Blog written by Jordan Westcott, Operations Director at Timewade.
With technology moving fast, it is important for manufacturers to keep looking ahead and planning their technology strategy to remain competitive.
Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, many of our manufacturing clients have seen demand for their products increase exponentially. Working with us they are asking how they can ensure that they have the right technology strategy in place to meet immediate business requirements while also planning for the future.
In this blog we discuss how manufacturers can increase their capabilities, the cost of investing versus the cost of not investing, and the importance of involving your team when making technology decisions.
Many manufacturers are having to increase their capabilities. Investing in people and new machinery is one way to do this, and integrating new software can help to identify efficiencies and increase capabilities. Whether it’s stock control, sales or payroll, having the most appropriate solution in place can reduce the amount of time employees spend on tasks, freeing them up to increase their productivity and ultimately your profit margins.
When looking for the best software solution it is recommended that you work with a professional technology partner who can help you to objectively evaluate your existing processes against business requirements. They will then research the solutions available to you, talk you through them and help you to land on the most appropriate solution to meet your requirements. The technology partner will then plan and arrange for a smooth and seamless transition to a new reliable and customer focused solution.
Investing in automation
Automation continues to be a hot topic for manufacturers, and when Covid-19 social distancing requirements meant that staff were unable to work in close proximity to one another it highlighted the importance of the issue for manufacturing business.
Technologies such as internet of things (IoT) machinery can be used to collect data which can inform decisions to improve productivity and to manage predictive maintenance. Artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous material movements all have the capability to improve efficiencies within business processes and transform the service offered to customers.
However, before decisions are made an estimated cost of implementation vs cost of not implementing should be calculated to ensure that informed and wise investments are made. If you decide to invest, it is worth looking into R&D Tax Credit options to offset some of the cost. If you’re not in a position to make the investment right now, it is worth remembering that the cost is likely to go down as these technologies continue to become more commonplace.
Humans and technology
When it comes to making an investment in technology, it is important to consult with your staff and keep them on board with the process.
They may have concerns about the technology the business is investing in and whether this will impact their job security. Alternatively, leaders may not be thinking about technology which employees want to help them to work more effectively, or to support them to work remotely long-term after lockdown restrictions have passed.
Open and honest conversations and consultations can be beneficial for decision makers who may not have considered points raised by staff on the warehouse floor. Maintaining dialogue throughout a project, from consultation through to implementation is key for the successful implementation of new technology and should not be underestimated.
If you’re looking to increase your capabilities ensure you have a technology strategy that will support you to get there by partnering with a technology specialist such as Timewade.
To start your technology strategy visit, https://www.technologyforsuccess.co.uk/developing-your-tech-strategy/