4 Key Technology Trends for Discrete Manufacturers

Discrete manufacturing technology is evolving quicker than ever. Increasing availability of industry solutions and advancements in enterprise systems empower manufacturing companies to maximize the value of their data and optimize processes. People can be reluctant to change but modernizing your manufacturing processes and solutions can open the door to many beneficial opportunities. Organizations willing to step forward into a digital transformation will gain a competitive edge. But what are the technology trends transforming discrete manufacturing, and how can you leverage them in your own company? Keep reading to learn more about advancements in discrete manufacturing technology.

Lean Manufacturing Techniques

Lean manufacturing is not a new concept. However, innovations in ERP technology, like those in Dynamics 365 Finance, are allowing businesses to apply these principles like never before. The ability to eliminate waste and lean out processes has never been easier than with a modern ERP system. Lean metrics help users stay on track of their production activity and waste reduction.

Furthermore, solutions that can integrate with ERP systems, like ManufacturingCONNECT for Lean, provide the flexibility to enable manufacturers to adopt lean principles in accordance with their specific needs. For example, using your existing ERP software data, ManufacturingCONNECT for Lean creates a complete model of your future state lean operation. As a result, you receive quantifiable data supported by what-if analysis that allows you to make valuable, data-driven decisions to improve lead time, reduce waste and deliver greater profits.4 key technology trends for discrete manufacturers

Cloud Technology

Cloud technology isn’t something that’s brand new and I’m sure you’ve heard how great the cloud is, but its influence really can’t be overstated. Discrete manufacturers are predicted to invest more in public cloud services than any other industry.

The reasons for the cloud’s domination include affordability and ease of use. Unlike on-premises software, cloud systems, like Microsoft Azure, don’t require expensive, in-house hardware and servers, reducing the cost and labor of implementation and upkeep.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is giving organizations the ability to transfer data between devices which is enhancing how businesses can make decisions about their processes and products. This data can be organized into the company's ERP system and used to draw new reports and improve processes. More and more discrete manufacturers are learning to utilize these new smart devices to track product quality, take a proactive approach to operations such as field service, and to become a smart factory.

Business Intelligence

Executives now have access to powerful business intelligence (BI) tools that have effectively improved the way information can be retrieved and pulled from business processes. Power BI, for example, can simplify your data and produce visual dashboards that are easy-to-consume and understand. As manufacturers become more aware of the availability of these kinds of tools, they’ll invest in solutions that put an abundance of insights at their fingertips.

Too many discrete manufacturers continue to rely on outdated processes and technology, putting them at risk of losing to the competition. That’s why it’s crucial to keep up with industry technology trends. At MCA Connect, we combine Microsoft technology with our industry solutions and expertise, which enables discrete manufacturers to optimize their shop floor, better control and maximize assets, minimize operating cost and meet regulatory requirements through digital transformation. Contact us today to get started with your digital transformation.

Author: Doug Bulla, VP of Solution Development

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