Ways Manufacturers Get Screwed Over By Technology

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As a facility operations manager, you know the importance of keeping your line running and the part that technology plays in your day-to-day. Investing in IT helps minimize (and even eliminate) your down days and can improve your operations and efficiencies overall. We know that you are too busy managing your facility to be fiddling with your network and the computers that keep your machines operating. While technology is supposed to keep your line running, letting tech issues go untouched can actually impede operations. Time and time again we’ve heard the horror stories of facilities that are held hostage by technology or IT providers. We don’t want you to be next! We aren’t exaggerating when we say, these top manufacturing IT problems can lead to a total crisis at your facility.

Manufacturing IT crises you want to avoid as a Facility Operations Manager…

Heavily relying on an IT “professional”

You may be thinking, “well we have an IT guy. Won’t he protect our operations from technology failures?” If you already have an IT department, no matter its size, you’re on your way towards a strong ally in technology. However, relying on just one tech’s expertise could come back to bite you. When an individual or small team manages the technology that runs your operations, the level of accountability in building and maintaining your tech architecture can be low.

Don’t you agree, more heads are better than one? The more professionals you have monitoring your system means more brainstorming and creative problem-solving. Plus, if one of your technicians is sick, out of town or leaves the company, then you always have a backup pro who knows your system to help keep your production running.

To ensure your system runs in the most efficient way possible, you should have a team of proficient techs performing regular audits. When was the last time you had an assessment to ensure the strength and efficiencies of your cybersecurity plan, network management, email security and performance, data backups and recovery processes, file sharing and more?

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Overly complicated processes

Isn’t one of your goals to simplify processes across the board for your less tech-savvy employees? The more complicated a process is, the more opportunities there are for something to go wrong and the harder it is to fix. The phones and computers on your plant floor have to be easy to use and even easier to fix if something goes wrong.

While you may not have the most technical training or background, it is important for you to make sure the technology that keeps your warehouse running isn’t unnecessarily complicated. This way, if something breaks, you can rest assured that the problem can be diagnosed and fixed quickly.

We’ve seen some in-house technical teams build very complicated systems to ensure their job security. This is not what’s best for your facility as a whole. Complicated systems typically mean more down days, longer recovery times and wider gaps in production. Ultimately, this affects your bottom line.

Waiting to update technology until a scale-up

According to the MAPI Foundation, U.S. manufacturing can expect an average growth of 1.7 percent over the next three years. Waiting to make changes until you need more processing power or updated programs will set back your timeline for the entire company and even the whole supply chain. Your ERP (enterprise resource planning) and MRP (material requirement planning) need to maintained and regularly updated to make sure you are ready for whatever comes your way.

More times than not, we’ve seen that in-house IT departments, no matter how big or small, don’t have time to update, upgrade or improve your systems for a scale-up when they are bogged down with the day-to-day IT chores.

Picture this: everything is running smoothly at your facility. Orders are coming in, orders are efficiently managed and orders are shipped out on time. Your team is functioning at top performance. What if your reliable inventory and standard orders change? What happens when you have a surge in production? What happens when marketing and sales create a new campaign driving more product? Is your infrastructure prepared to accommodate these new loads?

You should always be prepared for a surge or scale-up – and so should your technology. Can you ensure your data is secure? Can your servers handle more activity and more data? Can your internet keep up?

Related Content: 6 Signs You Need to Hire a Managed IT Service Provider

Improve the way your line runs!

Don’t just “keep your line running” – you want to improve the way your line runs! When your operations run more efficiently, you increase output, minimize frustrations and look like a rockstar.

Whether you are looking to beef up your existing in-house team, add an extension to your in-house IT department or replace your singular tech with a team of pros, we’d love to help. We have had great success helping manufacturing companies eliminate down days in production and grow efficiencies. Our team of on-site IT technicians is always there when you need them, keeping the systems running that control your production at a flat rate – all while reducing the expense and management of an in-house employee.