In the last decade, the manufacturing industry has been influenced by rapid advancements in technology.
Traditional labor-intensive manufacturing has evolved from a set of purely mechanical processes to advanced information-technology-based automation.
More manufacturing businesses are embracing new technologies to increase efficiency, maximize production speed and reduce overall operational costs. Dubbed Industry 4.0, we are seeing the manufacturing sector adopt technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and Internet of Things (IOT), in a bid to increase quality, minimize costs and maximize flexibility.
To stay ahead of the competition, research indicates that manufactures must acknowledge (and leverage) these emerging trends.
Embrace Industry Clouds and Big Data – In a report which surveyed the global manufacturing landscape, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that by 2020, 75% of all manufacturers will
participate in cloud computing. With the Internet of Things connecting equipment and processes in real-time, industry clouds (specialized cloud computing services for different industry verticals) have become an attractive option for information sharing. Access to key data points will help manufacturers improve decision making and operational efficiencies.
With the expected convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), manufacturers will also have access to a truly connected industrial IT network and experience streamlined production efficiency.
Extend Supply Chain Value – With increased customer demands, more businesses are trying to manage growing customer expectations, by taking greater control of the value chain.
In a bid to be more end-consumer focused, manufacturers are reassessing their products and services. One scenario where customer expectations has changed how businesses work is with regards to fulfillment.
According to a study by OrderDynamics, only 29.1% of U.S. retailers offer a click & collect service. This is under half (65%) of U.K retailers that offer the service. Today’s customers do not want to wait; whether it’s the motivation to save on shipping charges or speed and convenience, your customers want their goods and they want them now.
Businesses that want to thrive must invest in capabilities that allow a global visibility of inventory, improved manufacturing and logistics, resulting in faster fulfillment times.
Improve Visibility with Better Data Collection – With cloud-enabled analytics platforms and better data collection systems, manufacturers now have greater visibility into their business operations. With more powerful cloud computing, big data is finally becoming usable, helping manufacturers improve production and build more insightful operation networks.
The IoT is all around us transforming almost every surface into a sensor for data collection and providing real-time insights for companies. With manufacturers able to collect data from so many sources, they can gain a more comprehensive understanding of their business, allowing them to optimize operations and address issues before problems arise.
Agile Manufacturing – Most manufacturers are familiar with the lean manufacturing philosophy. But while lean manufacturing focuses on identifying areas to reduce waste and improve efficiency, the agile manufacturing trend is about responding to changing customer demands. With customer tastes and demands changing so rapidly, manufacturers must be able to adapt and introduce new products, practically on the fly. With this approach, high standards of quality must be maintained, and overall costs controlled.
Harmonize Processes with an ERP
To be truly agile, a company can find themselves using multiple software solutions. Often, these solutions are not integrated, leaving your data and employees stuck in information silos.
An alternative to the use of multiple software applications is the use of one ERP platform. To become truly agile, a manufacturer must use an ERP solution that can provide complete functionality in a single interface, allowing a single source of information to flow between department, and providing management with insights to make critical business decisions.
This investment provides a strong foundation to leverage IoT technologies, cloud computing and business intelligence tools. By adopting these new technologies, manufacturers can keep pace with evolving digital trends and be prepared to respond to rapidly changing markets and global conditions.
It all starts with deploying a modern, robust, powerful business management solution, like Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018.
One of the reasons why Dynamics NAV is so popular among manufacturers is the sheer amount of data that it monitors; data from financial management, sales, warehouse, supply chain, BOMs, shipping and more.
Plus, with a product from Microsoft, you are getting more than just an ERP. You’re getting a solution that’s designed to leverage the your investment in other Microsoft tools like the Office suite, Power BI or Outlook. With a seamless user adoption exerpeince, you can empower your team to increase profitability, improve cash flow, and ultimately drive your business growth.
Isn’t it time to grow your business with the confidence that you are working with accurate data?
Contact an Admiral executive today, let us show you how Dynamics NAV 2018 from Microsoft can help your manufacturing business.