The big-league enterprise resource planning suppliers (ERP), with the exception of Baan, were conspicuous by their absence at the CIM2000 show.
Flavour of the moment is manufacturing equipment system (MES) software, which extends the efficiencies in planning brought to industry by ERP to the shopfloor - factoring real-time information from the production line into the e-business process.
Aimed further down the process are product configurators such as that used in Ford's build-to-order model. In the shopping-basket section of the Web site, customers select product options which then feed parts requirements directly into planning processes.
With small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) playing a key role in UK manufacturing, hosted solutions were much in evidence. Several suppliers offered SMEs the possibility to get the benefit of e-procurement via XML-based exchanges.