The case for Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises in disruptive times

Brent Dawkins takes a look at five core technology-enabled capabilities that can transform a manufacturer into an Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprise.

Adaptation is a natural factor in all aspects of life. It helps organisms survive as the world around them changes. At least that’s what biology class always professed and Darwin maintained through his teachings.

From living organisms to business organisations, survival often depends on the ability to adapt to change.

In today’s turbulent business environment, adaptation is mandatory for ongoing survival. Smart companies know that having the ability to pivot quickly can often turn disruption into competitive advantage.

Industry 4.0 and the increasing importance of digital transformation require manufacturers to upgrade their ability to adapt in response to internal and external disruptions, including pandemics like COVID-19, changes in customer preference and supply chain disturbances.

This is exactly where adaptive manufacturing solutions, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), demand and supply chain planning (DSCP), global trade and transportation execution (GTTE) and enterprise quality management systems (EQMS) can help manufacturers become Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises.

Adaptive software can be modified, changed, extended, in short, adapted, as a company changes its business strategy.

Five core capabilities of Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises

Let’s look at five core technology-enabled capabilities that can transform a manufacturer into an Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprise.

Digital ManufacturingAdaptive manufacturers seek out digital technology for the shop floor and throughout operations to intelligently connect manufacturing to the rest of the business.

Advanced technologies like machine learning, AI, IoT and robotic process automation help to modernise manufacturing operations and give management real-time information that they can use to make decisions.


Integrated Supplier ManagementWith global supply chains, manufacturers work with suppliers located around the world involving multiple time zones and extended geographic areas.

Eliminating manual processes and enabling real-time communication between manufacturers and their suppliers improves supply chain visibility, allowing for faster response to changes in supply and demand.


Connected Supply ChainSupply chain challenges can include siloed supply chain functions, lack of order visibility and complex trade regulations that result in late shipments and poor performance.

Connected supply chain management goes to the core of effectively using data with partners to make automated and intelligent decisions across global supply chain operations.


Complete Customer ManagementWith fast-evolving and frequent customer interactions, manufacturers need immediate feedback on all aspects of the customer experience, from pricing to the order process to inventory availability.

A manufacturer can be more responsive to its customers when it accurately captures information on every interaction and intelligently shares it across the organisation.


Effective Enterprise ManagementTo better manage disruption and change, manufacturing decision-makers need access to real-time financial data and analytics across their global businesses.

An integrated, comprehensive approach supports various currencies, recognises regional and local compliance, tax and accounting standards, and makes it easier to integrate an acquisition.

QAD solutions help its customers increase their effectiveness and competitiveness.

QAD solutions have enabled customers in the automotive, consumer products, food and beverage, high tech, industrial manufacturing, and life sciences industries to better align their operations with their strategic goals to become Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises.

If you want to learn more, access the QAD website or visit us at the Smart Factory Expo in November.