Manufacturing—Past, Present, and Future, Part 5

Manufacturing—Past, Present, and Future, Part 5

By Bob Sproull

Review of Manufacturing—Past, Present and Future, Part 4

In my last post, I discussed resistance to change in a manufacturing environment, the many possible reasons for it, and how it can impact any organizational change. I also discussed how best to manage employees by providing nine tips for minimizing the impact of resistance to change:

  • Own the changes
  • Get over it
  • Do not allow biased and fractional support
  • Create a trusting, supportive work environment prior to the change
  • Communicate the change
  • Help the employees identify what’s in it for them to make the change
  • Listen deeply and emphatically to the employees
  • Empower employees to contribute
  • Create an organization-wide feedback and improvement loop

Manufacturing is becoming increasingly cloud-dependent

In the fifth installment in this series, I will begin an analysis of how cloud computing should work in a manufacturing environment. I will also explain the basics of the cloud and a few critical points that every CEO should know about implementation.

Manufacturing and distribution are rapidly becoming dependent on technology in virtually all industrial areas. As manufacturers start planning for new hardware and software systems that will transform their plant operations, cloud deployment is becoming a key component of this effort. Manufacturers have relied on ERP systems as their technology for almost three decades by deploying modules and features for every function, from scheduling manufacturing processes to controlling inventory. ERP systems have successfully managed countless important tasks in the entire manufacturing supply chain. 

Experts agree, manufacturers need the benefits of cloud computing

Global analyst firm IDC issued a Manufacturing Insights(1) report on the adoption trends of ERP solutions in the cloud, with a particular focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) in manufacturing. Describing the report, S. Ramachandran, principal research manager, says:

“Manufacturing companies need to keep looking for opportunities to migrate to a cloud based ERP in stages, if not in entirety, to fully leverage the advantages offered by the next generation of applications and their deployment methods available in the market today. The advantages range from better cost models to improved functionalities leveraging best practices, global performance standards and competitive SLAs that cannot be ignored.”

Ramachandran goes on to say, “Manufacturers simply cannot pass up such opportunities if they want to remain relevant and competitive today. Waiting to take action or simply ‘testing the water’ with a few solutions in the cloud will only delay the full-scale modernization that will eventually be required.”  

Cloud-based ERP systems integrate and modernize your infrastructure

If you haven’t yet developed your plan for modernizing your IT infrastructure, and more specifically, your ERP solution, now is the time to begin. Cloud computing provides many distinct advantages that manufacturers need to compete, such as greater system efficiency, significant cost control and reduction, and faster time to realize value.

One of the most impressive aspects of the cloud software delivery model is that you’re only required get the components of the ERP system that you need, without wasting time, money, and effort on the parts of your business you don’t need. Because updates are deployed automatically, your level of IT staffing and the time-consuming updating tasks disappear. Your cloud partner handles all the integrations, migrations, security, and hosting for you. This allows you to focus on your core business and be more competitive in today’s rapidly evolving technology world. With all the advantages you gain, it’s no wonder nearly every manufacturing company has converted, or soon will be converting their software and hardware systems to the cloud.

In a nutshell, your cloud-based ERP software (and hardware) integrates all your company’s different departments and functions into a single computer system. 

Coming in the next post

In the next post, I will begin an important new series on Problem Solving in a manufacturing environment. I’ll begin by exploring organized, disciplined, and systemic approaches to problem prevention and decision making. 

Until next time.

Bob Sproull

(1) “Best Practices: Adoption Trends of "ERP on Cloud" in India Manufacturing,” S Ramachandran, IDC, July 2015

Bob Sproull

About the author

Bob Sproull has helped businesses across the manufacturing spectrum improve their operations for more than 40 years.

facebook-icon facebook-icon linkedin-icon linkedin-icon twitter-icon twitter-icon blog-icon blog-icon youtube-icon youtube-icon instagram-icon instagram-icon Bookmark this page Google +