The cloud is becoming more and more popular with manufacturers for the reason that it caters to their needs with its increased ease of use across multiple locations and the provided IT assistance. This allows manufacturers to spend more time focusing on everyone’s favorite goal, increasing their company's revenue. It’s so well liked that people gave it the pleasant title "Cloud Manufacturing".
With all its popularity some people may still be wondering, “What exactly is the cloud?” Simply put, the cloud is a network that allows you to store and manage data, files, and software to the Internet. It has a reputation for saving manufacturers time and money while being easily buildable, making it exceptionally functional and sustainable.
Cloud manufacturing (CMfg) is the process of utilizing well established manufacturing resources, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), through the cloud. This way, the information can be viewed, updated and applied at any time or place. Cloud manufacturing was planned to handle “big manufacturing” which means it follows the whole manufacturing process from the designing stage to production to maintenance. It can also take many different forms such as cloud computing, virtualization, and Internet of Things (IoT).
Cloud manufacturing helps businesses unplug themselves so they can reach new heights and faster than ever. For some manufacturers the idea of “unplugging” makes them feel uneasy because if everyone in the organization can access data from anywhere then some unwanted eyes could be sneaking a peek at sensitive information. While this is a genuine concern, cloud experts are confident that the cloud is just as safe as an on premise program. Administrators still have complete control as to who can see what in the cloud, so everyone can see everything that are given permission to see. As for the greater concern that hackers could get in, many cloud service vendors provide 24-hour security to watch out for any potential security breaches and fraudulent code.
If you still don’t think it’s safe, there are cloud-based ERPs that give you multiple deployment options including SaaS, cloud and on premise. The best part is that if you don’t trust the cloud right now you can choose to get it on premise then as the cloud continues to become the new standard (and earns your trust) you can switch to the cloud platform at any time.
Cloud manufacturing can be very valuable for manufacturers. One of its perks is that your IT team doesn’t have to deal with the upkeep of the software, including technical support, hardware/software maintenance and security. Cloud Manufacturing is an excellent choice for companies with small IT departments and ideal for companies with no IT at all because the cloud software provider handles all IT issues.
It can also reduce capital expenditures because cloud computing eliminates some major, long-term costs that occur in legacy ERPs. For instance, there is the reduction of IT expenditures that comes along with not needing them for the ERP software. There's also no large, upfront capital investment for software licensing and upgrade expenses, you just pay a low monthly fee.
Cloud Manufacturing allows you achieve quicker deployments, so you can quit leaving your cash on your data entry clerk’s desk for processing. The cloud quickens the process by automating communication between manufacturing and accounting. This makes it easier to stay on top of production and deployment so even if the deployment hasn't been entered in it is still automatically put in WIP (work in process) so it shows that it shows that those materials are no longer available for a more accurate inventory keeping.