European consumer goods manufacturers are waking up to the challenges of cutting costs and moving to collaborative IT environments.
According to analyst IDC, the pressure is on for these firms to reduce complexities and improve the overall efficiencies of the industry.
This ranges from the processing of raw materials and the development of products, to the sale of the end product through multiple channels.
IDC's latest study, IT Priorities in the Western European CPG Industry - An Industry Update, highlights how the move towards a collaborative environment will be a key driver of IT systems adoption.
Over the past year, the consumer goods and retail industries have made "significant progress" in establishing a common platform for electronic collaboration, involving the use of internet-based technologies to allow continuous automated exchange of information between trading partners.
Jennifer Thomson, manufacturing programme manager at IDC's European vertical markets research group, said in a statement: "Although until now much of the activity has been taking place in the US, Europe is now starting to see the increased use and application of data synchronisation solutions.
"And initiatives such as the efficient consumer response are really starting to take effect."
The study identified the need for advanced planning - including demand planning, production planning and inventory management - as the major driver for strategic IT purchasing in the sector.
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