Manufacturers Take to the Cloud and Other Technology for Greater Success
Just two decades ago, manufacturers were despondent and did not know if the industry would ever build momentum again. Many manufacturing projects were outsourced to other countries. Jobs were lost and everyone watched the industry closely with the hopes it would return to its former glory. Manufacturing in the United States is booming again thanks to advances in technology. While some of them pertain to how the work is done, most of them involve the savvy use of cloud based ERP and online marketing to improve productivity and visibility. Discover how other manufacturers are boosting their businesses and what you can do to make it happen for yours.
The Fall and Rise of Manufacturing in the USA
For generations, manufacturing was an industry where young men and women could find decent jobs. Even if people were not college educated, they could make a good living in manufacturing. The unpredictable economy put a large number of business owners in a panic. They wanted to find a way to keep their businesses alive in the face of financial adversity. The solution in the decades from 1998 to 2008 was to offshore locations to countries such as China.
According to Manufacturing Business Technology, the number of manufacturing plants based in the United States declined about 12.5 percent during that ten year period. Looser regulations and lower labor costs were major lures that brought business operations to Asian countries. Other problems arose, including inferior products, that brought businesses back to the United States. Now many manufacturing companies are starting to re-shore their operations.
Cloud Based Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
One of the ways to bring manufacturing back to this country is to reach higher levels of efficiency in every area of operation. Companies are doing it by using cloud based enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). These systems include specialized manufacturing software to keep track of functions in each department. Companies can hand pick modules based on their own unique requirements. As a result, manufacturing businesses are enjoying improve work flows, better tracking and greater security along with diminished costs.
The cloud is also an efficient way to store data, share tasks and keep track of manufacturing systems. There are cloud based solutions for all the major aspects of running a manufacturing business including purchase order and inventory software, materials requirements planning (MRP) and several others. Manufacturers are getting an edge on international competition by using cloud based systems to manage operations in real time. It is easier than ever before to determine what is going on every step of the way. From inventory management to scheduling, the cloud is helping manufacturing moguls gain better control over their businesses.
Online Marketing Strategies
Improving operations and maximizing efficiency are two ways to make your manufacturing business stand out from the crowd. The third way is to implement effective online marketing strategies. A large number of manufacturing businesses just got a website over the past two years. Prior to that time, it was a business aspects that was often overlooking.
Now manufacturing managers recognize companies need a website to be credible and relevant in a digital world. But it takes more than a navigable website to get noticed and achieve success. With thousands of other similar sites on the Internet, how can you get attention? The key is to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and become active on social media.
Getting Into the Game
There are a few simple ways to start getting into the online game. Add a blog to your website where you can provide pertinent industry updates, new product descriptions and company news to your valued clients. Over time, it will attract new clients, especially if you provide useful information. Create social media accounts especially for your business. Current social media leaders include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Post links to your blog entries on your social media accounts and invite comments. Make sure to interact with visitors so they keep coming back for more.
Include relevant keywords in your content for SEO purposes. This will attract the major search engines and help you move up the ranks. The process can be tricky and often manufacturing businesses hire an expert to get the job done right. It can take several months and long hours to see results but it is well worth the effort and investment.