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Integrated customer/supplier relations

The Factory of the Future will be designed so as to operate in a network, from the suppliers to the customers, and to reconstitute its value chain in order to adapt to changes in the market and in technologies and to make available a flexible, reconfigurable production tool. It is necessary to implement specific technologies relating essentially to the digital domain. The customer invites himself into product design and into the launch of manufacturing orders and the supplier receives orders and planned delivery dates automatically according to the orders received from the final customer. The flows in the entire Supply Chain are planned based on orders, a growing proportion of which will be made by internet. It will be necessary to work in co-innovation, in collaborative mode and it will be necessary in this framework to control the intellectual property. The customer is at the same time the buyer, the designer and the producer. We sometimes speak of “producers”. From his e-phone, he designs a product which is personalised for his needs, he place an order and consequently generates the pull system manufacture that he can monitor up to delivery.

Digitisation of the value chain

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The digitisation of the value chain corresponds to a complete digital model of the networked enterprise. It makes it possible to accelerate the sharing of information and to offer new services.

Collaborative innovation and production

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Collaborative innovation and/or production is the possibility for several players (competitors, suppliers or producers) to be able to co-design and/or co-manufacture a product or a service, using tools and platforms which allow parallel working. Collaboration is at the heart of innovation, for the products and processes of tomorrow. These are social networks adapted to technical issues, allowing the sharing of information, the management prioritisation of ideas, the management of technical controversies, project and programme management, the management of product portfolios, etc. This type of collaboration can be deployed within the enterprise and outside it, for “outside-in” innovation. Particularly important is co-innovation with the customer, which makes it possible to increase loyalty from the initial stages of the product life cycle.

Product life cycle management extended to services (PLM and SLM)

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These are applications which make it possible to control all the operations necessary to develop products and services, from design up to the end of life processing.