Manufacturing companies face constant pressure to cut cost, transform cost centers into profit centers and generate unprecedented new revenue streams. These five areas of technology and business process innovation enable cost-constrained manufacturing organizations to enhance productivity and manufacturing efficiencies to raise the business bottom line and achieve competitive differentiation:

  1. ERP

While manufacturing ERP systems are simply not new to the market per say, the increasingly competitive landscape has forced firms of all types to increase the quality of their work as well as decrease the timelines to deliver better results. In addition to these daunting tasks, firms must find a way to reduce costs as well. Failure to do so leads to lost revenue streams and customer dissatisfaction. An increasingly competitive market has led to an even greater number of companies experiencing the benefits of using an ERP system such as improved visibility, increased efficiency, on-time delivery, enhanced product quality, reduced costs and improved collaboration.

  1. Expanding the role of the CMO

While a large majority of CEOs assume that their chief marketing officers have plenty on their plate seeking to take advantage of the rise of social media over the last several years, a successful company must go a step further to set itself apart as a progressive organization. In order to grow a manufacture’s revenues and profits, a chief marketing officer should like to change marketing campaigns to reflect new consumer buying behavior, shape the company’s public profile, manage complexity and build new marketing capabilities.

  1. Collaboration

IT hardware giant Cisco published a great article on collaboration on their blog regarding collaboration and how it is increasing revenues for manufacturers. The opportunity to collaborate shows up in a few different ways for manufacturing companies: connecting product experts and customers, connecting employees of the company, and connecting with other companies around the world. Technology has made this collaboration easier than ever through the use of personal mobile devices as well as web-based platforms. Innovation occurs more quickly with effective collaboration among employees, suppliers and business partners. Manufactures seeking to grow empower employees to connect with others to accomplish organizational goals.

  1. Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing strategies focus on reducing wasteful spending and activities to achieve productive manufacturing operations. Leading manufacturing companies follow an information-driven approach to identify areas of opportunities and transforming cost-centers into profit-centers to enable lean manufacturing. ERP solutions with integrated analytics capabilities delivered as a subscription-based cloud offering works as the primary facilitator to these efficiencies without incurring significant capital expense.

  1. Enterprise Mobility

The instant gratification culture has pressured supply chains into shortening the product cycle. Technology has allowed manufacturing companies to keep up with this demand by leveraging enterprise mobility and streamlined communication among employees and suppliers. Cloud-based mobility solutions have streamlined communication and information transmission among machines, infrastructure and personnel.

These technologies and process changes necessitate efforts in employee education and change management as much as the tooling itself. Manufacturing organizations following a strategic approach with these investments are likely to maximize the potential of the resulting technology capabilities and workforce productivity to grow revenue streams.

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