Even before the pandemic events of 2020, experts were saying manufacturers were at continued risk for disruption, especially considering ongoing volatility in costs and policy decisions. Already, there were resources to help leaders navigate uncertainty and increase operational flexibility. According to Deloitte, job availability dropped from 22,000 jobs per month in 2018 to an average of only 6,000 jobs per month in 2019. At the same time, market value was predicted to rise from $38.72B in 2018 to $111.9B by 2024.

While the manufacturing sector was already experiencing a mixed view regarding the future along with increasing pressure to optimize operations, one of the most obvious ways forward was digital transformation. A top option for modernizing the manufacturing IT setup is to add cloud computing.

Manufacturing in the Cloud

Manufacturers can use the cloud for everything from data storage to management and processing. Clouds are accessible via the internet, making remote access easy for both the manufacturer itself and even third parties that provide additional services.

In addition, cloud-based systems are typically faster to roll out than traditional on-premises systems, and can automatically receive updates to keep up with the latest developments. Convenience alone can be a large selling point for many businesses. In addition, moving to the cloud can also help manufacturers move past outdated IT infrastructure to make their business more agile.

Cloud Computing Supports and Drives Growth

Despite how it may seem, investing in a cloud platform is not solely a technology decision. It’s also a business strategy that gives you the agility, speed, and insight you need. As businesses are planning for the way forward from pandemic triage to recovery, those who did not have cloud in place already should consider investing in the shift, as cloud computing can help support and drive growth.

  • No more quality silos. Quality has multiple aspects, from inbound inspection to reducing scrap and screening out defective parts. Tracking, analyzing, and reporting quality status by center and product with a cloud-based application puts quality at a higher company-wide value. Quality strategies can be synchronized across departments and locations with real-time data.
  • Accelerated cycle times. Cloud-based technology allows greater insight into manufacturing cycle time and where improvements can be made to shorten it, driving up a manufacturer’s ability to remain competitive.
  • Better insights into overall equipment effectiveness. Each machine’s overall equipment effectiveness level can impact workflow and productivity. With insight into which areas are performing well and which need to improve, manufacturers can increase efficiency and avoid unnecessary costs.
  • Track and trace in real time. Supply chain visibility is paramount to maintaining quality levels. Cloud-based applications can scale across networks, catching product quality problems early and save manufacturers unpredictable expenses.
  • Enable higher supply chain performance. Having insight into inventory levels across supply chains drives efficiency in inventory planning and management. With cloud-based inventory systems and ERPs collecting data, your teams can find data patterns that help predict shifts in demand and make the necessary moves to accommodate.
  • Add mobile support. No matter whether workers are on the assembly floor, in the field, or working remotely from home, they can access vital information from anywhere with a laptop or mobile device.

In an uncertain economy, moving to the cloud can also save money. Setting up and maintaining IT infrastructures require resources such as servers and software licenses, which are considerably more cost effective when based in the cloud. IDC research indicated mature cloud adopters could achieve savings in the millions: An average of $3 million in revenue per cloud-based application, and another $1 million in cost reductions due to benefits such as improved IT organizational agility and business process improvements.

Move Forward in 2020 With Cloud Technology and ASI

Having access to your information in the cloud can allow businesses to scale quickly, an important distinction for organizations as they navigate what the second half of 2020 may bring. From mobility to do business anywhere—even from home—to improvements in supply chain and manufacturing cycle times, cloud software can help your business be ready for whatever comes next.

Find out how your manufacturing business could benefit from adding cloud technology. Get a free software consultation now.