Information Technology Benchmarks for Plastics Manufacturing Companies

by Staff

It is virtually impossible to think about the future linearly when it comes to computing-, information- and design-related technology. In fact, according to Ray Kurzweil (inventor, entrepreneur and visionary), “Information technologies double their capacity, price performance and bandwidth every year.” This exponential growth in technology is one that leading-edge manufacturing companies are utilizing to create competitive and distinguishable differences in the marketplaces in which they compete.

With this concept in mind, there is great irony in the fact that questions in common business conversations between plastics manufacturing executives rarely include anything about information technology, which is truly the lifeblood of any company. In fact, how often does one hear inquires like “How is your server treating you?” or “Have you had any security breaches lately?”

The MAPP organization has used its 2012 Information Technology Report to establish the first benchmarks in the plastics industry relative to IT. The study focuses on the methods by which plastic manufacturing company executives are managing their information systems. Overall, this report is comprehensive and reveals data and statistics in a number of areas including, but not limited to: server operating systems, IT expenditures, ERP systems, PC stations, engineering design software, capital investment strategies, production floor technology interfaces and more.

The wide-ranging demographics of this survey cover over 3,000 operating systems, millions of dollars of annual information technology investments and hundreds of seats of engineering design platforms.

The survey results reveal interesting statistics that enable business leaders to compare their management information practices to industry norms and IT standard operating procedures. For instance, one quarter of the respondents to this survey have a “fully integrated Information Technology plan” as part of their business strategy. Information technology plans include, but are not limited to: capital investment strategies, budgets for hardware and software upgrades and goals for expansion into the latest technologies.

Server Platforms

Unless in the information technology field, most readers might not understand that nearly 100 percent of America’s Fortune 100 companies utilize virtual server technology as their primary server platform. MAPP’s study revealed that 49 percent of the plastics community is following this trend. In addition, the study also revealed that the most predominate server operating system (OS) is Windows Server 2008.

PC Platforms

The most predominate PC workstation currently utilized in the plastics industry today is Windows XP, and the most common PC brand is Dell, selected by nearly 7 out of 10 survey respondents. Running a far second place was Hewlett Packard (HP), chosen by 24 percent of the study’s participants.

Software Licensing

Obtaining the best value and the best service for the dollar are keys in the purchase of any product and also is true when it comes to the purchase of computing software. However, the 2012 IT Study showed that methods of procuring software licenses are evenly distributed among the categories of Per Computer (33 percent); Per User (22 percent); Shared License Manager (22 percent) or Volume-Based (22 percent). Interestingly, larger companies (those above $30M in annual sales revenue) tend to utilize volume-based procurement more than any other method.

To obtain the full results of this survey, visit the Publications Tab on the MAPP website at