Manufacturing strategies today are more dynamic and fluid than at any time in the past, and tech-savvy businesses are adopting new technologies that directly align and support their long-term business goals. These technologies go far beyond the factory floor. Here are the top 3 technology trends that 21st century manufacturers need to be cognizant of.
Cloud technologies: Manufacturers today serve a global customer base, and also face increased competition and regulatory pressure, as well as changing tax implications. These trends can affect the locations and the layout of the facilities where manufacturers design and build their products. Cloud computing allows for this dynamism and agility. With cloud solutions you can decentralize many facets of your operation including application, installation, and support across multiple locations
Lean Manufacturing: Manufacturing has come a long way in the last few decades with regard to being more efficient with its waste and anything in the production process that doesn’t create value. However, only recently has technology really caught up with this trend. Many vendors are now developing business software that takes into account core manufacturing processes from down on the shop floor to identify waste and preserve value with less work. Expect these lean principles and their accompanying products to continue to make an impact in the manufacturing process in the future.
Customer Relations Management: CRM systems used to be very simple systems that would records sales and keep track of potential buyers. That way of thinking has changed radically as buyers are now connected with other buyers and are much more informed. Customers are now more active and vocal than ever when reviewing products, and sharing those findings with other customers. CRM software has thus had to evolve to include social listening and collaboration tools. This incorporates the social aspect of the 21st century customer base. These tools better identify and engage social customers where they communicate, and engage in dialogue with them. This can lead to deepening relations with existing customers and also attracting new ones. Increasingly, data from CRM systems are used to inform manufacturing decisions, requiring an increasingly nimble approach to design and production.