One of the advantages of many current software packages for small and mid-sized business packages, such as Sage EM (formerly known as Sage X3) and Sage Business Cloud, is that they level the playing field. What does that mean?
Many years ago, companies that wanted a robust enterprise resource planning tool had to invest heavily in their own infrastructure to support such an endeavor. It wasn’t just the cost of the software. They had to buy hardware to run it, install the hardware in their buildings, and hire people to manage and maintain the systems. This alone made the costs off-limits for many small businesses.
Today, cloud computing offers unlimited scalability for manufacturers, as well as access to robust software that can power your business operations. Sage software such as Sage EM (formerly known as Sage X3) and Sage Business Cloud puts the same powerful software into the hands of a small business owner as it does to a large, multi-national corporate. The result is that small businesses can finally compete on a level playing field against the big guys.
Cloud Computing Requirements
Everyone seems to be talking about cloud computing these days, but what exactly is it and what does it do? We define cloud computing along five metrics. Cloud computing must be:
- On-demand – cloud computing is available on demand, 24/7, through internet access.
- Pooled service – instead of one company purchasing software for its own use, resources are pooled. Multiple companies can share server space, software, and more for maximum cost effectiveness.
- Infinitely scalable – you can expand cloud services in an almost infinitely scalable manner. From giant, intricate, global computing networks to a small manufacturer’s cloud computing needs, the cloud expands according to what you need.
- Measured – cloud services are measured and billed according to a prescribed payment system.
- Broadly accessible – the service is accessible to many people.
Sage EM (formerly known as Sage X3) and Sage Business Cloud meet these criteria. Both offer on-demand, scalable, measured, and accessible software to companies of all sizes.
Cloud Computing and Its Impact on Manufacturing
ERP, BI, warehouse and distribution systems, and many other systems now run on the cloud. This enables manufacturers to track shipments, products, inventory, receiving, accounts payable and receivable like never before. Business intelligence software enables you to synchronize and use data from multiple sources to make better, faster decisions.
Digital services such as cloud computing now provide approximately 25% of the total inputs that go into the manufacturing of finished products. Thanks to cloud computing, manufacturing operations are safer, more productive, efficient, and better able to keep pace with supply and demand.
Today, over 90% of global manufacturers use some form of cloud computing. A 2015 IDC study that surveyed 600 companies from 17 countries indicated that 66% of manufacturers were using public cloud systems while 68% used a private cloud (the study indicated that some overlap, with companies using both public/private cloud hybrids).
Even supply chain management is being changed by the cloud. With the Internet of Things, RFID devices and chips, barcode scanners, and more all linked through cloud-based feeds, manufacturers are able to see, track, and monitor their shipments.
Cloud computing has made it easier for small businesses to compete, especially in the world of manufacturing. With the data and information now available to small businesses, you can use this knowledge to your advantage to make competitive products, offer better service and prices, and more. It’s a great business advantage.
IWI Consulting Group
IWI Consulting Group helps businesses gain insights into their operations, inventory, and profitability. We provide software and support for a wide range of industries throughout Canada. For more information, please visit IWI Consulting Group or contact us today.