When small to mid-sized manufacturers need to compete against the “big boys” in their field, they need to find something that gives them an edge. Often, their competitive advantage is focusing on a specific niche, industry, or customer base. But, another way to even the playing field is through technology.
Cloud computing has helped smaller companies compete with robust, highly functional business systems as well as unlimited scalability. New production systems, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, and other innovations are available to small and mid-sized manufacturers, thanks to cloud computing.
5 Key Aspects of Cloud Computing
The flexibility, scalability, and portability of cloud-based software gives small to mid-sized manufacturers the edge. No longer locked into big purchases of software and hardware, they can use those funds for other resources while still acquiring the benefits of powerful and robust software, data, and systems.
Cloud computing has five key aspects:
- On-demand – cloud computing is available on demand, 24/7, through internet access.
- Pooled service – instead of one company purchasing software for its own use, resources are pooled. Multiple companies can share server space, software, and more for maximum cost effectiveness.
- Infinite scalability – you can expand cloud services in an almost infinitely scalable manner. From giant, intricate, global computing networks to a small manufacturer’s cloud computing needs, the cloud expands according to what you need.
- Measured basis – cloud services are measured and billed according to a prescribed payment system.
- Broad network access – the service is accessible to many people.
Cloud Software is Making an Impact on Manufacturing
The cloud impacts nearly every aspect of modern manufacturing. Software such as ERP offers accounting and financial management with data, reports, and insight that used to be limited to expensive and proprietary databases. Business intelligence systems can transform forecasting and reporting while CRM systems offer unique and innovative methods of communicating with customers.
Using cloud technology, manufacturers can track equipment, vehicles, pallets, and shipments through the Internet of Things; manage supply chain resources effectively; and integrate back and front-end systems into one dashboard for better operational control.
Digital services such as cloud computing now provide approximately 25% of the total inputs that go into the manufacturing of finished products. Thanks to cloud computing, manufacturing operations are safer, more productive, efficient, and better able to keep pace with supply and demand.
Cloud systems can shift up or down, downgrading or increasing as needed. This is of great benefit to small and mid-sized manufacturers who may need to adjust the scale of their operations to accommodate order and workflows.
Today, over 90% of global manufacturers use some form of cloud computing. A 2015 IDC study that surveyed 600 companies from 17 countries indicated that 66% of manufacturers were using public cloud systems while 68% used a private cloud (the study indicated some overlap, with companies using both public/private cloud hybrids).
Cloud computing has come a long way from a dream to reality. If you’re not on the cloud yet, why not? ERP, BI, CRM, HR and many other systems are all affordable, scalable, and attainable, thanks to cloud computing. It’s changing manufacturing. Will it change your business for the better?
Accounting Systems, Inc. (ASI)
ASI offers cloud-based software that offers exceptional data quality, easy data management, and advanced reporting features. With our systems on the cloud, manufacturers improve productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Please contact us for a consultation today. We will help you choose the best solution for your needs. Contact us for more information.