Technology in the Manufacturing Industry

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It’s no secret that wireless connectivity, IoT, data mining, and streamlined back office management have become mainstream aspects of the manufacturing industry in recent years. Larger product and process manufacturing firms have been gradually adopting enterprise resource management systems for the past two decades, and with every passing year, ERP and MRP systems become more sophisticated, streamlined, affordable, and scalable than ever before. At this point, many large and midsized manufacturing firms that depend on complex scheduling and operations have moved their software platforms and servers offsite and are relying on outside hosting services to provide the tools and applications that keep their organizations running.

But what about smaller organizations? If you own or manage a smaller operation with only a handful of employees, you may be reluctant to adopt new technology for its own sake. You may not have the luxury or the budget flexibility to indulge in starry eyed desire for the latest CRM or point of sale trend…you may not even have an updated website. But if you don’t think new technologies are worth investigating for a firm your size, think again. As you make your adoption decisions, keep a few considerations in mind.

Technology, Marketing, and Product Development

Shaping your product to better fit your customer’s needs can drive sales and help your organization grow; there’s not much argument on this point. But the methods you use to gather customer feedback can have a powerful and immediate influence over the direction of this process. Customer relationship management portals, sophisticated data collection, and data analytics can help you make the most of every single customer interaction. How does your brand grain traction among your target audience? What aspects of your product push you ahead of your competitors and what aspects hold you back? If you can’t answer these questions, you may be missing key opportunities to connect with potential buyers.

Embedded “Intelligence”

Introducing technology to product design can help customers connect with your product and gain a higher estimation of its value. Embedded sensors that can monitor how—and how often—the product is used, sophisticated interfaces, owner recognition, automated shut-off systems, timers, and any added component that allows users to customize their experience can push your product ahead in the marketplace.

Cybersecurity

How well-protected are your trade secrets, including 3d-printing codes and designs, formulas, recipes, and equations? Are your internal files locked down as tightly as you think they are? Hackers and counterfeiters are developing faster and more agile methods with every passing year, and in order to keep up, you’ll need to tighten your security measures and elevate the internal and external methods you use to protect your trademarks and signature product features.

For more on how to incorporate technology into your back office management and manufacturing operations, reach out to the manufacturing staffing experts at CSS.

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