How is the Cloud Shaking Up Manufacturing?

    Cloud Manufacturing

    Cloud ERP for Manufacturing

    Cloud computing for manufacturers is evolving at a rapid pace. With ERP and other software hosted in the cloud, manufacturers can take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile devices, greater access to enterprise data and other innovations. These powerful solutions are disrupting manufacturing, giving businesses of all sizes access to opportunities to transform their processes and expand into new markets. When companies step into this new frontier, they gain an improved business focus and a strong foundation for future growth. Below are 10 big ways that cloud technology is disrupting manufacturing businesses.

    1. Streamlined Processes

    If you're operating without cloud-hosted ERP, chances are you're wasting time on rote tasks and introducing human error into your processes. With cloud computing, each job or task can be triggered simultaneously—either on a schedule or in real time—to eliminate manual 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 you to manage quality from quote to cash.

    2. Compliance & Regulatory Guidance

    With ERP hosted in the cloud, 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 that require manufacturers to have traceability and rapid response strategies in place. This functionality is especially critical for manufacturers that are audited by health and human service agencies, such as the FDA, EPA and CDC. 

    3. Cost Reduction

    The upfront cost of cloud infrastructure is much cheaper than the procurement of servers and on-premises hardware, enabling small to midsize manufacturers to gain faster ROI. Additionally, as manufacturers opt to hire on more tech-savvy users who 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.

    4. Hands-Off Analysis

    Agile dashboards, machine learning and business intelligence tools provide real-time analysis for decision makers and stakeholders. For manufacturers operating as subsidiaries, cloud technology provides financial, operational and demand data to parent companies on demand. It also analyzes both historical data and current trends to determine long and short-term volatility and empower users to make smarter, faster decisions.

    5. IoT

    Cloud computing powers the Internet of Things (IoT) to help you form a more connected enterprise. Manufacturers can begin to ingrain sensors into products to improve service planning and new product offerings. Cloud technology draws upon information from the sensor 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 that a product is consistently misused by the user, the sales team can then suggest an alternative product that better suits business users or workflows. A robust ERP system can capture and analyze this information in a single, user-friendly system. By taking advantage of the IoT using cloud ERP, you can maximize the value of your data.

    6. Asset Management

    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 manufacturers to extend the life of their assets by knowing how, where and why contingencies occur before manifesting into unforeseen expenses. Manufacturers that adopt this initiative could save up to millions of dollars.

    7. New Business Opportunities

    Enterprise software from the cloud enables manufacturers to drive more lucrative business opportunities. Agile cloud technology apps allow you to enlist additional service provisions for buyers. This may include new product training to deter end users from misusing products and expending them quickly. Plus, you can capitalize on the opportunity to extend preventive maintenance warranties to existing customers to prolong the life of their purchase. 

    8. Remote Management

    With cloud computing, access to critical data isn't limited to your desktop. Wherever you do business, you can instantly pull up information and receive notifications from your shop floor right on your mobile device. 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. It also forwards initiatives to various locations that you may own for separate operations. Cloud-hosted ERP solutions collect data and transform it into actionable insight for operations directors. 

    9. Agile Tools for All

    Small and midmarket manufacturers should no longer be apprehensive about investing in a fully digital infrastructure. Before, reliable ERP systems were only available to giant enterprises. Today, the best business technology is much less expensive and can be scripted to support the unique processes of any organization. Cloud technology bears low upfront costs and is completely managed by expert providers. Additionally, cloud offers the optimal scalability, speed, capacity and reliability a manufacturer needs today.

    10. Rapid Recovery

    Even the smallest of disasters can send a ripple effect throughout your supply chains, eventually impacting your consumers and bottom line. By replicating data, cloud systems provide rapid asset recovery. Microsoft Azure, the public cloud platform for Epicor products, is one of the most secure cloud solutions. It replicates several copies of data in near real time and includes more data centers and servers than any other provider, ensuring rapid recovery. This allows your operations to constantly move forward and stops problems before they damage your enterprise. Transactions and payables can also be processed remotely, enabling your business to maintain regulatory compliance, audit non-conformance and pay wages.

    Wrap Up

    In the next few years, we will come to find nearly all modern manufacturers adopting a cloud platform for a primary enterprise system—if not all. And the success of the move largely depends on how well companies align their goals with the benefits of cloud ERP. 

    At Datix, our consultants have optimized manufacturing operations for over 20 years. We know the unique challenges faced in manufacturing industries and have the ERP, CRM, eCommerce and integration solutions to help you capitalize on new opportunities and prevent disasters. As an Epicor Platinum Partner, we specialize in providing cloud-hosted ERP implementations, integrations and upgrades. Whether you're moving from a legacy platform or seeking your first implementation, Datix will do what it takes to ensure you gain a premier cloud solution.

    The cloud is here to stay, and it's time you transform your manufacturing enterprise with Epicor ERP in the cloud. Contact Datix today to get started!


    Matt Schuval

    Matt Schuval

    Matt, the Chief Executive Officer at Datix, is a thought leader in the ERP community and President of the Epicor Partner Council. He has a strong industry background that has allowed him to transform Datix into one of the top enterprise software consultants in the U.S.

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