All businesses today have IT requirements, but manufacturers have very unique needs. In fact, they rely on IT for almost everything. When you think about machines doing tightly-controlled production work, as well as the machines to control those machines, it’s easy to see why IT is so critical. It is part of everything operational — logistics, production, customer interaction, supply chain and more.
Oftentimes, manufacturers support the needs of multiple locations, while sharing data, applications and management from a centralized location with fixed budgets and staff. Added to these challenges, IT must help to move forward business objectives, maintain competitive advantages and ensure the security of their intellectual property. Here’s where managed services for manufacturing comes in.
Outsourcing core IT functions to a professional IT solutions provider is a viable solution because it allows IT staff to focus on strategic, business-building objectives, instead of day-to-day break/fix and routine maintenance.
IT solutions providers can specifically help manufacturers in a number of ways to overcome these unique challenges.
Consistency and standardization across systems and locations
Standardization allows for consistency for all processes, especially when it comes to rapid recovery from issues that arise. This is especially true for manufacturing companies that don’t deploy and use the same technology across multiple locations. Various CRM, ERP and other software are used to manage operations. This creates an unnecessary tangle of communications and consistency that thwarts employees and the business in general. Partnering with an IT solutions provider will decentralize IT and make it universally available in the cloud so that all users have the same experience regardless of their location.
Scalability—or adaptability—is huge when it comes to managing manufacturer IT needs. Industrial companies often work on large projects that require a small burst of employees and resources. Once the job is completed, the resource needs decrease and the company can’t afford to maintain the additional employees. How can a manufacturer responsibly manage these situations?
Outsourcing a technology ramp-up to an IT solutions provider is the perfect solution because increased workloads can easily scale to the cloud with no upfront costs or time delays. And even better, the manufacturer can easily scale back down when the project is complete, using additional resources only for a specified time.
Predictable IT Spend
By adopting an outsourced IT model, a manufacturer can simplify budgeting with predictable monthly IT fees. Using the services of an IT solutions provider also reduces the risk of downtime through the management of computing, storage and fixed network assets. Soft cost loss and productivity hurdles are also minimized due to less connectivity downtime caused by network fluctuations.
Sufficient IT Support
Staffing appropriately can be a moving target with manufacturing companies. Plugging in the right team members and other resources can vary based on workload and more times than not, staffers spend time putting out fires, not working proactively. When a company outsources to an IT solutions provider, the correct amount of team members and resources are directed to the workload so that work emergencies don’t occur and dedicated staffers can work productively.
If you’re a manufacturer, mergers and acquisitions are a fact of life. So, what do you do when you encounter massive technology integration needs inherent with M&A? You outsource to an IT solutions provider like Calyx that manages quick and easy deployment and integration to a new location or newly purchased business.
Outsourcing IT solutions is a particularly efficient step when it comes to simultaneous upgrades of all servers and devices. What usually would take a long time to complete—deploying machine upgrades—is now easily managed due to the resources of a professional IT solutions provider.
Manufacturing and industrial companies have special technology needs that should only be accommodated by a professional IT solutions provider. When you partner with an IT solutions provider like Calyx, you’ll see lower Total Cost of Ownership, business scalability, streamlined processes, better continuity, security and more productivity for your manufacturing business.