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How manufacturers can respond to rapid change with technology

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Article by Jarrod Kinchington, Vice President and Managing Director of Infor A/NZ.

Change is the only constant in manufacturing today. Disruption, innovation, and continuous improvement of processes on the manufacturing floor are the driving forces in today’s complex market environment.

Whether your business is in commercial aircraft, office furniture or industrial valves, it’s important to stay on top of trends and adapt. New strategies and actions must be in sync and aligned with customer expectations. It’s not easy.

There is some good news, though. The right manufacturing ERP software can help. A modern, configurable ERP solution with built-in last-mile capabilities provides the capabilities you need to meet today’s most pressing challenges. With a modern manufacturing ERP, you can easily update your entire organization, from new product introductions to operational efficiencies. One step leads to many benefits.

Here are three tips for adapting to changing demands.

Increase supply chain agility

Supply chain disruptions are a major headache for most manufacturers. That’s an understatement for many. Trade tariffs, bottlenecks and delays, war in Ukraine, chip shortages, unavailability of freight containers and high fuel costs have turned procurement into a game of chance.

Modern software with artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analytics and full supply chain visibility can give you peace of mind. Smart solutions help you make smarter decisions, such as anticipating risks, making strategic choices, and forging new partnerships. Data insights help you plan for the unexpected and manage expectations. Organizations can know what inventory they need and when it will arrive.

Manage shop floor complexity

Manufacturers must meet customer demand for highly personalized products. However, we still need to control costs and improve margins. In many industries, traditional mass production has given way to mixed-mode manufacturing with highly configured product, engineer-to-order, and assembly-on-demand operations. Modern manufacturing software is essential for transformation. It helps streamline processes, fill gaps, and keep workflows in sync. The latest Industry 4.0 technologies provide critical tools such as smart sensors to track machine performance, output, quality control and resource optimization. Tools also help manage an existing workforce that has to work smart instead of working hard to get the job done. Every part, every machine, and every work cycle matters, so data insights help keep your shop floor running with coordinated precision.

Leverage data insights

Manufacturers must address consumer demand for new, personalized products while addressing strategic planning for increased productivity, increased efficiency, process automation, and resource usage. They have to make difficult decisions. Her state-of-the-art ERP software helps capture, track and leverage data across the organization. By using facts rather than gut feelings and hunches, manufacturers can better engage with customers, initiate new product introductions, design and source the right parts and components, and track all costs. New strategies to stay relevant and grow your business can now be planned and executed while balancing long-term goals with short-term capacity and cash flow constraints. Data insight is key.

The right tools for operational efficiency and innovation

To avoid threats to market share and profitability, manufacturers must stay abreast of ever-changing trends. They need to adopt modern, data-driven processes and look to technology to help them introduce new products. When inefficiencies are eliminated, teams can spend more time innovating.

Technologies such as modern cloud-deployed ERP solutions help organizations adapt quickly to changes, such as starting new branches or departments. This agility means you can focus on green initiatives such as delivering new services or managing logistics. It also makes it easier to create hubs closer to end customers. Manufacturing is being redefined, and from go-to-market strategies to supply chain planning to manufacturing floor operations, software plays a key role in supporting the new era. It might be easier than it looks if your organization starts in the right place.