Manufacturing, in any capacity, is a high-cost, ever-changing industry. The sector places unique demands on decision-makers - it can be hard to know where to invest the often limited resources available.
IT is far from the only part of your infrastructure that calls for investment. Physical plant and machinery need updating, you need to hire highly skilled engineers, not to mention other investment opportunities like plant expansion through mergers.
It can be hard, then, to allocate available funds for the best return.
Investment in IT can make a tangible difference to your manufacturing plant. Modernising IT infrastructure can lead directly to increased productivity on your manufacturing shop floor.
Even if you do decide to invest in IT, it can still hard to know exactly how to make the most worthwhile investment for your manufacturing plant
So we've put together this handy list of things to take into consideration if you want to increase productivity with IT investment.
How to Increase Manufacturing Plant Productivity by Investing in IT
Build on a Solid Foundation
All the fancy IT infrastructure in the world will be rendered if you don't have a good, basic ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution in place.
Use Up-To-Date Data
Base your decisions about IT investment in manufacturing on existing, up-to-date data and industry reports.
Cloud-based systems are the future of IT. They stay constantly updated and that real-time relevant information is available anywhere in the world, via any device (with secure permissions, of course!). Cloud-based systems are usually a cheaper option too, as there is no need for costly hardware to store on-premise software.
Set Realistic Expectations
Before you even begin looking at solutions, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve. Setting measurable, attainable goals lets you get the most out of whatever system you choose to invest in, to meet the specific needs of your plant.
Please Your Customers
Like it or not, the modern consumer experience is all about customer service. Customers demand multiple purchasing options, timely delivery of goods, and an increasing level of personalisation that is hard to achieve without the right IT systems. All your investment decisions ultimately need to benefit your customers - even at the non-customer-facing manufacturing stage.
Constantly be testing your solutions and innovating new ways to adapt and adjust to make small improvements. An IT investment doesn't stop when the new system is in place.
Solve Your Specific Problems
As with setting realistic expectations, you need to identify the specific problems and issues that you want your IT infrastructure to solve, and then find a system or a process to help solve it constructively.
Your new IT system is not done once it is installed and working correctly. Not only will it require constant testing and tweaking, but it will need manual updates and maintenance performing regularly.
In a perfect world, we'd have never-ending budgets, and time to test-drive every single solution. In reality, though, you need to align your budget (and other resources) with the priorities of your plant, making wise investments that save valuable time and money, as well as solving the specific problems you're encountering.
Keep up-to-date with cutting-edge industry goings on, and always be open to new technologies and systems that could make your processes better)
As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider, to ensure you get the highest return on your investment in IT. Investing in IT for a manufacturing plant can exponentially increase productivity - if you get it right.
IQMS is one Manufacturing ERP system you can invest in, to increase plant productivity. Get in touch, to find out whether IQMS is the right investment for your Manufacturing plant.