This paper reviews the application of computer-based information systems for manufacturing, which has found a lack of strategic orientation. Critical factors for a strategic-oriented information system, i.e. external information scanning, data refining and information reporting, are discussed. A strategic-oriented system model that incorporates information scanning-refining-reporting into manufacturing automation and control systems is proposed. A case study of a corporate strategic information processing system in a UK company is explored. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are made.