The manufacturing industry has indeed seen many changes over the years. Some manufacturing positions became safer for employees, some tasks were sped up, but in general, the development of technology has made all the difference in its path of evolution.
However, the newest trends revolve around something, although not new but definitely quite specific, and that is cloud-based services. They have boosted the manufacturing industry’s potential and facilitated many processes.
Accepting the cloud model is a global shift that has been taking place in the minds of manufacturers and the number of cloud advocates is gradually growing. And this is because the benefits of using SaaS are irrefutable. So, to understand this shift in the mindset, let’s first take a look at what SaaS is.
SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is a cloud-based service which means that you are accessing the software you are using via an internet browser and not your computer’s storage. The idea of not downloading and installing software on your PC, laptop or other device has brought about many changes in the world of business, including manufacturing.
If you wish to use SaaS for work, you need to have an internet connection and a device with which you will access the said software, which also means that you need to have steady internet access while you are using it. Also, the apps can be used from whichever device you choose which allows you to work while traveling to a meeting or to hire remote employees and expand your talent pool. Now that we have covered the basics, here is the list of benefits for the manufacturing industry from using SaaS and other cloud-based services.
Offering Unlimited Storage Capacity
If we were talking about physical storage and somebody offered unlimited storage for your business, would you expect it to cost a fortune? Well, that’s only reasonable but in the case of cloud storage, the unlimited storage is a small fee away. There is no need for endless dusty shelves filled with folders and documents when everything can be stored in your online storage place.
Since almost all business owners dream of expanding their businesses, if you intend to sell your manufactured products globally or simply to reach out to the neighboring countries, you need a system that can sustain your growth. This is why knowing that you have a reliable partner that will grow together with your business is very important – it can save you from data loss because you wouldn’t need to change the entire system.
No Need for Additional Hardware
One of the reasons many entrepreneurs involved in the manufacturing business opt for cloud-based services and SaaS is precisely the fact that they don’t need to obtain additional hardware. In fact, different software solutions can serve many purposes, such as operating and overseeing the functionality of the manufacturing hardware.
Another vital segment of the manufacturing process is related to the planning, scheduling, and overall control of materials used. This type of management can be successfully done by introducing cloud-based MRP software that can help you calculate the components and materials needed to manufacture a product. This allows superb precision which also means that there is no waste of resources or mone, making cloud services an investment that saves money.
Taking Care of The Maintenance
Any in-house storage unit would demand not only installing particular software and acquiring hardware but also employing an IT expert who would be in charge of taking care of this storage system’s maintenance and data back-up and restoration. Besides additional expenditure, you would be placing your trust in one or two employees to do their job right or the entire company would suffer.
With cloud services and storage, your provider tends to the maintenance of its system, regular updates to the software, as well as making sure your business data is backed-up. And your provider is not a single individual: you actually have a team of experts tending to the needs of your system and ensuring your data is kept safe. Essentially, you get experienced professionals and their services for a fraction of the price you would pay if everything was done in-house.
Providing Enhanced Security
The only potential element that made entrepreneurs uneasy from time to time was related to sharing sensitive information. They were afraid that their manufacturing processes, materials used, sales rates, and different business strategies would be unsafe in the hands of a third-party cloud computing service provider.
However, this only means that you need to be careful when you chose the provider which is more or less a sound piece of advice regarding any element you intend to implement in your daily operations. If your SaaS app comes from a reliable source and if it is used by many companies that are satisfied with it, this is a sign that this provider can be trusted. It is important to keep your business data safe but you also need to keep up with your competition and think about your business’s future. So, the best answer is to dedicate some time to researching your options and finding a reliable provider to have peace of mind.
Although some entrepreneurs in the manufacturing business are still slow in putting their faith in a third-party service provider, based on the mentioned reasons, it is clear that SaaS and other cloud-based services are wise-spread. For now, implementing them can still bring you a competitive advantage but in a not so distant future, they will be a necessity, and not an addition or an option. The future of cloud-based services is bright and it remains to be seen in what other ways it will evolve and help the manufacturing industry grow and develop.
Featured image credit: freepik.com
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