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For today’s manufacturers, it can be a difficult balancing act between complying with industry regulations, consistently producing top quality products and remaining reactive to a constantly fluctuating market. With this being the case, it is important for staff to arm their workers with the right tools to ensure maximum productivity, accuracy and efficiency across all aspects of their manufacturing operations.
However, it seems where warehouse operators in other sectors are generally using digital technologies to their commercial advantage, most manufacturers are still behind the times. According to a recent survey by Zebra Technologies of 1,100 manufacturing executives from various industries, 62% said that they still use pen and paper to track their production. With technology evolving all the time and a changing political and economic landscape, in this feature we look at why 2019 seems to be the opportune time for manufacturers to embrace a new digital infrastructure.
When it comes to paper-based processes, it is no secret that the manual nature of this way of working can cause businesses numerous issues. The creation, distribution and maintenance of paper documents not only creates an abundance of unnecessary work for manufacturers, but also incurs extra costs along the way. These outdated processes are also error-prone, which restricts the business’ ability to achieve maximum efficiency within their production processes. However possibly the most damning evidence against paper-based working comes from Dassault Systems, who found that more than 70% of today’s businesses would collapse within three weeks if they were to lose all paper-based records due to unforeseen events.
And it seems that because of these facts, many manufacturers are now realising that operating primarily through paper is no longer a viable method of working. In fact, in the same Zebra Technologies study 75% of the executives surveyed said improving operations and optimising supply chains through outfitting staff with new technology is a top initiative for 2019. In addition, the number of manufacturers expected to employ a digitally connected factory is expected to double by 2022. Therefore, for businesses to match their competitors moving forward, as well as keep up with changing customer demands and effectively cope with potential material shortages, they need to look to digital technology solutions that will help improve their productivity without disrupting workflows.
When it comes to building products to meet sales order demand, the rate of response within a manufacturing plant is crucial to ensuring quality goods are delivered within the necessary time constraints. By implementing a more digitised infrastructure into the production line, manufacturers will not only enable a better flow of real time information regarding specific build processes but also allow employees to be much more productive.
Furthermore, digital information surrounding build and production processes can also be easily altered to suit business’ requirements at any point, with old formulas and methods also able to be safely archived for long periods of time. This not only enables manufacturers of controlled products the ability to safely meet industry and government regulations, but also offers better security when it comes to specific information regarding their production.
In conclusion then, by eliminating paper processes and transitioning to a more digital infrastructure, manufacturers can benefit from better access to real time data, greater overall accuracy and higher rates of efficiency. However, any business switching from a paper-based solution to a digitised one for the first time can find the process daunting and disruptive if not supported correctly. Therefore, when choosing a solution, businesses should also consider the assistance they will need during implementation, so they can ensure they undergo a smooth transition over to digital processes.
If you would like to find out more about how OrderWise can provide with you an all-in-one solution that caters for all your manufacturing process needs, then please contact us on 01522 704083 to speak to one of our business consultants today.
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