We blogged recently about some of the massive array of benefits that manufacturing businesses can achieve by deploying enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
In today’s blog we’re taking a closer look at a particular model of ERP software – solutions delivered as a service, via the cloud. How and why is this particular delivery model transforming the manufacturing industry?
A 2016 Forrester report entitled Breakout Vendors: SaaS Business Applications revealed that the ERP market was moving firmly towards the cloud, with 43% of organisations planning to use cloud delivery models for some or all of their ERP back in 2015. That figure has grown substantially in the years since. And for manufacturing businesses, cloud ERP deployments can be truly transformative. Here are some of the reasons why.
In the report above, Forrester refers to a so-called ‘SaaS network’ fostered by deploying a cloud ERP solution. This is a web-like structure, whereby employees, customers and partners alike – and all their devices – can connect and communicate seamlessly, sharing information in the same unified formats. This is very different to on-premise ERP solutions, which can still encourage date to be kept in silos. Cloud ERP solutions mean that everyone is working from the same dynamic but consolidated database.
This transformation is particularly salient in the manufacturing sector because this is an industry characterised by particularly complex supply chains, webs of stakeholders and feedback loops. More than many other businesses, manufacturers without that single source of truth can find themselves wading through unmanageable complexity, because the path from design to product deployment is a long one. Cloud ERP dramatically cuts through that complexity dramatically.
Analytics and intelligence
All SaaS solutions deliver deeper, more detailed and more responsive data analytics – precisely because of that single source of truth. No time is wasted trying to connect and make sense of data from multiple different sources – or ignoring some key sources altogether – it can be analysed and turned into tangible business intelligence immediately.
Again, whilst this benefit applies to any organisation deploying cloud-based ERP software, it is particularly impactful in the manufacturing sector, because this is an industry in which business intelligence can be harnessed in so many different ways.. From product design and refinement, to the production process, to procurement of components and parts, to testing and quality checking – the manufacturing process consists of multiple moving parts which can be enhanced and optimised through the right application of intelligence.
Manufacturing businesses can be more difficult than others to scale because of their need for large premises and complex or costly hardware, as well as the time taken to develop and amend product designs. Even small adjustments to their ability to respond to changes in seasonal demand or market conditions can make them stand out for the cloud. Cloud ERP systems enable this scalability and agility by stretching and flexing according to demand. If a manufacturer needs to respond to specific calendar demands, or quickly integrate or develop new functions, a cloud-based ERP solution can enable this at more or less the click of a button.
ERP has huge benefits to offer the manufacturing industry, and cloud-based ERP brings even more. Get in touch with us today to find out how a cloud-based ERP solution could help your business grow.