Article | March 29, 2022
How to recover from a cyber-attack is critical when we consider integrating industry 4.0 technologies into our traditional manufacturing processes.
Cyber Crime Is the Greatest Threat to Every Company in the World.”
– Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
The internet-based nature of industry 4.0 makes it more prone to being targeted by hackers and having its data corrupted or compromised. In 2021, 50% of manufacturing businesses reported having experienced a cyberattack or data breach.
Having a contingency plan in place in the event of a cyberattack is what every organization is looking for these days.
So, in this article, we will explore how to construct the perfect cybersecurity disaster recovery plan and the critical elements to consider as you prepare for your cyber recovery.
Cybersecurity Disaster Recovery Plan
Observe Your Cyber-incident
Develop a clear cyber incident response plan that you can use to expedite the recovery process. The incident response plan should explicitly delegate tasks to teams and individuals and include all the actions necessary for your organization to recover as painlessly as possible.
Plan for Business Continuity
You must have a strategy for resuming operations while your system remains infected or under attack by hackers. Determine alternates for essential processes disrupted by the incident and train personnel on how to adapt to the new working conditions. For instance, you may need to direct your customer service department to contact customers rather than email them, or your employees may be permitted to use personal computers that your cyber recovery department has cleared. In the meantime, work machines return to their working conditions.
Recover from Safe Backups
Having a cyber recovery mechanism in place will make it much easier to locate a secure backup. However, you must wait until your network is entirely restored and clean before fixing your data. For example, a dependable and fast backup strategy is the best approach to recover from ransomware. This procedure requires a recent version of your data and applications that do not contain malware.
Rebuild or Recover Lost Data
Suppose you do not have a cyber recovery system, but you keep backups as part of your cyber security disaster recovery system. In that case, you will only need to recreate the stored data after the most recent clean backup of your system. If the data is irrevocably lost, you will require professional assistance to recover it.
Improve Your Cybersecurity Practices
After a cyber event, the support after attack is essential part. Examine your security loopholes and determine the areas of improving. Enhance your manufacturing security processes, reset all passwords, and educate your workers to do the same. Educating your team is the most effective means of preventing further intrusions into your systems.
5 Pillars to Recover from a Cyber Attack
An Effective Framework
A framework must be adopted, changed, and fine-tuned to an organization's specific requirements and the data that is to be safeguarded. Executives must develop proper governance for the organization's people, procedures, and technology. To develop a cybersecurity risk management program, you must first select and implement an acceptable framework.
A good cybersecurity disaster recovery plan covers all the data in the organization that needs to be secured. The ever-increasing number of networked devices may make it difficult for a company to locate all its data. An organization must also identify all cybersecurity risks, from third-party vendors to work procedures. Therefore, a cybersecurity program's scope must include all the essential parts of the organization's protection.
Extensive Threat Analysis and Modeling
An essential step in prioritizing cybersecurity threats is assessing their likelihood and damage potential. When prioritizing, the cybersecurity team should analyze the organization's data from a hacker's perspective. This perspective will help the team design a strong cybersecurity strategy.
Proactive Incident Response Planning
Many businesses have created incident response strategies to deal with the possibility that any system's security may be hacked at some point. Unfortunately, many of those plans remain unused and outdated, leaving personnel unprepared when needed. Proactive incident response planning entails evaluating the project, identifying ways to improve its efficacy, and training and preparing staff to respond to a security breach and minimize damage.
Dedicated Cybersecurity Resources
Finally, the organization's cybersecurity requires dedicated individuals. To build a successful cybersecurity risk management program, the governance roles and duties must be clearly defined.
Rendering support following a cyber-attack must be well planned and thoroughly tested. The cybersecurity disaster plan recommended in this article can be modified or customized to meet your business's specific needs. If you're serious about modernizing your traditional manufacturing and making it smarter, cyber recovery should be a top priority. That way, your operations and data are protected at all times.
What are the major types of cyber-threats?
App-based (malicious apps), web-based (phishing), network (free Wi-Fi), and physical (no PIN or biometric authentication) are the major types of cyber-threats.
What are the five types of cybersecurity?
Critical infrastructure security, application security, network security, cloud security, and IoT security are the five types of cybersecurity.
Why are manufacturing cyber-attacks rising?
The rise in industrial cybersecurity attacks can be connected to specific changes in the way the industry functions; technological improvements, especially the convergence of IT and OT systems; the sensitivity toward downtime in certain businesses; and the absence of segmentation.
Article | May 18, 2022
Multi-channel selling is a significant component of manufacturing. Modern buyers expect more from their buying experience, and one of them is being able to access different touchpoints to make a purchase. It is a challenge that modern businesses must address. And it all starts with prudent warehouse inventory management. But how can businesses stay ahead of the curve with a complex web of retail, wholesale, ecommerce, and logistics? This is precisely where multi-channel inventory management comes in.
Multi-channel inventory management is the process of managing and keeping track of inventory sold from multiple locations through various selling channels. In this article, we will talk about how smart inventory management for a business with multiple sales channel can increase profits when done right.
How C-Suites Can Unravel the Complex Web of Multi-Channel Selling
When it comes to optimizing and addressing challenges in inventory management, warehouse management software is known to do wonders. But, when a business uses multiple channels to reach out to more consumers, generate more sales, and increase brand awareness, it also merits a holistic strategy.
Management at the inventory level is key to fully unlock its revenue potential in a multi-channel marketplace. When C-levels are looking for ways to optimize operations, inventory management presents a massive opportunity. It is possible to solve many bottlenecks using proven strategies and established information and automation best practices.
“Continuous process improvement by definition is ongoing. A static value proposition is hackneyed in no time.”
Thomas R. Cutler, President and CEO, TR Cutler, Inc.
Loss from Overstocking and Phantom Stocks
Unoptimized inventory allocation is one of the costliest and most common challenges faced by multi-channel businesses. According to research commissioned by OrderDynamics, businesses worldwide lose over $471 billion from overstocking and $634 billion from out-of-stock orders.
As a multi-channel seller, you must ensure that each channel has the corresponding inventory. Not doing so can lead to order cancellations or delays, or unsold stock. All of these can significantly reduce your profit margin.
The Solution: Real-time Inventory Visibility
Giving your warehouse managers the clarity they need in manufacturing inventory management can tackle the problem of overstocking. In addition, inventory management tools update inventory levels in real-time, so they don’t have to keep a close eye on inventory at every channel. Additionally, a synchronized inventory storage system can also help boost productivity and improve customer experience.
Whether you use a periodic or continuous inventory management system, adding automation and integration with other tools will only help in providing clarity and flexibility.
Slowdown in Logistics Due to Unoptimized Warehouse Space
Distributed inventory is another aspect of multi-channel inventory management that can be used to create more traction and profit. Warehouse space is valuable for multi-channel businesses.
With scattered locations and fluctuating demands, it can be difficult to forecast the optimal distribution of inventory across all channels as well as warehouse locations.
According to manufacturing.net, about 20 to 30% of the inventory in a warehouse is obsolete. This clearly indicates the need to fully utilize storage and eliminate hurdles in warehouse inventory management.
The Solution: Supply Chain Forecasting
A combination of automation technologies can be used to build a multi-channel inventory management stack. The first is using demand sensing, an automation technology that uses real-time data to identify and anticipate short-term demand patterns. Sporting apparel giant, Nike has used demand sensing to effectively cut down on lead times by weeks.
Another technology to consider in optimizing your warehouse space is Multi-Echelon Inventory Management, or MEIO. It has a holistic approach where it performs planning, optimization and forecasting across the supply chain. MEIO is also the answer to the scalability of modern multi-channel inventory management that offers comprehensive visibility and efficient rebalancing of inventory in real-time.
Considering that 51% of sellers still lack forecasting software, as per a Zentail survey, the opportunity for C-levels is immense.
Final Thoughts: Getting Impressively High Returns
When done right, optimizing all aspects of multi-channel order management can yield impressive returns. The use of technology in automation and data analytics makes it easier to decode the complexities of a multi-channel operation. A storage and inventory management system may not have all the answers to the profitability puzzle. It is assured to lead to reduced inventory costs, improved performance of the supply chain network, and better responsiveness. This inevitably creates a powerful revenue generating multi-channel business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my existing ERP work as multichannel inventory management software?
ERPs like SAP, Netsuite, or Oracle are designed to manage back-office processes and lack the specialization required to manage ecommerce and wholesale processes. Although they come with integrated solutions, their quality may not be up to the mark.
What is the cost of multichannel inventory management software?
While inventory management software ranges from free to thousands of dollars, the base price varies as per functionality. Some software services charge extra depending on the scale, volume, and integrations.
What are the primary techniques of inventory management?
Most manufacturers use three primary techniques to address challenges in inventory management: the pull strategy, the push strategy, and the just-in-time (JIT) strategy.
Article | April 29, 2022
Manufacturing sales occur when a manufacturer sells their finished goods, which are produced from raw materials or components. At the very least, that was an apt definition before industry 4.0, digitization, and consumerization.
Manufacturing sales nowadays must accomplish a great deal more. Smart manufacturing technologies accelerate innovation across all verticals, and manufacturers are making every effort to meet B2C expectations.
In this article, we'll look at five great ways to enhance manufacturing sales, so that manufacturers may get back on track with stalled sales deals.
5 Tips to Boost Your Manufacturing Sales
Develop an ‘inbound' Sales Mindset
Most salespeople have a reputation for being pushy. How frequently have you felt compelled to acquire something that wasn't appealing to you? If you answered yes, you've probably dealt with an outbound salesperson who was pushy, interruptive, and purely focused on selling. This happens when a manufacturer suffers from 'product-focused selling syndrome.'
In this case, the salesman places a stronger emphasis on the products than on the customer. Additionally, you risk showing the wrong product to the customer without knowing anything about the buyer.
If you do so, you are following an outdated method that needs to be replaced.
Here comes the truly unique concept of inbound manufacturing marketing. Inbound marketing outperforms outbound sales methods in terms of lead generation and has the potential to generate more productive leads.
Select a Customer Relationship Management Solution
Spreadsheets are backdated, and the world has gone digital. It would be best you adapt as time changes. It is possible to understand one's business requirements and choose the best CRM system that will help streamline processes and deliver results faster.
Regardless of your business size, the ideal CRM software may help you maintain a competitive edge by helping you to:
Track all customer interactions
Maintain control over sales and marketing activities
Ensure that existing clients have a positive experience
Increase product and service sales
Streamline communication between the sales and marketing departments
Acquire and retain new customers
Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams
According to a Forrester study, 43% of CEOs said that misalignment cost them revenue.
To increase sales, your marketing and sales teams must work in unison and collaboratively. Spend time developing interactions between these teams; it will ensure that your marketing team's efforts are actually assisting your sales team in closing business. Additionally, ensure that face-to-face time between teams is facilitated, and consider adding solutions that will assist your workers in working together and communicating more effectively.
The purpose of integrating your marketing and sales teams is to foster complete transparency and a shared knowledge of their respective goals and objectives. One team cannot function effectively without the other, and keeping this in mind would help everyone to grow the business.
Boost Your PR with Social Media
Manufacturers should invest in PR to build brand awareness and communicate stories. Social media can help broaden your PR reach. It's best to post press releases on your company's website and then share them on Twitter and Facebook. This will help your SEO and encourage others to share your material. Make sure your website page has a “share this” option for easy syndication.
Also, many manufacturing companies are not utilizing their company websites to their full potential. Using websites has a competitive advantage as it helps to enhance consumer loyalty and sales.
Make an Online Interactive Product Catalog
Having a PDF download of your product catalog is insufficient in today's digital age. Businesses want a catalog of products that customers can search for, explore, and analyze online.
Products should not be merely posted on a page, but should be integrated into a true product database, allowing for the electronic distribution of particular product listings to prospective buyers via a link or social media. This shortens the sales cycle and provides better support for your sales team as they present products. Demonstrations of products via video would be an extra bonus for any business transaction.
Manufacturing sales are influenced and shaped by market conditions, industry-specific variables, manufacturing type, and distribution mix. Manufacturers may respond to these problems and develop agile and sustainable sales strategies for the future by leveraging digital sales solutions and industry 4.0 technologies.
Manufacturers can retain margins, increase customer happiness, and most crucially, grow revenue through digital manufacturing sales. A customer-centric approach prepares producers for the future of a commercialized B2B market.
What are manufacturing sales?
Manufacturing sales are intended to provide raw materials that can be turned into finished products to meet market demand.
What are direct sales?
Direct sales do not involve any intermediaries. Manufacturers or producers sell directly to B2B customers. It's a good cost-cutting strategy because the producer retains complete control over marketing, sales, and shipping.
What are indirect sales?
Indirect sales allow manufacturers to quickly expand their sales networks, increase brand recognition, outsource sales operations costs, and reach new consumer groups or market sectors.
Article | November 20, 2021
Additive manufacturing in America plays a significant part in reviving the manufacturing industry and establishing the country as a leader in applying additive manufacturing technology. The United States was formerly the industrial leader, but it fell out of favor between 2000 and 2010 for many reasons, including recession and structural and financial instability.
In this challenging time, technology interventions such as additive manufacturing in the manufacturing business have allowed the industry to survive. As per the recent report by A.T. Kearney, the USA, the industry leader in manufacturing, has worked hard to reclaim its top position in manufacturing and has also been named the leader in additive manufacturing.
Let's look at which fields of America are utilizing the benefits of additive manufacturing technology to reclaim its position as the industry leader.
Additive Manufacturing in America
The manufacturing industry is gravitating toward additive manufacturing, sometimes known as 3D printing. The numerous advantages of additive manufacturing, such as the reduction of material waste, the reduction of prototyping time, the reduction of prototyping costs, the creation of lightweight objects, and the ease with which it can be implemented and recreated, are making it more popular around the world, including in the United States.
In the United States, the additive manufacturing and material industry is expected to be worth $4.1 billion by 2020. China is the world's second-largest economy and is expected to reach a projected market size of US$14.5 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 27.2 percent from 2020 to 2027.
How does America Leverage the Additive Manufacturing?
US Airforce has launched research into 3D printing
The US Air Force has begun researching 3D printing replacement parts for old planes utilizing a 3D printing platform.
The project initiative credit goes to 3D Systems, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, and Northrop Grumman. America Makes will observe the project in its third stage and be led by the University of Dayton Research. The Air Force Laboratory financed the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment (MAMLS) program.
The US Air Force will investigate how the 3D printing technology may reproduce components for outdated aircraft. Using additive manufacturing, the replacement parts may be created faster and in smaller batches, with no minimum order quantity. In addition, applying additive manufacturing will reduce the aircraft ground time and eliminate the need for parts warehousing.
American Manufacturing Companies and Additive Manufacturing
3D Systems, Inc.
3D Systems is an additive manufacturing company. Their work goes beyond prototyping. The company's experts use their deep domain expertise in aerospace and healthcare industries to produce competitive additive manufacturing solutions. This global leader in additive manufacturing helps you define business needs, verify manufacturing flow, and scale manufacturing flow.
GE has seen the benefits of additive manufacturing and its options for product design, such as the potential to build lighter, more vital components and systems. As a result, they created goods that are better performing, more sophisticated in design, and easier to produce.
Ford's advanced manufacturing center in Michigan is all about additive manufacturing. The company employs 3D printing extensively in product development and is looking to integrate it into manufacturing lines. As a result, additive manufacturing is now a critical aspect of the Ford product development cycle, enabling prototype parts and product engineering exercises.
The American manufacturing industry has experienced a renaissance as a result of the advent of additive manufacturing. Additionally, it has built its national accelerator and leading collaborative partner in additive manufacturing, "America Makes," which is the largest manufacturing industryglobally in terms of revenue and operates in a variety of areas. However, it is mainly focused on 3D printing or additive manufacturing, which is undoubtedly reviving the country's manufacturing sector.
What are the significant challenges in additive manufacturing?
Limitations in terms of size, consistency of quality, scalability, a limited variety of materials and high material costs, and limited multi-material capabilities are only a few of the prevalent issues associated with additive manufacturing technology.
Which company is leading in additive manufacturing technology in the USA?
3D Systems Corp. is the leading company in additive manufacturing technology with a revenue of $566.6 million.
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