Fifty years ago, manufacturing was considered a “blue collar” industry. Today, the space is filled with technological advancements designed to empower employees, customers and partners with processes and information needed to produce quality products with increased efficiency.
While there are many technology options available for 21st century manufacturers, here are the top technology trends manufacturers should focus on to boost growth.
Although cloud computing has been a major part of other industries for years, many manufacturers are just now beginning their cloud migration.
If your manufacturing company hasn’t made the move to the cloud, there are lots of benefits to consider, including:
- Secure data storage: Keep ;orders and other vital pieces of data safe in the cloud. With a robust cloud storage solution, your company will be protected against disaster.
- Maintain Consistency: If your manufacturing company has multiple locations, it can be difficult to maintain consistency from one plant to the next. Sharing data in the cloud, including updates regarding materials, plans and more, can ensure a consistent product from one location to the next.
Strengthen Security of Critical Business Data: Stay on top of the latest cloud computing threats. Once you migrate to Microsoft Office 365, opportunities to increase your data security become available through cloud based tools of Microsofts.’ New features such as Office 365 Secure Score, Office 365 Threat Intelligence Private Preview, and Office 365 Advanced Data Governance Preview are extremely helpful in understanding how your business may be at risk of ransomware, hacks, or data breaches. (Need help developing your cloud migration plan? Our checklist can help.)
File Distribution for Onsite Sales Materials
For your sales team, current pricing sell sheets, demos, and brochures are key. The days of fumbling with technology to showcase your latest widget or service are over.
Organize your company sales materials using Microsoft SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. This makes all of your materials easily accessible with a simple swipe on your smartphone or double-click on your tablet. No internet or VPN connection needed.
Automated Reporting Improvements
Stop spending time manually building and running reports, slowing down your servers and wasting paper. Blend automated reporting services with Microsoft’s PowerBI to provide better visual representations of accumulated data. The ability to translate your enterprise data and records into actionable insights will fuel your company’s next wave of growth.
Internet of Things (IoT)
For the past few years, many manufacturers have been investing in the Internet of Things, including new devices to improve the efficiency and productivity of manufacturing operations. Usually, manufacturers retrofit existing equipment in an effort to increase lead time, boost production quality and decrease cost, among other benefits.
IoT solutions can streamline a manufacturers’ operations, connecting dots across various technology points while boosting revenue. For example, according to a TATA Consultancy Survey, manufacturers using IoT technology in 2014 saw an average 28.5% increase in revenues.
Interoffice Communication & Client Collaboration
Let your sales team make sales, and your computers compute. Minimize manual processes, automating sales leads and workflows, providing readily accessible sales materials not dependent on Internet connection.
For example, leveraging modern workplace tools from Microsoft and Cisco can help your sales team thrive. Some of these tools include:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM, integrate marketing and sales lead campaigns
- Microsoft Office 365, productivity tools
- Microsoft Teams, an enterprise social network
- Microsoft Skype for Business, collaborate with clients in real-time from anywhere
- Microsoft Power BI, transform your data into rich visuals for the sales team
- Cisco Jabber, collaborate with clients in real-time from anywhere
- Cisco Webex, easy follow up using video conferencing format
Trust SWICKtech to Integrate Efficiency into Your Business
At SWICKtech, we can help your manufacturing company effectively implement modern tools, from Microsoft 365 to the Azure Cloud. Our IT consultants can help you blend the pieces of your technical infrastructure and software environments together, building an integrated platform with high quality IT, making your sales team a brute force to reckon with.