Manufacturing has been returning to the U.S. in a big way over the past five years. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, it is noted that not only are companies considering it patriotic to stamp “Made in the USA” on their products, but they can also make more money doing so. In addition, many companies believe intellectual property concerns associated with overseas manufacturing create enough risk to keep things in the United States.
Another interesting note from this article is that the average age of manufacturing equipment in the U.S. has passed the 10-year mark — the highest it has been since 1938. This aging is evidence of the industry’s general reluctance to invest in new equipment and technology, likely due in part to uncertainty about future economic trends. For instance, will gas prices stay as low as they have been in the last 12 months? Have manufacturing wages stabilized, or what impact would a minimum wage increase have on the cost of doing business?
Herein lies the beauty of cloud computing. You subscribe to the services that you need, as you need them and pay for them as you go. With no hefty up front capital requirements, cash can be conserved or invested in other initiatives.
In addition to the financial benefits of using cloud technology, manufacturers also gain functional, operational and business process efficiencies. With a Cloud based ERP system such as NetSuite, value is added throughout the organization as real-time visibility into the supply chain, production cycle and sales pipeline create a streamlined organization. Further, there is a reduction in IT costs associated with maintaining servers and managing business continuity risks in the event of an interruption. NetSuite provides all the core functionality that manufacturers need as well as full CRM system to manage upsell/cross sell opportunities. NetSuite is the type of investment that can increase revenue as well as reduce cost and risk through the company. With integrated document management and version control, companies can manage policies and procedures from one core system, thereby reducing knowledge gaps on the plant floor.
Whether you’re purchasing capital equipment, investing in technology or hiring new people in your organization, it is important to track the effectiveness and return on investment. With NetSuite, it is easy to track critical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in your organization. Need to know what your average inventory carrying costs have been for the last trailing month? What about the root cause analysis for an erosion of gross profit on a specific product line? With an integrated solution like NetSuite, this information and more is at your fingertips.
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