How Cloud ERP Is Helping U.S. Manufacturers | Striven

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How Cloud ERP Is Helping U.S. Manufacturers

Brian Kinney
October 1, 2020
6 min read

“The cloud” is everywhere. Touted as the solution for legacy software systems, its promise to help manufacturers has been a popular topic. Even though nearly every factor in 2020 is pushing businesses toward it, many manufacturers haven’t started using cloud computing yet.

Why not? Lack of knowledge, security concerns, change management and process alterations all inhibit U.S.-based manufacturing businesses from moving to the cloud. Practical concerns aside, there’s an unspoken emotional reason, too: sticking with what you know is comfortable.

But the truth is, your work is too vital to not be optimized—the manufacturing industry is a fundamental ingredient to a successful economy.

For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $2.74 is added to the economy. This is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector in America. Some even estimate that the true economic impact could reach $3.60 for every dollar spent when accounting for the various supply chains responsible for ensuring manufactured goods reach their destination. Given that less than 2% of all American manufacturers have over 500 employees, it is primarily small businesses like yours that drive this robust growth.

choosing cloud erp

To put it simply, enabling manufacturers to reach their peak efficiency is in everyone’s best interest. If you put the cloud to work for you, your company will be better positioned to improve the lives of your employees, your future employees, and everyone that depends on the infrastructure you work hard to craft each and every day. 

Here’s how having the best cloud ERP software for manufacturing is helping U.S. based manufacturing companies improve their operations:

Low Cost of Entry

One of the most advantageous benefits that cloud-based ERPs offer is the low cost of entry. For small and medium sized businesses, this is especially critical. You don’t have to break the bank to upgrade your operations. Without having to invest in costly hardware—and even more costly hardware repairs, maintenance, and labor—your business can direct its resources towards hiring new staff, R&D, and providing health benefits.

Advanced Data Security

As a business owner in a competitive industry, you know that the importance of data security—and the relevance of security threats—is at an all time high. At first, you might assume that keeping your data stored on a local system is the best way to protect it. “If it isn’t in the cloud, it can’t be stolen!” While we understand your protective instincts, your data is actually much, much safer on the cloud. 

Think of it this way—the company you hire is going to be tasked with protecting your data. You have an entire team of IT professionals making sure that your data is encrypted, backed-up, and only available to those who you deem essential. Put the experts to work for you.

Speed and Availability

Never again will you have to fret over the speed at which your data can be available to you. With an entire farm of servers at your disposal, you’ll be able to manage your operations from anywhere. These days, most cloud ERPs offer a mobile app in conjunction with their traditional infrastructure.

Searching for information, waiting for documents to load, and transferring data from one silo to another is all streamlined to the point where you’ll be able to focus your time and energy on what really matters—your product and how you track it.

Customization and Scalability

customization for cloud erp

Many businesses that run their operations with on-premise ERP systems often find themselves working around limitations and constraints. Sure, customizations are possible, but they often require a lot of additional time and energy on your end to ensure that they are implemented properly—not to mention additional costs. 

With an ERP system running on the cloud, the developers you enlist to service you are constantly upgrading their software. In order to keep businesses afloat 24 hours a day, tweaks and updates are always necessary. As the needs of your business change year to year—or even month to month—having a development team constantly generating improvements will pay dividends as your business grows and diversifies.

Superior Customer Support

Odds are that you know much more about textile production, the cost of raw metals, and import/export tax code than you do about cloud technology. And that’s just how it should be. While you continue to excel in your field, hire a software solutions team that excels in theirs.

Their job goes well beyond getting your systems up and running. In addition being available when systems go haywire, your software support company should be there to support your employees as well. The systems you’re implementing are new to you, too—wouldn’t it be great if your cloud ERP software had specialists dedicated to teaching you and your staff how it all works? With every new skill we learn or software we utilize, there is a learning curve attached. The software you buy goes well beyond the software itself—make sure the people behind the software are there when you need them every step of the way.

Of course, the software you choose is only as good as its customer support team. They don’t all share the same definition of what makes excellent service. Make sure you properly evaluate support services as an integral part of your search.

A Critical Business Decision

At the end of Q4, you’ll want to look back on the fiscal year knowing you did everything in your power to deliver success to your employees and customers. No single software/system/etc will be the deciding factor in your business’s success. The biggest factor in that success is knowing how you can take advantage of all of the tools at your disposal. That means doing the research, understanding what solutions are out there, and which will best serve your needs.

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Brian Kinney

Brian Kinney is a business software advisor with several years of experience in implementing enterprise solutions for SMBs. His background is in customer service and inventory management within the retail industry. Brian has a love for accounting and helping businesses save time and increase their efficiency through integration and coherence in software systems. He also loves hockey and is a diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan.