The demand for continuous improvement systems is expected to double in the next four years from 2005 figures as manufacturers look to enhance their lean programs, according to a survey conducted by analyst firm ARC Advisory Group.
ARC projects that the current $200 million continuous improvement software, hardware and services market will grow at a 12.7% compounded annual growth rate through 2010. "A corporation's business processes are embedded in their software systems," says Ralph Rio, ARC's research director. "As they adopt lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, they increasingly need systems tailored to these programs."
Continuous improvement applications include electronic kanban, statistical process control, finite capacity scheduling, advanced planning and scheduling, overall equipment effectiveness, total quality management and value stream mapping.