Many small manufacturing and service companies will go out of business unless they become more computer-intensive, says Abraham Seidmann of the University of Rochester.

By failing to take advantage of computer networks to handle related functions such as invoices, inventory records or design images, smaller firms lose out on one of the biggest opportunities to become more efficient, says Seidmann. "For example, tool-and-die shops should track their jobs with computers, from origination through delivery, to supply parts on a competitive and just-in-time basis," he says.