Studies conducted in 1994 and 1996 by the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Alliance, through the Georgia Tech Economic Development Institute, confirmed many of the findings of the committee's survey. The Georgia Tech studies surveyed the manufacturing needs, practices, and performance of all manufacturing firms in Georgia with 10 or more employees. The approximately 1,000 responses are summarized in Tables 5-1 and 5-2.

Most of the technologies and techniques in the Georgia surveys are identified elsewhere in this report as becoming increasingly important for successful participation in integrated supply chains.

Some of the findings of all three surveys were confirmed by a survey reported in The Wall Street Journal, which showed that in 1999 only half of small businesses (defined as having 10 or fewer employees) had Internet access, and approximately 20 percent had their own Web sites. Another survey in 1999 showed that 54 percent of small businesses and 62 percent of medium-sized businesses (defined as having at least 100 employees) had some corporate Web presence (Wall Street Journal , August 17, 1999).

Finding. Survey data shows that the manufacturing world is changing rapidly and that small SMEs are significantly behind their larger counterparts in advanced technical capabilities.

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