Cloud computing is a trend that is infiltrating businesses in all sectors and of all sizes. That’s even true in an industry as physical and hands-on as manufacturing; in fact, recent research has suggested that cloud-based services will account for almost all software usage in manufacturing by 2023.
With that in mind, it appears you cannot afford to delay a transition to the cloud any longer for fear of falling behind your rivals. But how exactly can you begin that journey? Here are three concrete ways in which you can leverage the capabilities of cloud computing across all facets of your manufacturing department to help boost its efficiency and enhance its performance.
On the shop floor
Gone are the days in which paper and pen served as adequate tools with which to monitor activity on your shop floor. From keeping tabs on inventory levels to coordinating jobs to ordering in more raw materials, the warehouse is a place which requires constant and efficient supervision in order to function like the well-oiled machine you need it to be.
While spreadsheets had served this purpose satisfactorily (if unremarkably) for many years, a graduation to the cloud offers up so many more benefits. With all information regarding your stock levels stored in one, centralised location in the cloud, you can quickly and easily see how your inventory is looking, allocate resources and renew orders, all at the touch of a button.
Through your supply chains
These days, collaboration with every part of your supply chain is no longer an option – it’s an absolute must for any business that wishes to stay competitive. According to a recent report, improved supply chain collaboration accelerates the resolution of problems twice as quickly as those issues which suffer from outdated methods.
Facilitating this collaboration via a migration to cloud-based services is desirable for a number of reasons, since it can make interactions easier and more efficient, as well as saving time, energy and resources. What’s more, it’ll make you more attractive to your business partners, highlighting you as a forward-thinking company with its finger on the pulse and a plan for the future in operation.
At the point of sale
Whatever it is you manufacture, closing the sale is the last step of a business transaction for the consumer, which is why getting this stage of the process right is extremely important for the retailer. Fortunately, there are now a raft of fantastic e-commerce solutions available to help you sell your products far and wide (the relative merits of Shopify vs Shopify Plus, for example, can be endlessly debated), but these platforms can also be leveraged to boost your manufacturing capabilities as well as your sales and profit margins.
That’s because sophisticated cloud-based software can connect your warehouse with the checkout page of your website, meaning that your inventory is automatically updated as and when an order comes in. Having that kind of capability in your locker is crucial in ensuring you never miss deadlines or run out of stock again.
It’s not hard to see why cloud computing is favoured by companies working in every industry today. For the manufacturing department, it brings a raft of benefits as well, including efficiency, automation and enhanced collaboration.