The variety of software available to manufacturers keeps getting more powerful due to the advances in analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. A critical part of the new Industry 4.0 revolution is the cloud, with Microsoft announcing the launch of the Manufacturing Cloud back in 2021.
What can you expect from Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing?
Similar to other industries, Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing leverages the tools and features of Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams and Power Platform, amongst other products and services.
It weaves together all these integrations to create a vertical-focused solution for the needs of manufacturers. Here are a few of the benefits the software offers:
- Empowers your workforce
- Enhanced agility with your manufacturing processes
- Improved supply chain resilience
- Provides innovation towards your digital processes
- Better customer engagement
1. Empowers your workforce
In the manufacturing industry, it’s pivotal your employees are motivated and can understand your business processes inside out. However, with the increasing talent gap due to the complexity of modern technology, it becomes difficult to maintain efficiency.
With Microsoft Cloud, the software offers integrated communication and collaboration tools that employees already know, and this is due to the wide availability of Microsoft Platforms such as Office 365 existing within the market. Therefore, this makes the transformation project less daunting for businesses.
The cloud also makes it easier for your employees to access information. For example, physical copies of documents and plans may be lost and can take significant amounts of time for your teams to sift through, increasing inefficiency. By having a centralised database for your information in a remote location, any employee from your factories to your office spaces can easily access the files required. Plus, data retrieval is much easier as all information stored in the cloud is automatically backed up.
Despite using the tools they’re familiar with, it’s still important that you explain to your team why you’re making this change to your business, as this allows them to understand why the change is happening and how it’ll impact their work.
Undergoing any sort of change can cause disruption and confusion among your workforces, and one way to prevent this is through a change management strategy. This will help you prepare your teams for transformation, increasing the chances of them embracing your vision. Find out how you can do this by clicking here.
2. Enhanced agility within your manufacturing processes
Due to the constant disruptions in the manufacturing industry, from fragmented supply chains to the ongoing implications of the pandemic, it’s never been more important for businesses to adapt quickly.
A recent PwC survey shows that 73% of construction businesses believe cloud software for manufacturing is critical to their future planning. With the cloud, you can detect and easily identify changes in the external environment, such as supply chain disruptions and regulatory changes, boosting your agility and driving innovation in the process.
Security also needs to be at the forefront of your priorities as your digital transformation project moves forward. With Microsoft Defender for IoT and OT (Operational Technology) devices, you can continuously monitor your systems to quickly identify any unauthorised activities, unrecognised applications and compromised devices.
3. Improved supply chain resilience
Dealing with supply-chain disruptions and unexpected spikes in consumer demand are just a couple of challenges facing manufacturers today. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management helps you deal with these challenges, offering:
- Real-time visibility into your supply chain from production lines to warehouses
- Smart manufacturing – with the use of IoT, you can have better control over your stock levels and ordering, reducing your delays and potential shortages of materials
- Maximising asset uptime – this includes condition monitoring and ongoing maintenance to reduce your downtime as a result
- Accelerated time to market – resolve any issues within your production lines such as quality control so you can maximise your efficiency and output
And Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights, can lean on the power of AI for decision-making through prescriptive insights. This will help you collaborate better with your suppliers, partners and team members to identify potential risks early on and have solutions in place to mitigate them.
You can also create a digital pilot of your supply chain to perform a series of what-if scenarios, allowing you to visualise contingency plans for a wide range of events.
4. Innovation for your digital processes
In addition to creating a virtual representation of your supply chain with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights, Cloud for Manufacturing gives you access to the full power of Azure. This software will let you create digital representations of all kinds of real-world scenarios, places and people.
How does this benefit your business? Thorough testing helps you safeguard from any issues that may crop up when your project has gone live, so you can prepare for worst case scenarios without placing your current processes at risk.
5. Better customer engagement
As customers should be at the heart of everything you do, Cloud for Manufacturing makes customer experience and engagement an essential part of its offerings. The solution centralises your customer information from different departments into one system, making it easier for your teams to access and to keep customers better informed regarding their order through tracking and tracing techniques.
The roadmap to digital transformation in manufacturing
Now that we’ve explored the benefits Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing has to offer, how can you ensure that your digital transformation projects are successful? Our report has you covered, including:
- The roadmap to manufacturing transformation
- Why manufacturers must digitally transform
- How to bridge the talent gap
- And more!
Get your copy by clicking the button below.