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What Your Manufacturing Software Knows (That You Don’t)

Matt Bernot
November 9, 2020
7 min read

Inside the heart of the manufacturing industry, there exists one fundamental truth: supply and demand. The products your business builds are ultimately determined by those who are purchasing them. You know that the driving force behind the creation of your products are your customers and/or suppliers—but what’s the driving force behind your production process?

Human error and operational inefficiency plague production lines nationwide. Some business owners will concede defeat to these shortcomings in the name of keeping familiar systems in place. By standing behind flawed yet familiar systems, you’re instinctively seeking to stay in control of your business—and that’s exactly what you should be doing. But in 2020 and beyond, staying in control means knowing when to let technology take the wheel. 

What Manufacturing Process Software Can Do For You

The way that your manufacturing business runs is just as important as the products you assemble. Even if you consistently produce good results, that’s only just the beginning—the goal is always to produce more products more efficiently. The best way to do this? Invest in cloud technology. 

Most manufacturers are already starting this process—the discrete manufacturing industry leads the way in cloud technology and services spending. They view investing in the cloud not just as a savvy business decision, but also as an inevitability. 

“Cloud software will significantly outpace traditional software product delivery over the next five years, growing nearly three times faster than the software market as a whole and becoming the significant growth driver to all functional software markets,” said Benjamin McGrath, senior research analyst, SaaS and Business Models

(Source: ICT Business)

There are a lot of things that the future of manufacturing will demand from you. First and foremost, it involves investing in new technologies. And profits will follow from smart investments.

By utilizing production software designed to reduce human error, you’ll be able to improve production quality, shorten order cycle times, and intuitively schedule repairs and maintenance. Smart technology is here to help you achieve long term financial security for your business. Here’s some ways that you can put this technology to work for you:

Higher Quality Products

Product development is a complex process with no single, concrete roadmap to success. Each type of product comes with its own set of unique challenges. Your products are different and require varying levels of attention and adjustments along the way—make sure you have a software that is able to efficiently adjust to these changes. 

While a traditional CAD software will ultimately be your main tool for formulating design specs, the creativity, collaboration, and overall team effort that goes into the design process takes place elsewhere. Cloud computing offers something extremely valuable in today’s day and age—flexibility. Allow your entire team and any relevant stakeholders to make notes and adjustments in real time, from anywhere. Cut out repetitive emails, duplicate renderings, and other time-wasters. Manufacturing production software exists to make the hard work you do more efficient than yesterday. 

Lower Order Cycle Times

Automation isn’t as scary of a word as it once was. It used to trigger visions of robots and computers prying jobs away from flesh-and-blood humans. Currently, automation can best be described—in terms of manufacturing—as a process by which machines complete one of two kinds of tasks:

  • Tasks which humans are not suitably skilled for (precisely measuring down to 1/1000th of an inch).
  • Tasks that would simply take us way too long to provide any tangible benefit (analyzing 1000 spreadsheets worth of data). 

Ultimately, automation can function as a tool that can help you and your employees save time and work more efficiently.

Your inventory is arguably your business’s most valuable asset, so it’s understandably difficult to surrender some hands-on control to a software system. But the simple fact of the matter is that while humans are prone to errors, computers are not. Considering that 46% of small to medium-sized businesses still use pen and paper to keep track of their inventory, it’s surprising that inventory is still about 63% accurate across the board. 

Let your software handle tracking and management tasks so your employees don’t have to. The right manufacturing inventory software will manage price quotes, order intake, and customer requests. 

Predictive Repairing and Maintenance

Nothing cuts down on operational efficiency quite like a broken piece of equipment. Sure, things are always going to break down despite your best efforts. It happens. But much like a controlled burn helps manage forests, you can use the technology at your disposal to determine when it’s time to take a functional machine out of duty so that it can be maintained for the long haul.

Take care of your equipment before a problem ever exists—being proactive will save your business time and money. With technology like this at your fingertips, you’ll find new ways to be efficient that you weren’t aware of before. Maybe, for instance, there’s one piece of equipment that breaks down slightly more often than the others. It required maintenance 13 times in five years as opposed to similar machines which required an average of 9.5 maintenance services in the same amount of time—something that you may not have picked up on without the help of smart technology. 

The name of the game is to prevent idle time within your operation. By putting more time into production than troubleshooting, you’ll be able to focus on the long term growth of your business.

Manufacturing Software That Works For You

By allowing cloud technology to improve and expand upon the hard work you’ve already done, you’ll raise the ceiling on what you can accomplish. Each day more and more manufacturers continue to adapt cloud-centric production methods—you still have a chance to be ahead of the curve. 

Ten years from now, how successful will your business be?  Shouldn’t you start forming the answer to this question today? Investing in and trusting cloud manufacturing software will provide a boon to your overall bottom line, efficiency, and future business viability. For the manufacturing industry—and most others, for that matter—cloud technology is here to stay.

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Matt Bernot

Matt Bernot has spent the past eight years working in software, banking, and finance. He specializes in business technology solutions and teaching efficient processes to help organizations accomplish more. Matt is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Flyers and a father to a pair of incredibly goofy cats.