More and more manufacturing companies are beginning to use cloud-based manufacturing systems to improve the way their business functions. In fact, a recent survey conducted by research and consulting firm MintJutras found that Software as a Service based applications amount to 22% of all manufacturing and distribution software installed today and, crucially, that this percentage is predicted to grow to 45% within ten years. Let’s survey the primary ways that cloud-based software can help manufacturing business succeed.
Many cloud-based systems can be used to track real-time supply chain information, making it easier to gain approval to access data behind firewalls. It is difficult to create accurate forecasts with only a portion of the data available, and this may hinder your ability to make good business decisions. Increasing your forecasting accuracy with cloud-based systems can enable you to develop algorithms for your product categories to help meet the demands of your growing business.
Efficient inventory management
Holding the right amount of inventory to meet demand is crucial to the success of any manufacturing business. Stock shortages can cause huge knock-on effects and ultimately, decrease productivity and profitability. Cloud software can allow you to track inventory in real-time to prevent product shortages, avoid missed sales and retain your customer base.
Using cloud-based systems can also make it easier and faster for visiting partners or suppliers to access inventory data. This means that partners and suppliers can simply use their own device, such as a tablet or mobile phone, to check on inventory or to send out a client report rather than having to gain access to files behind a firewall. This will generally make manufacturing processes more efficient and less time-consuming.
Better customer service
Cloud-based systems can remove the need to have customer service personnel in any one location at a time. Staff can handle customer inquiries and other functions without having to be onsite as they have access to all the necessary information in the cloud, easily accessed with a phone, tablet or laptop. This makes for faster resolution of customer queries and encourages customer satisfaction. Some cloud-based systems may also allow customers to keep track of their orders and oversee the status of their purchases.
Cloud-based software can also remove the need for time-consuming face-to-face meetings and collaboration groups, since all of this can be done using the cloud. A cloud-based marketing system can allow you to manage the marketing process, exchange notes, get status updates and get real-time statistics and feedback without the additional time-wasting.
Back ups and updates
Cloud-based systems are a safe way to store your business information, since even if all the devices in your warehouse crash, you are virtually assured not to lose your data. Without such software, you risk losing vital manufacturing information and data due to IT glitches or an external disaster.
Cloud-based software ultimately allows your business to spend less time maintaining on-premises hardware and software. The cloud gives managers more time to invest in new products and grow the business, improving productivity and profitability overall.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.