A common strategy during an uncertain economy is to hunker down and “weather the storm.” Many manufacturers decide to limit technology investment until the chaos subsides, then attempt to time necessary technology improvements to high-growth periods.
Then there’s the road less traveled. Some manufacturers invest in technology so they’ll not only be ready when stability returns, but to strengthen their business and competitive advantage in spite of economic conditions. They think less about when to invest and more about why they need to invest.
Business challenges and pain points always exist, both in good and tough times. No matter what is happening with the economy, the time is always right to drive efficiency, lower costs, or consolidate disparate software systems—and realign IT spending toward value-added capabilities instead of support and maintenance. Manufacturers who have made the move to cloud ERP have done it with immediate and long-term results in mind.
MFC Netform, a metal forming company for the automotive industry, decided to invest in cloud ERP during the “great recession” that brought many companies in the manufacturing industry to their knees. With a single version of the truth, the company leveraged live plant floor data to minimize scrap and machine downtime for instant cost benefits. In addition, embedded software quality checks produced high enough efficiency and accuracy that the company sidestepped hiring costly quality inspectors.
Many companies invest up to 70 percent of IT spending on non-value added support and maintenance, but MFC Netform minimized this cost by relying on the cloud, investing only half of the technical resources it had expected. The company’s management attributes the ability to manage through a tough economy with a lean staff to its investment in a manufacturing cloud ERP. What’s more, MFC Netform has taken advantage of the growing customer demand in its market and believes it can be more responsive and agile than its competitors.
Not sure if you should invest or weather the storm? Download the whitepaper: Manufacturing in Turbulent Times.