10 ways cloud is revolutionising manufacturing

How are manufacturers using cloud computing to revolutionise their industry? HSO – a leading provider of innovative enterprise business solutions – answers the question.

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Advanced analytics supported by cloud-based technology are becoming more prevalent – image courtesy of HSO.

The cloud has enabled manufacturers to connect, scale and operate in new and cost-effective ways, and provided them with a variety of channels to engage with customers, suppliers and partners.

On the back of this, advanced analytics supported by cloud-based technology are becoming more prevalent, giving manufacturing firms the opportunity to utilise the data they hold and turn it into valuable business insights.

So how are manufacturers using cloud computing to revolutionise their industry?

1. Improved business insight

Cloud-based advanced analytics are giving manufacturers company-wide access to business critical intelligence and allowing them to drill down into the areas that matter most to the business in order to accurately predict peaks and troughs in the manufacturing supply chain.

2. Reduced supply chain complexity

Cloud-based advanced analytics have enabled manufacturers to utilise their data and identify patterns and behaviours across a complex supply chain. This insight has proved invaluable in helping detect and remedy areas of inefficiency.

3. Improve quality management

Cloud-based platforms allow manufacturers to establish supplier portals and collaboration platforms with quality management dashboards and workflows. This information helps them to reduce process flaws and deliver real-time order status and forecasts.

4. Rapid product development

As the use of cloud-based platforms in manufacturing has grown, the mobile access they provide has facilitated design collaboration between departments and individuals when creating new products. This has allowed manufacturers to respond rapidly to market changes and deliver new products at a faster pace.

5. Accurate forecasting

Today’s cloud-based ERP solutions haven’t just helped manufacturing businesses to track orders, goods and materials. They have enabled them to access and analyse data to improve forecasts.

ERP solutions can be used to create accurate statistical analysis and forecast management, providing a real-time, in-depth view of the supply chain to estimate future production needs.

6. Ensure compliance

Compliance issues are a key priority for manufacturing businesses as the impact of noncompliance can be severe. Legal penalties, bad publicity and market losses are just some of the consequences manufacturers face if they fail to adhere to industry regulations.

Cloud-based platforms have enabled manufacturers to meet sustainability goals and follow industry compliance standards. Cloud technologies are also being used for issues such as endpoint protection, identity management and data encryption

7. Automate customer services

The cost and time savings of automating customer service, support and order status inquiries online are extremely attractive. By using the cloud to integrate these services with distributed order management, pricing, and content management platforms manufacturers can make it easy for customers to access information fast and efficiently.

8. Increase sales

Manufacturers are now managing their sales channels from a cloud platform. This allows them to track sales results against quota at individual, group and divisional level. Dashboards report back the status of each sales person and the profitability of every deal.

9. Automate marketing

Now marketing campaigns can be planned and executed using cloud-based marketing automation applications. The results of each campaign can be tracked and analysed and used to create personalised marketing initiatives to maximise engagement.

10. Work from anywhere

The maturation of cloud technology has allowed manufacturers to exploit the anywhere, anytime capabilities that a cloud platform offers, without the security fears that once existed.

With employees able to access the applications they use on a daily basis from home, on the device of their choice, they are able to capitalise on this extension of normal working hours.

Advanced analytics and the ability to work from anywhere and from any device are perhaps the two factors that have impacted most on the way cloud technologies have transformed the manufacturing industry.

Leveraging the power of data and changing the way staff work and communicate has revolutionised the factory floor – by increasing productivity and profitability and driving revenue growth.

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