There’s been a lot of talk recently about utilizing cloud computing and automation in manufacturing. So many companies have already adopted these technologies, but others balk at such an operational upheaval. While it may take time to implement these new technologies, doing so can fix problems in your company. Here are three examples of problems that embracing cloud computing and automation can fix.
Your Data is Siloed
Data generally exists inside specific departments within a company. Marketing, production, engineering, sales, finance, and human relations all have their own set. Sometimes they are shared within different departments, but usually if another department requests it. This means that most data is stagnant and only exists for one purpose. Cloud-based software can integrate data for employees, products, and customers breaking down the silo walls between departments. This means that employees can dig deep into initial sales data, production times, and even shipping estimates to help the company increase efficiency and help answer customer’s questions better.
Collaboration is Limited
Collaboration is a great tool that companies use to increase many facets of their business. However, most collaboration happens in stages. For example, someone starts a meeting and brings a set of data with them. Other employees have questions about that data which the first person may or may not have the answer to. Ideas are thrown out and maybe a plan for implementation is proposed. Only then does the actual work begin. With cloud computing, an employee takes initiative and suggests an idea based on data that’s accessible to all. This idea is shared either via a meeting, or more rapidly through email or chat. Questions that are asked about the data are answered quicker and ideas and implementation plans are drawn up faster. Work begins much sooner, and results are achieved and reported more efficiently for further tweaking.
Downtime Can Severely Increase Your Production Times
Without cloud computing and automation, when machines break down, you must fix them on the spot. This cuts into precious production time, which decreases your profits and increases costs. One of the top uses for implementing cloud computing and automation is the ability for machines to gather and report data on a continuous basis. This means that machines can actually communicate when they are not working optimally. This allows you to shut down machines during off-peak or after-hours times to diagnose the problem. Production time, in this case, is increased over what it would be without the technology.