3 tips to help manufacturers respond to rapid change

Industry perspective 3

July 19, 2022

Successfully plan for supply chain challenges and support complex operations

Change is the only constant in manufacturing today. Disruption, innovation, and continual refinement of shopfloor processes are driving factors in today’s complex market landscape. Whether you make commercial aircraft, office furniture, or industrial valves, you need to stay on top of trends and adapt. New strategies and actions must sync—and align with customer expectations. It’s no easy task.

There’s some good news, though. The right manufacturing ERP software helps. Modern, composable ERP solutions with last-mile functionality built in provide the capabilities you need to address today’s most pressing challenges. By modernizing your manufacturing ERP, you make it easier to update your entire organization, from new product introductions to operational efficiency. So, one step leads to many benefits.

Three tips to help you adapt to changing demands:

  1. Improve supply chain agility. The disrupted supply chain has been a major headache for most manufacturers. That’s an understatement for many. Trade tariffs, bottlenecks and delays, the war in the Ukraine, chip shortages, unavailability of cargo containers, and high costs of fuel have turned procurement into a game of chance—with unfavorable odds. Modern software, with artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analytics and full supply chain visibility, can provide relief. Smart solutions will help you make smart decisions. Anticipate risks, make strategic choices, and forge new partnerships. Data insights help plan for contingencies and manage expectations. You’ll know the stock you need and when you can expect it to arrive.
  2. Manage shop floor complexity. Manufacturers must meet the demands of customers for highly personalized products. But, you still need to control costs and improve margins. In many industries, traditional mass production is being replaced by mixed mode manufacturing with highly configured products, engineer-to-order, and assemble-on-demand operations becoming the new normal. Modern manufacturing software is essential for the transformation. It helps streamline processes, close gaps and keep workflows synchronized. The latest Industry 4.0 technologies provide critical tools—like smart sensors—for tracking machine performance, output, quality control, and optimizing resources. Tools also help manage the existing workforce which must work smarter, not harder, to get the job done. Data insights help keep the shop floor running with orchestrated precision, because every part, every machine, and every work cycle matters.
  3. Leverage data insights. While answering consumer demand for new and personalized products, manufacturers must simultaneously strive to improve productivity, boost efficiency, automate processes, and strategically plan the use of resources. You have tough decisions to make. Modern ERP software helps capture, track, and leverage data throughout the organization. Using facts, not feelings or hunches, manufacturers can better align with customers, launch new product introductions, design and source appropriate parts and components, and track all costs. New strategies for remaining relevant and growing the business can now be planned and executed with a balance of long-term goals and short-term capacity and cash flow restraints. Data insights are key.

Seek the right tools to improve operational efficiency and foster innovation

To avoid threats to market share and profitability, manufacturers must stay alert and on top of the ever-evolving trends. You need to adopt modern, data-driven processes and turn to technology to help you introduce new products. When you eliminate inefficiencies, your teams have more time for innovation. Technology, such as modern cloud-deployed ERP solutions, help organizations quickly adapt to change, including starting new branches or divisions. This agility means you can now focus on green initiatives, offering new services or managing logistics. Even creating hubs closer to end customers becomes easier. Manufacturing is being redefined, and software plays a major role in supporting the new era—from go-to-market strategies to supply chain planning and shop floor operations. It may be easier than your think—if you start in the right place.

Learn more about Infor ERP solutions for manufacturing on our website. Also, download this ebook for a deeper dive into the benefits of working better, smarter, faster.

About the author:

Mark Humphlett is Infor's Senior Director, industry and product strategy, discrete manufacturing.

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