Breed efficiency, move industry into the cloud
In the cut-throat manufacturing industry, complex supply chains must be carefully managed to ensure supply meets demand, and quality meets expectations. The goal? Respond faster to change, reduce excess inventory, and cut costs. The method? Cloud-based ERP. The result? Improved productivity, both in the office and on the shop floor.
According to a study conducted by Nucleus Research: "Today, manufacturing competitiveness depends much more on how quickly and flexibly manufacturers can meet the demands of customers rather than what or where they deliver their products. Although manufacturers have made great strides in modernising systems within their facilities, often their aging planning, supply chain and financial applications are a hindrance to visibility for decision-making and overall efficiency and productivity."
During the study, analysts Rebecca Wettemann and Seth Lippincott found there are four compelling reasons why manufacturing should move to the cloud. These are: financial, cloud applications deliver 1.7 times the return on investment of on-premise ones; security, while only 38% of on-premises data centres scored an "A" grade for security, cloud solutions scored much higher; flexibility, to upgrade, change, expand, relocate, or contract cloud applications with relatively limited cost and disruption; and accessibility, access data at any location, at any time, from almost any device.
Nucleus Research considered Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) as a possible solution to help manufacturing make the move to the cloud. It reports that the solution takes advantage of the cloud benefits of flexibility, offers rapid time to value, and supports innovation to drive greater competitiveness and efficiency.
"Digital disruption in manufacturing is here, it is happening, and those who aren't adopting a cloud strategy are being left behind," confirms Jane Thomson, Managing Director at EOH Infor Services (formerly Softworx), Infor's Master Partner in Africa (operating as a Gold Partner). "This disruption is driving the co-ordination of manufacturing in the cloud. Running in the cloud means that organisations are always operating on the latest, most secure version of its manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software."
The question now arises, how will South African manufacturers respond? "Will they become trailblazers, as early adopters of disruptive concepts embracing emerging technology? Or will they err on the side of caution, waiting for best practices to be tested and refined (and possibly lose out on the competitive advantage gained by being at the front of the pack)?" concludes Thomson.