Manufacturers claim to have gained more efficiency savings from using the Internet than any other sector apart from IT, according to a Mori survey.
Half the manufacturers surveyed which had access to the Internet said it delivered efficiency savings. And 58% said it saved them time and increased productivity.
However, while manufacturers used the Internet to search for information (84%) and for e-mail (83%), the sector is below the European average in exploiting it in other ways: marketing (43%), customer service (25%) and e-commerce (20%).
Only 2% of manufacturing orders in Internet-linked companies were taken electronically this year, compared with a European average of 3%.
The survey also revealed what manufacturers believe the Net can offer, namely, faster, more rapid access to technological information and better communications.
The survey showed that 55% of manufacturers were already on-line.
The Mori poll surveyed 900 senior managers across six European countries. It was commissioned by Cisco Systems, an Internet network company.
* The Engineer OnLine: www.theengineer.co.uk.