A robust manufacturing industry is critical to the health of the global economy. Economically, says John Edmunds, managing director for Cloud Solutions with Verizon, manufacturers have the strongest ties to other sectors with production processes that drive demand for raw materials, energy, construction and services from a broad array of suppliers. Growth in this sector results in job creation, investments and innovation across many industries.
“Manufacturers are under constant pressure to increase accuracy, speed up processes and make every supplier, distributor and service interaction count,” he says. The industry is responding by, “building a *just in time* technology foundation based on public and private clouds which is enabling manufacturers to meet their business objectives and stay ahead.”
Here are five trends Edmunds outlines that have become catalysts for cloud adoption by manufacturers:
- Demand for Analytics and Business Intelligence: “A cloud computing solution can turn valuable data embedded across the supply chain into actionable intelligence such as which products are selling fastest and where,” comments Edmunds. The cloud is also speeding communications with suppliers and distributors which can help manufacturers stay ahead of the competition.
- Pressure to Reduce Capital Costs and Create New Revenue Streams: Challenged by modest growth and fierce competition, manufacturers must create efficiencies within their existing operations in addition to continuing to create products and services that are in demand. Op-ex versus Cap-ex based cloud platforms can help create financial efficiencies and innovations in supply chain management and improve quality.
- Accelerated Decision Making: With supply chains distributed across the globe, Edmunds notes that, “manufacturers must have ready and secure access to critical data such as current inventories, production and delivery schedules and pricing fluctuations.” Cloud-based platforms, in combination with mobility solutions, can extend ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and inventory management systems to teams in the field so that informed decisions can be made at headquarters or at any point along the global supply chain.
- Dynamic Operating Models: Manufacturers, says Edmunds, “require flexible global operating models that allow production to shift quickly from one location to another and easily accommodate changes in volume which are both hallmarks of cloud computing.”
- Improved Customer Experience: Keeping pace with customer expectations when it comes to production schedules is a major concern for manufacturers. Cloud-based platforms can create efficiencies across an operation and securely mobilizing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications can more tightly link front-line sales forecasting to back-end production.
For more information on Verizon’s Cloud solutions for manufacturers, click here.
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