Information technology was most widely deployed for payroll purposes with the electronics sector leading the charge.
KUALA LUMPUR, 13 JUL 2000 (Asia Pulse) - The current usage of information technology in terms of the extent and intensity among manufacturing industries has shown an improvement over the last two years, says the just-released NPC Productivity Report 1999.
Published by the National Productivity Corporation, the report said IT was widely used for administrative functions and the majority of the companies was using IT intensely to support such functions. All sub-sectors recorded strong growth, achieving more than 90 per cent in IT usage for administrative functions, particularly in accounting and finance which scored 99 per cent, an increase of two per cent over 1997.
In addition, a higher proportion of industries was using IT in the payroll section at 97 per cent (1997: 94 per cent), personnel records at 94 per cent (1997: 85 per cent) and transaction processing at 91 per cent (1997: 81 per cent). Furthermore, the report said there were still many industries with virtually no IT usage in both supporting and primary activities.
Across the sub-sectors, the electrical and electronics sub-sector showed the highest percentage of companies using IT for both supporting (89 percent) and primary activities (84 per cent). The rubber and rubber product and textiles and apparel sub-sectors reported the lowest level of IT usage for supporting and primary activities respectively. The report said the overall usage of manufacturing process software remained low except for Computer Aided Design (CAD) for drafting and design. CAD was used in more than half of the manufacturing industries surveyed, an increase of 12 percent from 1997.
Among the industries that used CAD extensively included machinery and equipment (90 per cent), textile and apparel (75 per cent) and transport equipment (71 per cent). In terms of hardware usage, the Programmable Logic Control was widely used in the metal (74 per cent), non-metal (73 per cent) and chemical industries (73 per cent) while the use of Computer Numeric Control was highest in machinery and equipment as well as transport equipment industries.
To encourage further growth in the manufacturing sector, the government had initiated a Worldwide Manufacturing Web to provide a conducive environment for value-added manufacturing using IT. With the web, the government was enhancing the potential of manufacturing companies to use advanced IT in their activities, the report said. "Manufacturing companies should take heed of the government's move to consider IT strategically and improve on existing capabilities towards greater efficiency and competitiveness," the report said.
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