Today, manufacturers are seeing an industry that has become increasingly competitive, globalized, and digitalized. Even companies who use technology can quickly become static and fall behind. “As much as 90% of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years”, and manufacturers who continue to implement new technological solutions in 2022 will see the lasting benefits. One fast-growing technology impacting manufacturers around the world today is on-demand manufacturing.
What is on-demand manufacturing?
On-demand manufacturing has grown in popularity over the last decade. This cloud-based manufacturing software provides large amounts of real-time data and offers the ability to increase efficiencies, improve visibility within the supply chain, and eliminate delays, all on one platform. Rather than manufacturing based on large pre-approved order quantities and storing them over a period of time in inventory, on-demand manufacturing has companies producing only what customers specifically need in a much smaller time frame. Manufacturers and their customers can stay in touch and share information (costing/quotes, production timelines, delivery, etc.) in real-time throughout the manufacturing process. Orders of precise quantities with shorter timelines avoid overproduction and high inventory costs for the manufacturer.
Key Advantages of on-demand manufacturing with a cloud-based solution:
- Reduction in lead time
- Increased collaboration between manufacturer and customer
- Improved communications
- Reduction in inventory costs
- Improved visibility across the production process
- Centralized data access
While on-demand manufacturing is one trend dominating the industry right now, here are a few others.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming popular across many industries, with manufacturing being the most common over the last few years. In manufacturing, AI is used to improve equipment efficiency and quality, and increase profits by reducing down time and production errors. AI can assess performance on the manufacturing floor, warn of possible equipment errors, understand different performance drivers, and more. Certain roles that were once carried out by human beings can now be done with AI, increasing production speed while reducing costs.
Blockchain is a trending technology solution that can enhance trust in financial transactions for manufacturing companies. Known as a digital ledger that can be shared across networks, data is stored in blocks that are approved then linked to different transactions. Manufacturers are beginning to use blockchain technology to monitor movement and store important data across the supply chain.
In 2020, “94% of Fortune 1000 companies experienced disruptions in their supply chain”, and this trend has continued into 2021. The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, and manufacturers who prepare for future disruptions in their supply chains using software solutions like ERP have a significantly better chance at survival.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems seamlessly integrate your entire supply chain from design to distribution while simultaneously collecting, storing and tracking data along the supply chain. Exenta’s next-generation ERP system helps manufacturers increase efficiency by streamlining critical processes, improving financial controls, and providing advanced real-time reporting.
In an interview with the Sourcing journal for their 2021 Retail Innovation Report, Exenta CEO Roberto Mangual discusses leveraging automation in the manufacturing industry, stating how “our customers who manufacture on-demand custom products are great examples of this. The entire process is automated, from the order placement on the e-commerce site, straight into the system that manufactures the item, packages it and ships it back out to the consumer. The only hands to touch it are those taking the physical action to get it out the door. Their systems tie all the channels together, from e-commerce to drop ship. With the right systems in place, you could almost run an entire business without “leaving your chair.” Access the entire Retail Innovation Report here.
By digitalizing your supply chain, you can streamline manufacturing operations and have unlimited amounts of real-time data at your fingertips. Cloud-based solutions such as an ERP system can help your on-demand manufacturing operations flourish.
See what else Exenta’s software solutions can do for you by requesting a custom demo here.