Building Castles In The Sky: Cloud Technologies in Manufacturing

December 11, 2017 | Dr. Stephen Timme

Businessman works over a cloudThe global cloud computing market is going gangbusters. A $20 billion market in 2012, technology research firm Gartner expects this market to reach $177 billion by 2015. For those who call on manufacturing clients, there’s even better news. Manufacturing is being tagged the “largest industry market segment for enterprise IT,” and one that offers the “largest potential market for cloud computing and software as a service.”

Manufacturers were some of the first companies to jump on the cloud bandwagon, but they’ve been deliberate about how they’ve done (and are doing) so. No wonder. There’s a lot to sort out: what type of cloud—public, private, or hybrid, the type of service model provided—such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Whichever way they go, the benefits are there. An IDC Manufacturing Insights report released in July 2012 stated that 22 percent of manufacturers worldwide have implanted cloud-based systems and that another 45 percent are evaluating whether or not to replace their on-premise managed IT infrastructure with cloud-based deployments.

What this means for you is that many of your manufacturing clients either have searched, or are searching for, cloud-based solutions. So how do you get your piece of that massive pie in the sky from your manufacturing clients? In Procurement  Cloud-based technologies automate and centralize the purchasing function.  Self-service purchasing tools enable buyers.  Companies can monitor and analyze spending in real time, enabling them to make better, more informed decisions. In the Manufacturing Process  Manufacturing Execution Systems [MES] and Production Planning Systems [PPS] benefit by improved access to pertinent data.

 Real-time operations and status reports lead to improvements in efficiency, productivity, capability, and mobility—leading to reduced costs and improved quality.

In Distribution & Logistics  Employees, suppliers, transportation providers and customers can share real time information about shipments from anywhere around the world at any time.

 Visibility and scalability of operations is improved.

 Better information and communication helps reduce less than truckload [LTL] shipments and increase on-time deliveries. Recognizing your clients are being deliberate about their choices means explaining the effects of your company’s solutions on their specific area of the business, and ultimately on bottom line results, and will arm manufacturing executives with information they need to make well thought out decisions.

Source: Gartner report -- Market Trends: Cloud Computing and SaaS Adoption in Manufacturing and Natural Resources, Worldwide, 2012. 

This blog was originally posted on December 19, 2012. 

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