The manufacturing industry is undergoing a major shift from a technology perspective. Experts refer to it is a fourth industrial revolution because ground breaking technological advances, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced robotics, and augmented reality, are causing unprecedented change, and even the most successful manufacturers are struggling to keep pace. At the same time, customer expectations continue skyrocketing, making process efficiencies and product quality more important than ever.
It may sound like a dire situation, but with the right technology investment and a proven implementation partner, decision makers can find success.
In this fact sheet from the manufacturing and technology experts at HCLTech’s Microsoft Business Applications Practice (MBAP), we explore the four primary pain points that are leading manufacturing CFOs to take on digital transformation projects to ensure sustainability for their businesses.
We also examine why Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform comprise the best technology investment those CFOs can make and share why HCLTech-MBAP is the partner of choice for manufacturers.
Four common pain points for manufacturing CFOs and why a Microsoft technology investment is the key to addressing them
1) Lack of data and insight into the business
It’s no secret that a business’ data is only as useful as it is reliable, accessible and actionable. Yet today’s CFOs must deal with:
- Difficulty accessing data for business intelligence and analytics.
- Lack of graphical data representation and dashboards that can be drilled into for details.
- Arduous processes for simply generating reports.
- Not having the ability to pull a query based on relevant information they need to see right now.
The Microsoft platform lays these challenges to bed:
- Use of Dynamics 365 Business Applications to join up operational processes working from a single source of data.
- Azure Data Lake and Customer Insight tools to amalgamate and transform data from multiple sources, including your legacy applications and external (big) data.
- Power BI to present data with natural language processing features to easily query.
- Power Automate to produce alerts ensuring your insights are not just retrospective but also prompt proactive action.
2) Lack of interdepartmental connectivity and collaboration
In any industry, sustained success depends on a deliberate commitment to eradicating departmental silos – sales can’t function independent of marketing, procurement must be in lockstep with the production line, and finance needs a dotted line to every single part of the organisation. Too often, and this is especially true in manufacturing, today’s CFOs are unable to capitalise on these synergies due to silos:
- Nonintegrated systems mean no overall big picture of financials, including expense management, procurement, inventory, and production schedules.
- ERP and CRM are not sufficiently integrated to follow sales and customers over time.
- No visibility into supplier problems like component quality.
- Lack of real-time data from the across departments (i.e., production line, warehouse) makes it impossible to adapt quickly to changing supply and demand.
Tapping into the power of the Microsoft Business Applications stack alleviates all that pain. Microsoft tools such as IoT, Connected Field Service, Artificial Intelligence, and HoloLens all integrate smoothly with Dynamics 365 and legacy applications to create a technology revolution in your organisation.
A fully integrated solution enables a CFO to seamlessly connect every stage in the supply chain. From logistics, production, and warehouse management to sales and purchasing, the organisation will benefit from a fully integrated 360-degree view of internal processes.
3) Operational inefficiencies stemming from outdated technology
We’ve mentioned a few times now the latest technology advancements that are revolutionising manufacturing – AI, IoT, HoloLens, etc. It should go without saying, then, that not keeping up with those advancements leaves today’s manufacturing CFOs on the outside looking in. They must deal with:
- Too much down-time and production disruption.
- Lack of analytics and integration, making it difficult to expose anomalies in production.
- No scalability.
Microsoft Business Applications deliver better predictive maintenance, faster response times, increased efficiencies, greater automation, lower labour costs, and higher quality rates. In other words, investing in this technology gives the CFO peace of mind that the business is on the right path, operating competitively, and most importantly scalable.
4) Increased customer demands and routes to market
It used to be that you sold manufactured goods via a supply chain, meaning you were several steps removed from the customers, often with outsourced or third-party service organisations ensuring a pure B2B chain across procurement, sales and returns. Today, however, manufacturers need to be concerned with the end-user experience and how this is broadcast across social media and review sites. They must now offer:
- Digital Contact Centres.
- Marketing that embraces social listening and sentiment analysis.
- Joined-up customer input in new product development.
To reiterate, the quickest and most effective solutions to these pain points are found in the Microsoft Business Applications stack. So, whether your organisation needs new Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM systems, wants to migrate your existing Dynamics 365 workloads to the cloud, or is trying to find a solution (such as Power Platform) to extend your SAP solution, Microsoft is the technology of choice for manufacturers. And as the worldwide leader in Dynamics 365 and related Microsoft Business Applications, HCLTech provides the expertise to help manufacturers implement smart technology to streamline value-chain processes and gain operational efficiencies, eliminating common pain points.
To learn more, click here to access our fact sheet.
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