Manufacturing in the Cloud: Why You Should Be on Board

More and more businesses, including those in manufacturing, are adopting cloud computing systems as the benefits continue to grow. According to a recent survey from North Bridge Venture Partners, 75 percent of respondents said they use some form of cloud platform, which is up from the 67 percent measure from last year’s study.

More and more businesses, including those in manufacturing, are adopting cloud computing systems as the benefits continue to grow. According to a recent survey from North Bridge Venture Partners, 75 percent of respondents said they use some form of cloud platform, which is up from the 67 percent measure from last year’s study. Specifically, 4 of the 8 business applications that were tracked including file sharing, business productivity, CRM/marketing and social business collaboration were found to be in use by more than half of all organizations.

Why is cloud adoption experiencing so much growth? Because it’s useful. Manufacturers, in particular, are always looking for ways to increase their accuracy and speed. Cloud-based strategies offer many solutions toward these goals as well as provide organization and more intelligence to their internal databases. The latter perk is especially useful since companies can take this knowledge with them on sales calls.

A big buzzword that’s being associated with cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) is “agility.” Stewart Florsheim, the Vice President of Marketing at Kenandy, Inc., described the application well in his explanation over on Sand Hill:

Stewart Florsheim, VP of Marketing at Kenandy, Inc.

“Agility is the ability for a company to react quickly to major changes in business conditions without a lot of disruption. For example, Intel’s “Copy Exactly!” ability lets them move standard business practices around the world as needed. The battery company A123 moved their entire manufacturing operations from South Korea to the United States because of labor and transportation cost changes with little disruption.  This is the sort of agility that companies need to stay competitive.

The North Bridge report also cites “agility” in addition to scalability as the “primary drivers” to companies embracing cloud-based technology. It’s really not surprising since today’s customer demands are at an all-time high. Given these new standards, a streamlined system that delivers little and sometimes no turnaround becomes a necessity. For the companies that don’t adopt cloud opportunities, the impact could likely hurt the bottom line.

On the flip side, the cost savings that cloud technologies provide serve as another big driver of cloud adoption. In a nutshell, cloud computing allows companies to lessen the investment in some of their expensive IT infrastructure and focus that capital on other operational expenses and innovation.

For manufacturers, this technology could be the differentiator between the competition. The ease of collaboration for the design cycles, real-time status updates, mobility, automation for tracking, among many other factors all serve as a very strong case leaning in cloud computing’s favor. Is your company on board?

Image of Stewart Florsheim courtesy of Sand Hill.

    August 22, 2013

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

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