Top 5 ERP Technology Predictions for the Manufacturing Sector in 2020

KEVIN DHERMAN| January 02, 2020
TOP 5 ERP TECHNOLOGY PREDICTIONS FOR THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR IN 2020
2019 was quite a year. China became the first nation in the world to safely and successfully land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon and who could forget the trade war between US and China. 2019 was also the year that scientists came closer to curing diabetes by turning human stem cells into insulin-producing cells; and the year we discovered that the Galapagos tortoise isn’t extinct after all.

Spotlight

HOMAG

We are the world's leading manufacturer of machines and systems for the wood-processing industry and trades. As a global player, we operate international production plants as well as sales and service companies. With around 6000 employees, we have a presence in more than 100 countries and an estimated global market share of just under 30%.

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Technologies to Adopt Now to Enable the Smart Warehouse Concept

Article | December 8, 2021

Why should warehouses be left behind as everything gets smarter in the manufacturing world? The future warehouse will be smarter and more innovative to speed up supply chain management procedures and assist businesses in intelligently segregating their raw materials and manufactured goods. So, what does it mean to have "a smart warehouse"? A smart warehouse is a big infrastructure that stores raw materials and manufactured goods and employs machines and computers to handle routine warehouse tasks that humans previously performed. Smart warehouses are inspired by smart factories and operate in a data-driven environment. It is the ability of the system in the warehouse to make it more efficient and productive by utilizing networked, automated technology. “I advocate business leaders get to know more about what AI can do and then leverage AI in proofs of concept.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft According to EASYECOM, nine out of ten businesses intend to include commercial service robots into their operations in some form. By 2025, it is projected that there will be roughly 23,000 robotic warehouses in the United States alone, up from only 2,500 in 2018. Furthermore, the global smart warehousing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5 percent from USD 14.8 billion in 2021 to USD 25.4 billion in 2026, according to GlobeNewswire. As can be seen, the current warehouse automation trends are scaling up the worldwide market for smart warehouses, and the value of the smart warehouse business has a long way to go in the future. So, what are the technologies that are changing traditional warehouses into intelligent warehouses? Continue reading this article to get a better understanding of this. Top 5 Warehouse Technologies to Take On Numerous manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations, including IKEA, NIKE, and WALMART, utilize smart warehouses to streamline their overall operations. The technologies listed below assist many of them in implementing the modern warehousing idea. A Warehouse Management System Warehouse Management Systems, or WMSs, are comprehensive software systems that consolidate all of your critical data onto a single platform that can be easily accessed by team members and selected supply chain partners. This data compartmentalization allows for lightning-fast reporting, which allows for super-efficient planning, even for unexpected events. Overall, the use of warehouse management systems complements the use of other automated aspects perfectly. Automated Picking Tools The days of error-prone picking are long gone; now, when picking automation elements are integrated into the flow, warehouses can profit from near-perfect picking rates. In addition, picking procedures can be aided by various techniques, including voice-automated order picking, pick-to-light, and robotic order picking. These technologies also use cutting-edge barcoding choices that easily interface with your selected management software to provide the quickest and most accurate automated reporting experiences. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) AGVs, or automatic guided vehicles, are the best approach to speeding up storage and retrieval processes. AGVs are becoming more robust as technology advances, but older models have proven safer and more cost-effective than manual labor. Their functions include pallet, rack, and other container storage and controlling and automating the entire receiving process. Platforms for Automated Inventory Control Automated inventory control platforms, when combined with a few other technological cornerstones, such as asset and inventory tags, may eliminate labor, guesswork, and unnecessary time from traditional inventory control. In addition, there are several advantages to using these platforms, including their ability to automatically count inventories and synthesize data for real-time reporting that can be viewed remotely. IoT Implementation The Internet of Things (IoT) is used by some of the world's most efficient smart warehouses, such as Amazon, as an entire concept rather than a specific technology. All of your automated and manual operations may be optimized when IoT is used to control all of your moving parts, both automated and manual. This innovative technology helps optimize a warehouse's inventory control systems, workforce planning, and, of course, the overall customer experience. While implementing technology improves the notion of a smart warehouse, it isn't always possible for every warehouse to do so instantly, especially since implementing technology takes significant financial and infrastructure changes. That's why warehouses are adopting the concept of collaborative robots (cobots). These are the autonomous elements that work with existing human workers. Cobots allow warehouses to preserve many of their existing procedures and infrastructure while gaining the benefits of fully autonomous elements. Amazon's Smart Warehouses Integrates Humans and Robots Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012, highlighting its interest in warehouse robotics. Kiva Systems was the sole known producer of warehouse robots, serving many different logistics organizations. Amazon bought Kiva Systems' machines, constructed and used them all. Amazon Robotics is a new business unit that the company has developed. Amazon recently established a semi-automated warehouse with human workers and robots. As a result, simple chores like moving parcels and scanning barcodes are automated. However, organizing goods and carrying complex objects (like bottles) is still part of human work. Amazon's automated warehouse employs over 400 robots and hundreds of human employees. Amazon's rise in two crucial areas – online shopping and logistics – has been accelerated by warehouse robots. Final Words Modern warehousing is a new trend in the manufacturing industry that automates numerous procedures required for keeping manufacturing materials and products organized. Technology trends in warehousing are making manufacturers' jobs easier and promoting the future warehouse model in 2022. Implement the cutting-edge technology outlined above to stay current with warehousing trends and boost productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility for your personnel and their operations. FAQ What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse? A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible. What exactly is WMS? A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf. What is COBOT? Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What exactly is WMS?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is COBOT?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work." } }] }

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Is Additive Manufacturing the Key to Restore American Manufacturing?

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. General Electric 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 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. Final Words 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. FAQ 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. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the significant challenges in additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Which company is leading in additive manufacturing technology in the USA?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "3D Systems Corp. is the leading company in additive manufacturing technology with a revenue of $566.6 million." } }] }

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5 Stats to Reshape Manufacturing Customer Experience in 2022

Article | November 20, 2021

The manufacturing business has always prioritized providing the excellent and most user-friendly products worldwide to its target consumer groups. However, digitalization and customer interaction approaches have altered the manufacturing industry's traditional business model. Now, manufacturers must prioritize improving the customer experience for their target consumer group and keeping up with new trends daily to flourish and remain competitive in the upgrading market. Because, in the end, the buyer is the one who drives your business and generates money. Manufacturers are committing significant efforts to improve the customer experience in the following years. To assist manufacturers in their sincere efforts to improve the customer experience in the manufacturing industry, we have compiled some key facts that must be understood and executed by the industry's or business-specific needs. Before going into manufacturing customer experience statistics, it's essential to understand why customer experience is so critical in the manufacturing industry. The Importance of Customer Experience in Manufacturing Customer service and experience are critical components of any business, which is true in the manufacturing sector. Customer experience can be described as any activity taken by a business to positively influence a customer's impression and opinion of the business, its products, or services. “You’ve got to start with the Customer Experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around” – Steve Jobs. Customer experience benefits your business in a variety of ways, including the following, It increases customer retention It increases the customer lifetime value It creates brand loyalty It influences brand reputability It can deliver businesses with a competitive edge. Manufacturing Customer Experience Statistics Make your manufacturing business more customer-centric and reap the benefits that many customer-centric companies, such as Apple, Nissan, and Chick-fil-A, are experiencing. To better understand what the customer and industry have explored regarding the customer experience in 2022, below are some statistics from well-known businesses. #Stat 1 Businesses that prioritize customer experience see an 80% increase in revenue. (Source: Forbes) A positive customer experience increases customer interest in the product and acts as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. This way, the business benefits from increased sales and organic promotion by genuine consumers, critical for any manufacturing organization. # Stat 2 73% of customers say that customer experience influences their purchasing decision. (Source: PWC) Customers are not solely concerned with the product's quality or pricing. Instead, they are interested in the complete experience they get while purchasing a product. Therefore, if customers have a negative experience during the purchasing trip, it is pretty likely that they will leave the purchase process in the middle and hunt for other viable solutions on the market. Whereas, if the purchasing journey and post-purchase service are satisfactory, they will gladly purchase the goods and suggest new clients to your business. # Stat 3 By 2023, AI and machine learning will manage around 40% of all consumer contacts. (Source: Super Office) Manufacturing production and revenue are increasing as a result of technological advances and applications. However, the customer experience is not far behind in implementing cutting-edge technology like AI, VR, and AR. For instance, chat bots are the best example of how artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning are being used to increase consumer engagement. Virtual interaction is becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing industry daily, and both manufacturers and customers like this digital interaction. “Our interactions with our customers have become much more virtual, which frankly seems to work well for the customer and us.” -Scott Heide, Chief Executive Officer at Engineering Intent Corporation Technology application in manufacturing will be maximized, and businesses intend to automate the customer experience by 2023. # Stat 4 According to 70% of customers, an ideal customer experience should be quick, convenient, and cooperative, as well as friendly. (Source: Adobe) Customer service is a skill, and it's always a good idea to put yourself in your clients' shoes. According to an Adobe study, 70% of customers want a quick and convenient service that saves them time. In addition, they anticipate full collaboration throughout the purchasing process, including post-purchase servicing. # Stat 5 72% of customers with a good consumer experience will tell six or more people about it. (Source: Nice Reply) In the first statistic, we discussed word-of-mouth marketing. You will always receive referrals for the excellent products or services you provide to your target consumer group. Customers that have a positive experience will always bring you two additional potential customers, and this number will grow exponentially with each pleasant experience delivered by your organization. How did MacDonald's plan to increase revenue simply by improving the customer experience? When McDonald's revenues started to decline, they focused on the customer experience rather than marketing strategies. They began by listening to their clients and giving them a more streamlined experience. Customers told McDonald's to simplify the menu, increase order accuracy, and use higher-quality ingredients. McDonald's also improved store interiors and introduced digital self-order kiosks and table service, reducing customer wait times. BTIG predicted a 4.1% increase in revenues as these modifications were made. As a result, McDonald's may outperform competitors by improving total customer service. Final Words Customer experience is crucial in manufacturing, and manufacturers must leverage digital customer experience trends to improve their reputation. These a fore mentioned customer experience statistics can assist you in shaping a compelling client experience for 2022 and propelling your organization to new heights of success. FAQ Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience? Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience. What is the difference between customer service and customer experience? Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand. What does a customer experience include? Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the difference between customer service and customer experience?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What does a customer experience include?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience." } }] }

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How to Find a Suitable Contract Manufacturing Partner?

Article | December 10, 2021

The benefits of contract manufacturing are triggering manufacturers to utilize it as a strategy to speed up production and increase revenue. According to BCC Research, the worldwide contract manufacturing industry should increase from $2.0 trillion in 2018 to $2.7 trillion in 2023, a 6.7% CAGR. Given the growing demand, contract manufacturing has a long way to go in innovating new solutions for manufacturers. As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity. – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca Let us look at the benefits and concept of contract manufacturing, often known as manufacturing partners in some circles. Contract Manufacturing: Concept and Benefits Concept Contract manufacturing is a business model in which a company agreeswith a contract manufacturer to make components or finished goods based on the hiring company's design. In short, it is a business model in which one company hires another company to manufacture components or goods for them or their products. Benefits The following are some of the primary advantages of contract manufacturing that attract manufacturers to adopt this concept and find a trusted supplier to manufacture any product or part of their product without much difficulty. Cost Efficiency: In contract manufacturing, companies do not have to pay for the facility, equipment, or labor needed. Resource Allocations: The money and resources saved through contract manufacturing can be redirected towards other company operations. Faster Lead Times: Hiring a contract manufacturer reduces manufacturing time. This improves market speed, delivery time, and customer service. Quality Control: Contract manufacturers are likely to have their own quality control processes in place, which allow them to spot counterfeit or damaged products early on. Advanced Skill Sets: Companies can benefit from the skills they may not possess, but the contract manufacturer does. Contract Manufacturing Examples Here are some examples of contract manufacturing companies that offer manufacturing services to other businesses and work on full-service outside manufacturing projects. Example 1: Kimball Electronics Group Kimball Electronics Group provides a comprehensive range of electronics manufacturing services, including engineering, prototyping, testing, electronic data interchange (EDI), new product introduction, and repair depot services. Soldering, assembly, reflow, de-paneling, flux application, inspection, screen printing, testing, and rework are all processes used in their manufacturing. Example 2: Scapa Healthcare Scapa Healthcare, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, provides contract manufacturing services for medical and cosmetic products. Their portfolio of products includes sunscreen, silicone medical adhesives, and innovative materials. Additionally, the organization provides development, packaging, and logistics services. Things to Consider While Selecting a Contract Manufacturing (CM) Partner You need to know how to identify the ideal contract manufacturer for your business to accelerate production and produce high-quality items. Below, we've listed some of the most important things to keep in mind while looking for an outsourced manufacturing partner for your company. Competency Understanding a contract manufacturer's (CM) capabilities in terms of logistics and fulfillment is critical. Is your potential CM able to meet shifting product demands? How to use the CM's services? You may need one or more services from CM for your product, so always examine their capabilities or develop a list of their services and see which ones are valuable for you. Knowledge or Prerequisite A qualified, experienced, subject matter expert CM always correctly understands the requirements and delivers the services as per expectations and within the time frame specified in your production schedule. Always inquire about their qualifications or certificates in the places where your product will be manufactured. Compliance Any contract manufacturing plan must have an agreement or compliance clause. Always inquire about the compliance procedure and thoroughly understand the terms and claws to avoid future issues. Workforces Verify your possible contract manufacturer's personnel count. Is it easy to talk to them? Is labor skilled enough to meet the product's goals? It is critical for large-scale production and production, requiring swift responses. Any work force shortage might cause production delays. Gear & Expertise Check for machines and equipment as well as human labor in your possible CM. Many CM lease equipment to complete a project. So always check how the CM will organize the essential equipment for your project. Expertise in using the equipment is also necessary. Verify which machines were used and whether or not professionals were involved. Whereabouts The CM's location is the main factor to check. Because the CM may have numerous plants, knowing which plant is assigned to your product is essential to knowing every aspect of its production. Also, the assembly location must allow you to visit and inspect the manufacturing between cycles. Business Stability Finding a reliable contract manufacturer with solid financial backing and market roots is essential to avoid market scams. However, you must also analyze and solve risk factors like equipment failure, supplier capacity, and unreasonable expectations. Selection Myths of Contract Manufacturing Partner Once you've produced a list of shortlisted contract manufacturing partners who meet all of the criteria described in the preceding heading, you can proceed by following the steps below to select the best contract manufacturing partner. Look for Who is Willing to Invest in Your Business Incorrect. The objective is to find a vendor prepared to manufacture at a loss. A contract manufacturer's strength is that they can stay competitive and make a profit for both parties. Focus on Tier 1 CM Partners from the Market This one is indeed not acceptable. Tier 1 is a financial phrase used to separate large corporations from smaller ones. You want a contract manufacturer who understands your business and your needs. Don't worry about the manufacturing partner's size. Go Ahead with the One Who Offers the Best Services at the Lowest Price Trying to get the cheapest quote isn't always the best idea. You should get a quote from your contract manufacturing partner, but the quote may not always reveal the complete story. Cost per unit frequently captures approximately 75% of total supply chain cost. Some contract manufacturers charge the OEM the remaining 25%. Consider the complete picture while selecting a CM partner. Final Words Manufacturers use contract manufacturing to meet their commercial goals. Therefore, contract manufacturing is a win-win situation for both industrialists and contract manufacturers. Finding the proper contract manufacturing partner for your company is not straightforward, but our brief guide can help you identify the right manufacturing partner. FAQ What makes a good contract manufacturer? The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital. What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing? A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties. What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing? Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What makes a good contract manufacturer?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises." } }] }

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Spotlight

HOMAG

We are the world's leading manufacturer of machines and systems for the wood-processing industry and trades. As a global player, we operate international production plants as well as sales and service companies. With around 6000 employees, we have a presence in more than 100 countries and an estimated global market share of just under 30%.

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