ARC Advisory Group, Dedham, Mass., is predicting that the Collaborative Production Management software market for discrete manufacturing (CPM-D), which currently exceeds $500 million, will more than double and top $1 billion by the end of 2008. Many new entrants in the market will push the cumulative annual growth rate to 15% during this period and provide a rich selection of providers. According to ARC, a CPM solution helps manufacturers drive their manufacturing operations to perform against real-time business needs instead of fixed targets. It is the application of collaborative manufacturing principles to the management of manufacturing processes. With these solutions, manufacturers can: synchronize manufacturing and business processes; collaborate with business partners; respond quickly to demand changes; cope with increasing regulatory requirements; ensure quality products; and continuously improve operations, according to ARC. ARC provides strategic planning and assessment research services to manufacturing companies, utilities, logistics providers and software and solutions providers. The study on CPM-D is entitled "Discrete CPM Software & Services Business (in Millions of Dollars)."