The Top 5 Technology Concerns Facing NE Ohio Manufacturing Firms
In the US, manufacturing firms produce approximately 18% of the world’s goods. This is a significant amount that shows manufacturing is still alive and booming. But manufacturing firms face a range of challenges every single day – from competition from large domestic businesses to ever-evolving regulations to a shortage of skilled workers. It’s a never-ending battle, and when you add technology concerns into the mix, manufacturing firms can easily struggle to stay ahead of the challenges they face. Let’s take a look at the top 5 technology concerns facing manufacturing firms and how to resolve them.
The Impact Of Technology Downtime
Technology downtime is the main source of lost production time. Whenever a machine is not in production, no value is being produced yet the cost of overhead operations steadily grow. So why does downtime happen? Typically, it’s because the manufacturing firm isn’t fully aware of when equipment is due for upgrades, maintenance or replacements. Depending on the cause of downtime, it’s possible for manufacturing firms to end up with expansive layoffs, liquidations, and other costly consequences.
So what can be done to minimize downtime? The first step is being aware of the state of your equipment. If you’re not fully aware what’s outdated, in need of maintenance or in need of replacement, your hardware and software will start to lag, and in some cases, breakdown altogether. A good IT company can work with you to assess your environment and come up with a plan to keep it up-to-date and running properly.
Outdated, Unsupported Equipment
Atomik Research conducted a survey that found at least 52% of manufacturing employees felt outdated equipment hinders their ability to work at least once a week. The cost of maintaining equipment and keeping up with the latest technologies were reported as two major challenges in the market. So what’s the risk of running outdated, unsupported equipment? Naturally, it’s slower and less functional than newer, more up-to-date forms of technology.
A good IT company will help you purchase, maintain, and upgrade technologies within the workplace to ensure a productive workforce. This is crucial to avoiding the high cost of unproductivity, slow project movement, and other issues resulting from running outdated, unsupported equipment.
The Rise Of Cybercrime
The manufacturing sector has been victim to a massive amount of major attacks in the past year. Scary, isn’t it? But why are cybercriminals targeting manufacturing firms? The answer is simple: most manufacturing firms are embracing the concept of smart technologies to streamline production. And this is great, but it creates more points of entry into the network.
For many manufacturing firms, there is hesitation when it comes to implementing security solutions because they don’t want to disrupt their manufacturing systems. However, as you store a ton of intellectual property that can be very lucrative for cybercriminals looking to steal and sell information on the dark web, it’s vital to find an IT company that can secure your environment without impacting the performance of your manufacturing systems.
Software Compatibility Issues
As mentioned above, many manufacturing firms struggle with outdated, unsupported equipment. As a result, they often run into software compatibility issues wherein important programs they need don’t work well without newer technologies to run them on. If you’re using a range of programs, it’s important to ensure your hardware is current enough to run those programs. If you’re running outdated, unsupported equipment, you may have trouble with:
- CAM/CAD systems
- Barcoding systems
- ERP systems
- 3D printing
- And more
A good IT company can work with you to determine what software programs are necessary, then help you make the switch to the right technologies to support the use of those programs.
5. Technology Partners That Aren’t Familiar With The Manufacturing Industry In Ohio
Lastly, the biggest challenge for manufacturing firms is technology partners that aren’t familiar with the industry. You may have noticed that in all the points above, a good IT company can help resolve those challenges. This is because technology plays a crucial role in the entire product life cycle and supply chain. If your technology partner isn’t familiar with the industry, they won’t be able to help you embrace in a way that eliminates inefficiencies while helping you create more value for your customers.
You need an IT company that understands how the manufacturing world works and knows the various software programs you depend on, such as:
- Development process software
- Enterprise resource planning software
- CAD/CAM software
- Product life cycle management software
- And more
A good IT company knows and understands how each program works – allowing them to help you ensure compatibility with your environment AND make the most of your investment into every piece of software you buy.