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5 Change Agents Revolutionizing Manufacturing in 2015

Manufacturers are needing to adopt new manufacturing technologies, processes and ways of doing business to remain competitive in today’s global market, and there’s no stopping the progression.

In my previous blog posts, Supply Chain Management: A Wicked Problem? and Supply Chain Management: Inventory Optimization is Not a Wicked Problem, I have discussed the importance of leveraging technology to better manage your supply chain execution. I point out that this is not a wicked problem, simply one that needs to be paid careful attention.

With corporate efforts focused on increasing efficiencies of manufacturing operations and the supply chain, trends toward technology deployment are having a profound effect on the manufacturing sector in North America. Here’s a summary of the key change agents driving manufacturing trends:

1. “SMAC Stack” Adoption

This is now a reality. Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud technology (SMAC) is driving incredible efficiencies in the manufacturing and supply chain environments.

Contemporary ERP solutions, such as Epicor ERP incorporate these technology trends natively in their ERP systems, making them easier to deploy and leverage.

2. Social Media

Customers have never been more informed. Manufacturers are increasingly forced to become intensely customer focused and responsive. This requires manufacturers to quickly leverage technology to provide agility in bringing products to market quicker. Natively integrated social tools provide the platform to take advantage of this reality.

3. The Internet of Things

The ability to connect devices and machines together via the internet has enabled remarkable automation capabilities in the manufacturing environment. Manufacturers can produce goods better, cheaper, and faster as a result.

4. Capital Investment

Capital expenditures for renovation of existing plants is growing. The magazine “Material Handling and Logistics” recently reported new capital investment expenditures reached a level of 5.7% of gross sales in North America in 2014. Thirty three percent of that investment is directed to new IT technologies.

5. Next Shoring and Re-Shoring

Next shoring is not re-shoring, which too is evidenced. Rising wages and transportation costs in traditional off shore geographies is driving the business case for moving production closer to markets served. This, in combination with technology advances, is accelerating next shoring and re-shoring movements.

The convergence of these change agents has triggered a tipping point in the manufacturing vertical. Manufacturers are upgrading to contemporary ERP and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) such as Epicor ERP with MES. They are also assessing their offshoring arrangements and moving to re-shoring or near shoring to capture those efficiencies.

If you would like more information on this subject or have questions about identifying a ERP or MES solution for your business, please contact us.

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