American manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace in 13 years, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Not surprising given the two major hurricanes that have recently tore through our nation. If you follow Economics, you will know this growth is a good thing for the US, as manufacturing is one of the industries that strongly affects economic growth. Depending on what sector of manufacturing your business operates in, you may or may not have seen signs of this growth. Well the signs are all there that it is coming, so what do you do now?
Manufacturing Growth and Technology Needs
Manufacturers are known for being behind the curve when it comes to adopting modern technology. Manufacturers are closing the gap between themselves and other industries due to the IoT, big data, and cloud technologies. These technologies directly affect the way manufacturers run their operations and those organizations that have already adopted them are well ahead of those that haven’t. To best prepare for the coming growth, your organization needs to ensure all your systems and network are up-to-date with the latest software and technologies. If you have not had a network audit in the last year, now is the time to call in an outside expert and get one performed. This will give you an accurate hardware inventory count and show where your software needs upgrading. By understanding what you have on hand, it will also help you understand what you need to add to be ready for the growth you are going to experience. Do you have enough hardware and software licenses for additional headcount?
Now is the time to ensure all your systems are integrated into your ERP. You do not want to have any disparage systems running within your business, causing duplicate work and data capture. Nothing good can come from running systems independent of your ERP. If you can’t integrate them together, something needs to change. To be prepared for growth, you need to take this opportunity to make your users as efficient as possible. Integrating all systems into your ERP system will allow you to streamline your operations and data. This creates better efficiency and decision making.
One other thing you should consider is whether there are new technologies you should implement to help take your technology to the next level. Cloud technologies are designed to help position organizations to scale their technologies to match the scaling of their business. Any manufacturers that have not yet switched to cloud solutions should strongly consider this now. IoT (internet of things) is a way to give your users more flexibility to do their jobs anywhere, at any time. By simplifying their ease of access, you are gaining control over their efficiency and security. There are many more solutions available today that can help position your organization for growth. Your next step should be to schedule that network audit and then to go from there. 2W Tech is an IT and Epicor Consultant that specializes in network audits and manufacturing solutions. Give us a call today and let us help position your technology for growth.
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