December 27, 2021
“Anywhere operations” is one of the top 5 trends that will impact manufacturers’ future platforms and business strategies. Let’s explore the role Infor ERP CloudSuites play in supporting deskless workers and their need for remote connectivity.
What does anywhere operations mean?
Many industries, including manufacturing, pivoted toward a dispersed workforce as they faced COVID-related restrictions for distancing in the workplace. Often, the policies adopted out of necessity also brought unexpected benefits. We discovered that remote workers can still be highly productive, and a distributed infrastructure can still maintain security and reliability. Plus, the ability to connect from anywhere enhances agility, collaboration, and expands the talent pool. Flexibility is valuable to the workforce.
So, why go back to the traditional business model? Many manufacturers are considering this carefully and examining how to retain the best components of remote connectivity without compromising shop floor activities and the fulfilment of customer orders. Technology can help. With modern remote connectivity, employees can stay connected, accessing tools and data and engaging with colleagues and customers from anywhere.
Gartner analysts predict: “By 2023, 40% of organizations will blend virtual and physical experiences, leading to increased workforce productivity and customer reach.” 1
Employees do not need to be in one location to interact with each other, but they do need technology and governance along with newly redefined workflows. Protecting proprietary processes, intellectual property, and data accuracy requires extra attention and rigorous precautions. The ability to adopt anywhere operations largely depends on the maturity and readiness of digital capabilities.
Creating location independence for the workforce is a pragmatic move as volatility may continue to be a factor in the workplace. Gartner states:
“This means organizations must be composable with modular, adjustable autonomous components. They must use sophisticated technologies such as AI, engineering the approach with a disciplined focus to achieve sustained resiliency.
Infor supports anywhere operations
5 building blocks are the foundation for anywhere operations:
1. Collaboration and productivity. Manufacturers turn to Infor’s scalable and integrated solutions to support internal collaboration on product design and development, as well as collaboration with customers for engineer-to-order and make-to-order manufacturing. Product configuration tools also help customers select and visualize customized products.
2. Secure remote access. You can take advantage of cloud-based solutions to support deskless workers, from managers on the shop floor to field technicians servicing equipment in the plant or at a customer’s site. Providing remote access to data is important. Infor solutions, intentionally built for manufacturing, provide the types of screens, reporting, and role-based dashboards you need to run your business from anywhere.
3. Cloud and edge infrastructure. Manufacturers can trust Infor CloudSuites and the secure infrastructure provided by security leader, AWS. CloudSuites can integrate edge applications to manage key capabilities like distribution, supply chain management, and human capital management. The tightly integrated solutions provide end-to-end visibility with no gaps or disparate data.
4. Quantification of the digital experience. Your managers need easy-to-use reporting tools to continually evaluate results and finetune processes. Infor advanced solutions, driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning, help business users measure results of new post-pandemic business models.
5. Automation. Automation initiatives can include a wide variety of technologies from Internet of Things technology to robotics and autonomous material handling. No matter your tactics, you need solutions that are highly flexible, scalable, and agile. Infor OS platform offers no code and low code tools so your IT team can automate and streamline processes as needed.
The 2021 Gartner CIO Survey shows 73% of heavy manufacturing respondents have already deployed a digital work-from-home model and another 18% plan to within the next 12 months.
Where do you start? Your digital initiatives, if already underway, will provide a foundation of cloud storage, remote access to data, and a secure infrastructure. You can further enhance the employee experience by offering a remote digital experience, allowing access from anywhere in the plant or a removed location. Infor can help you envision and deploy modern solutions for anywhere operations.
1"Gartner, Top 5 Strategic Technology Trends in Manufacturing Industries for 2021,” 4 June 2021, Michelle Duerst et al.
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