A pure software perspective to digital transformation in manufacturing

You’ve read the reams of content published about Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and even emerging industrial technologies like 3D Printing – and the revolution they are bringing about in manufacturing.

But an aspect that is generally not addressed in as much depth is the softer side to this revolution – the software applications that play a major role in digital transformation at manufacturing businesses. 

In our experience, custom-built or customized software can have a major positive impact on a manufacturing company in three key areas.

1. Analytics and Dashboards

As manufacturing companies embrace technology like never before in their operations, it is more important than ever to have a comprehensive overview of information from across the company.

Most mid- and large-sized manufacturing companies do deploy ERP systems, though these are often legacy platforms. But going a step beyond this, given the large volumes of operational data generated by new-age equipment, it is possible to put this data to use in order to discover business value.

For instance, to address areas like performance monitoring, identifying bottlenecks, and streamlining processes, the development of customized actionable dashboards to make sense of this data and surface usable insights has a key role to play.

2. Workforce Management

As manufacturing technology undergoes a revolution, so too is the manufacturing workforce. With the need for a more technology-focused workforce, that includes data analysts, software engineers, and programmers, the needs of a manufacturing business in managing this workforce have also changed.

Identity and access management plays a critical role now, alongside more traditional technologies like time & attendance, payroll and so on. Compliance also plays a greater role today, and therefore ensuring that the workforce is demonstrably trained on specific compliance parameters through an effective LMS is important too.

And who can forget the COVID-19 pandemic, that has led digital transformation in manufacturing companies in new and unexpected directions. For instance, employee health and safety management, quarantine tracking, management of workforce shifts and cohorts, and so on, to mitigate the risks of an outbreak among employees.

3. Agility and Responsiveness

As customer preferences and market forces change at ever faster rates, businesses today have no choice but to reinvent themselves to be more agile than ever.

In manufacturing businesses, this is seen in many cases in the form of creating a direct line of communication with end customers, often through a mobile or web app, to improve the efficiency and user experience through the entire order cycle – from placement of the order through to fulfilment.

The modern manufacturing company also needs to build in technology-enabled efficiency in terms of manufacturing on demand, and optimizing purchase and storage cycles of materials, in-process products, and finished goods.

At CloudNow, we’ve had the privilege of working alongside leading manufacturing companies, helping them to defend and extend their competitive advantage through the use of smart technology solutions. We can do the same for you too! Let’s talk…