Tag Archives: sustainable software

Facing Your Fears

Facing Your FearsWhat do manufacturers both embrace and avoid? CHANGE. Change is a double-edged sword. It’s both welcomed and feared, accepted and resisted yet necessary for growth and sustainability.

In the past ten years we have seen technology change at an astonishing rate. We have seen the birth of social networks, cloud computing, Wi-Fi, tablet computers and smart phones. Changes in technology have pushed global competition to an all time high. So, what are manufacturers doing to evolve to this new environment?

Sustainable Software

According to the USMTC (United States Manufacturing Technology Consumption) report released in June 2011, the change in orders for technology supporting plant production is up over 100% from last year.  Furthermore, twice as many firms are adding software systems that focus on efficiency and productivity.  This includes shop floor production technology from execution systems to robotics to automated systems. Manufacturers are driven to evaluate their shop floor and determine the path to optimal efficiency, productivity and profits.

The Value

It’s not feasible for manufacturers to replace existing systems every time technology changes. The manufacturing technology that has the best value evolves with your company as the manufacturing environment changes. It is easily upgradeable so that new features and functionality can be added as soon as they become available.

New software architectures and tools provide a greater level of adaptability to help the software integrate with future technologies and extend the life of current manufacturing systems.

Fear of Change

What is holding some manufacturers back? Although there has been a dramatic increase in the purchase of manufacturing technology, many companies are still hesitant to take the leap. They remember past experiences, slow implementations, disruptions in their manufacturing plant and delayed customer shipments. Although this once might have been the case, the transformation of manufacturing technology and new software architectures have greatly reduced these risks. Now, there’s only one thing standing between manufacturers and the path to optimal efficiency, productivity and profits. Once companies decide to take the leap and move to these new technologies,  the benefits that are realized can truly be a game changer.

What’s holding you back?

The Manufacturing Sweet Spot

Sweet SpotGartner – “Software is altering how manufacturers innovate and execute.”  “Software solutions must enable growth but not disrupt existing processes to prove their value.  For manufacturers, they must align IT with operational technology and enable flexible product architectures and agile manufacturing to succeed.”

Manufacturers’ focus on equipment alone to advance shop floor production capability and capacity is rapidly diminishing. The realization that technology, not equipment, is the key to greatly improving quality, efficiency and predictability at all levels of an organization has taken the front seat.

Manufacturing is undergoing a transformation. The availability of new technology that is simple, flexible, adaptable to unique situations and affordable is more prevalent now than ever before. 

The real question then is how to successfully introduce technology to the production process?  Many companies believe that since their production processes are unique, they need a custom software solution tailored to match those processes and manage shop floor operations.  This belief has caused companies to spend millions of dollars on technology solutions that are obsolete within the first few years of introduction.

Software now exists to manage production operations within an adaptable product architecture without the need for custom solutions.  These software solutions also provide the user with the ability to enhance and configure the product to meet local needs without vendor services.  Manufacturers gain more control over the technology and have the ability to synchronize processes, streamline operations and match process changes when they need capabilities.   The end result is a sustainable software solution that evolves and changes with manufacturer’s requirements and will not become obsolete over time.

Adaptable and sustainable software solutions are now in the manufacturing sweet spot. They allow manufacturers to act with precision, accuracy and speed to produce a higher quality product than ever before.  The IT organization becomes more responsive to operations by gaining control of the technology, without being “held hostage” by the software supplier and the supplier’s schedule.

The manufacturing industry is changing, is your company keeping pace?