10 Ways Cloud Technology is Disrupting Manufacturing
Cloud technology for manufacturers is evolving at a rapid pace. The availability of powerful new ERP’s, the IoT, and other new cloud-based software is changing the dynamics behind many of the principles that have served as a foundation for manufacturing for years. And, while change can often be scary, in this case it is filled with exciting opportunity. Midmarket manufacturers willing to step forward into this new frontier will be rewarded with an improved business focus and the modern foundation required for revenue growth.
As a top ERP and CRM consulting firm, we consistently asked, “should we be moving to the cloud”? The answer is not fixed Our founder, Bryan Sapot, reveals the top 4 things you should consider first in the video below. However, it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Cloud technology is well on it’s arrival, and each business must determine for itself when the right time to make the move might be.
Below are 10 big ways cloud technology is disrupting manufacturing businesses.
Contingent upon the operational workflow model, each job or task can be triggered simultaneously — either on a schedule or in real time — to eliminate straight line steps which result in prolonged lead time. As such, lead time is significantly reduced and customer satisfaction is improved. Plus, streamlining business processes in the cloud enables the manufacturer to dictate a total quality management intuitive across the entire organization from quote to cash.
Compliance & Regulatory Guidance
A breadth of historical and current data transactions — created by both man and machine — are collected, housed and accessed from a single digital source with precision. This information can be instantly commissioned for regulatory bodies whom require manufacturers to have a traceability and rapid response strategies in place. Cloud computing is especially on demand from manufacturers whom are audited by health and human service agencies; such as the FDA, EPA, and CDC. It is also a non-negotiable modern requirement of big-box retailers to that of their suppliers.
The upfront cost of cloud infrastructure is much cheaper than the procurement of servers and on premises hardware. Additionally, as manufacturers opt to hire on more tech-savvy users whom are already familiar with cloud technologies, there will be less of a learning curve around business process models which reduces the amount of resources allocated to bring new hires up to speed.
Agile dashboards, machine learning and business intelligence tools provide the optimum amount of real time analysis for decision makers and stakeholders. Cloud technologies enable manufacturing businesses, whom may operate as a subsidiary, to provide financial, operational and demand data to parent companies on-demand. It also lessens the impact anomalistic events have upon the manufacturer, since cloud-ran machines analyze the scape of both historical data and current trends to determine tenable volatility in both the short and long run.
Manufacturers can begin to ingrain sensors into products to improve service planning and new product offerings. Cloud technology draws upon the product’s sensor information to determine a number of key metrics about the purchased product. Account managers can then enact service agreements, for example, when the product is in need of repair. Additionally, when manufacturers determine a product is consistently misused by the user, the sales team can then suggest an alternative product that better suits business users or work flow processes.
With cloud-based enterprise software, business leaders can manage assets much more efficiently from anywhere in the world. This may include monitoring the use and location of trucks or service vehicles (i.e. time in service, location of service, preventive maintenance, and operator logs). Ultimately, the cloud platform permits the manufacturer to extend the useful life of its assets by knowing how, where, and why contingencies occur before manifesting into unforeseen expenses. Manufacturers whom adopt this initiative will save in upwards of tens of millions of dollars.
Silos of New Business
Enterprise software from the cloud enables manufacturers to drive more lucrative business opportunities. Agile cloud technology apps allow these businesses to enlist additional service provisions for their buyers. This may include new product training to deter end users from misusing products and expensing them quickly. Plus, manufacturers will have the opportunity to extend preventive maintenance warranties to existing customers to prolong the useful life of the purchased piece. For consumable sales, when data does notify the manufacturer product misuse is recurring, the manufacturer can suggestively sell an alternative product and personalize warranty provisions to fit the end user’s situation, or lifestyle.
Instead of employing a decentralized group of shop floor managers across the organization, managers can monitor machine use, job costs, labor hours, and any other event occurring on a shop or plant floor from a dashboard in real time anywhere they do business. This proactive solution provides constant, total quality management for each shift assets are worked. It also forwards initiatives to various locations the manufacturer may own for separate operations. ERP and CRM in the cloud collects and repackages the data in a more tangible form for an operations director, whom may work in several locations.
Agile Tools Available to Everyone
No longer should midmarket manufacturers be apprehensive to invest in a fully digital infrastructure. Before, only the most reliable resource planning systems were adopted by the largest of companies whom could afford it. Today, the best technologies for businesses are much less expensive and can be scripted to support the unique processes of any size organization. Cloud technology bears low upfront costs and requires nearly zero in-house maintenance. Additionally cloud offers the optimal scalability, speed, capacity and reliability a manufacturer needs today.
Even the smallest of firms faced with immediate disaster sends a ripple effect throughout supply chains and end consumers. We’ve touched on the importance of cloud for asset recovery if you’re running a manufacturing specific ERP instance on a cloud-based host, you’ll find here. Cloud systems replicate key data and migrated to a primary instance remarkably fast. Importantly, it allows business operations to continue. Transactions and payables can be processed remotely, enabling the business to maintain their regulatory compliance, audit nonconformance and pay wages.
Over the next decade, we will come to find nearly all modern manufacturers to adopt a cloud instance for a primary enterprise system — if not all. And the success of the move largely depends on how well their company aligns with the benefits of cloud software as a service.
If your business is currently weighing these options you should contact our enterprise software experts to further discuss the merits of a move like this for your organization. We’ve successfully helped dozens of businesses make the transition, and have talked a few out of it as well. Visit our services page for more info.