Manufacturing is a unique industry with challenges that may seem incompatible with a standard cloud-based ERP solution. Because of this, many companies still misunderstand the cloud and wind up missing out on its benefits. If you’re still on the fence about switching to the cloud, consider how properly-planned ERP for manufacturing busts the common myths.
Cloud-Based ERP is Expensive
It’s easy to look at the monthly cost of cloud ERP and conclude that the price is too high. However, this method of assessment fails to take into account the long-term costs of maintaining onsite ERP systems. You not only have to invest in physical infrastructure and software at the outset but also handle all future hardware and software upgrades. Servers must be replaced when they fail, and there’s always the chance of damaging data loss when this happens. Switching to ERP in the cloud puts the task of maintenance in the hands of the provider, freeing up resources on your end and reducing overall costs.
The Cloud Lacks Security
Past problems with cloud security have left the lingering impression that all cloud services are unsafe. Today’s cloud providers have come a long way, and maintain security using:
- Two-factor authentication
- Encryption of data on both ends and during transfer
- Modern security protocols
- Frequent security updates
- Security “sniffers” to detect malicious activities
It’s likely that your manufacturing company wouldn’t be able to put this level of security in place with an onsite system, which would leave data vulnerable to the security problems caused by employee error more often than by any third party.
Cloud Services Lose Data
Proprietary company information is of particular importance in the manufacturing sector. The methods and processes used to create your distinctive products separate you from the competition, and you want to know that data will never disappear or fall into the wrong hands. Cloud providers understand this risk and have worked over the years to put extensive backup procedures in place. Redundancy across servers ensures that, should any kind of disaster occur, there will always be at least one good copy of all your company information. Backups are set to perform at varying intervals to create up-to-date copies of every file. Should the need arise, you can quickly restore the last viable version of the data and keep right on going with your business.
Cloud Infrastructure is Too Restrictive
The cloud is one of the most flexible and scalable environments that a business could ask for. This makes it well suited to the manufacturing industry’s widely varying needs. Each business has its own processes and procedures, and an ERP system based in the cloud can be customized to handle each unique combination. Whether you’re juggling different protocols for the various countries in which you do business or working in a niche industry that has its own particular manufacturing rules, an ERP can be designed to provide the exact tools to address your requirements. Adaptability means that changes can be made to the software on an as-needed basis, and the nature of the cloud makes it easy to add services or scale down as demand fluctuates.
Manufacturing Processes are Too Complex for the Cloud
Many manufacturers believe that the multiple processes involved in the industry are too much for a cloud-based ERP to handle. All the tools available in the cloud, however, make the varied channels of manufacturing easier to work with. You can integrate other software systems that are already in place and manage everything from a central dashboard. This includes the processes used in actual manufacturing jobs and all information about your customers. Monitoring and reporting tools make it easy to track which products are most in demand, which marketing campaigns are drawing the most attention and whether or not the company is meeting its goals.
Don’t let misunderstandings about cloud ERP hold you back from investing in the right solution for your business. Work with a reliable vendor that offers the support you need to choose, customize and deploy an ERP for manufacturing that meets your specific needs. You’ll find that a cloud solution can revolutionize your approach to manufacturing. If you want to compare some of these cloud solutions, take a look at our manufacturing ERP Leaderboard to help kickstart your search.