Manufacturers are constantly searching for ways to activate growth while remaining cost-efficient. This has led to piecemealed applications across the organization.
What results from this process is limited visibility and a lack of integrated capabilities, which restricts manufacturers from being optimally efficient and agile.
Manufacturers must target solutions that enable integration, visibility, and flexibility. Implementing a digital-first approach and aligning business systems can elevate manufacturers and kickstart growth.
Signs Your Business Needs Change
A study by IBM found that only 28% of manufacturers use data from equipment, processes, and systems to improve operations. In a rapidly changing environment, manufacturers need an agile and flexible operational management system to move forward.
Here are common signs your business is ready to make that change.
- Cost Concerns — Many manufacturers use business systems that don’t meet their current, let alone future, needs. Instead of investing in upgrades, they downplay their importance due to cost or disruption concerns.
- Data Security Concerns — How quickly could your business recover if a server went down and the company had to revert to a backup? Standalone financial data not tied to other software systems can be a serious stability risk and an impairment to business continuity.
- Lack of Resources — Manufacturers often lack the necessary resources to implement and manage new technology. This ultimately prevents their employees and customers from accessing required and desired business information.
- Manual Process Delays — Many manufacturers still depend on manual processes that are error-prone and time-consuming. Technology geared toward automation will create a more accurate, secure, and efficient process.
Best Practices to Drive Significant Growth
Adopting a new business management system isn’t always a straightforward process.
Here are some of the most effective best practices for manufacturers looking to unify operations:
- Take time to recognize your business needs — By understanding your business needs, you can save time and money by investing in the right solution.
- Consider a suite of products — Instead of continuing to add on multiple applications, adopting an integrated product suite can make the transition to the cloud more manageable and efficient.
- Adopt customized solutions — Many manufacturers use “out-of-the-box” solutions not tailored to their operations, slowing growth and increasing costs. Choosing a customized solution allows your business needs to be directly met.
- Leverage a partner — The right partner will help your business migrate data and perform checks and balances on the new system before going live, keeping your business secure and in line with your goals.
Don't Forget to Think Beyond the Technology
According to the PLEX 2022 State of Manufacturing, 75% of organizations think technology is highly helpful in addressing workforce challenges. And while technology can solve critical business needs, if implemented in a silo, even the best technology won't be able to help your operation grow.
When implementing new technology, it's imperative to look at the full business ecosystem. An understanding of people, processes, and technologies will help you chart the best path forward. Starting with business outcomes and having a plan for change management before moving forward is critical to a successful digital journey.
Technology may solve individual business challenges, but without an overarching strategy that centers on business goals, it will fail to meet your true business needs.
Modern Manufacturers Rely on Modern Business Management Solutions
As manufacturers make strategic business decisions in the current market environment, it’s important to have the right information. From the rising cost of raw materials to supply chain constraints, you can’t afford to have inaccurate data or be held back by dated technology solutions. A robust, agile business management system can reduce costs, meet customer demand, and drive future growth.