering if a new market is going to prove profitable and how long it will take to get there.
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