Entering production data into a spreadsheet controlled by one person — with multiple copies perhaps floating around, each with a different metric picture of what’s actually going on — counts as a manufacturing management system. Perhaps not a very good one, however.

Some manufacturers seek to grow beyond spreadsheet-and-phone-call relay races. Or they already have a MOM (manufacturing operations management), MES (manufacturing execution system), or ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution that is showing its age and limitations. For example, it can only be accessed from a desktop computer located on the shop floor. Whatever the situation, management and team members are awake to the fact that their technology has not only stopped enabling growth, and but it is also starting to limit it.

Sitting down with your team and planning out how upgraded technology might solve production, estimation, sales and financial bottlenecks, you seek a solution that drives improvements without massive cost of ownership or implementation processes that drag out expenses and timetables.

Gains like these are usually front-of-mind with the manufacturing team:

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Some of this can be challenging in light of the legacy systems you have in place. Nobody will miss the old spreadsheets or running down the hall to double-check an inventory figure, but an existing solution may have enough horsepower to still provide value. “Rip and replace” may simply not be a near-term option; new solutions will have to augment the old ones or provide a bridge to the future performance your team needs.

That’s why so many small- and mid-sized manufacturers are investigating what flexible, Cloud-based solutions can do for them. For example, manufacturers benefit most when:

A flexible Cloud solution provides an affordable, implementable bridge between existing realities and future goals. It offers a “third way” to the options of a) falling behind and b) investing heavily in painful and expensive solutions. Manufacturers can start drawing plans for tangible improvement without gambling with hundreds of thousands of dollars and months of implementation time. Gaps in currently desired functionality can be flexibly addressed without turning the whole organization upside down.

With a Cloud solution, you can start small – with mission critical processes that need the most attention – then work into other processes over time. And by paying for only those users you need, there is no wasted money and additional users can be added later, when the business grows.

Would you like to more deeply explore the challenges and options facing the ambitious manufacturer who wants to leverage technology to create greater profit and efficiency?

Learn more about how Cloud ERP is not only accessible to the small- to medium-sized manufacturer, but also how the benefits are just as large as they are for the bigger manufacturer.

March 9, 2016

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