8 Cloud ERP Trends to Watch in 2020
Best practices for manufacturers planning their Digital Transformations in 2020
Many forward-thinking manufacturers are planning to implement their Digital Transformation strategies in 2020.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is foundational to manufacturer’s Digital Transformation strategies. Understanding how to get more from a Cloud-hosted ERP solution can position manufacturers like you for breakthrough success.
Following are 8 Cloud ERP trends to think about as your business plans for its Digital Transformation.
1. The Cloud Empowers Manufacturers to Get More Value from ERP
Digital Transformation compels manufacturers to think about making ERP data available both within and without their physical plants. That’s why the Cloud will figure prominently in many Digital Technology solutions in 2020.
Manufacturers should take care to align their Cloud solutions with their specific Digital Transformation strategies. For most, a migration from on-premise ERP to Cloud – in whole, or in part – is essential to building a highly efficient, data-driven manufacturing business. For some, this means supplementing their on-premise ERPs with ‘edge’ applications that are hosted in the Cloud. For others, this means completely relocating their ERPs to the Cloud.
In practical terms, you should consider the merits of the various Cloud solutions that may be available for your ERP. Ask your software vendor if their Cloud offering can empower your manufacturing enterprise to digitally work smarter together in 2020.
2. Cloud ERP Supports a Culture of Continuous Improvement
A key attribute of Cloud ERP is continuous improvement (CI). Customers benefit as updates and system enhancements are automatically deployed to the Cloud. (That’s right. There are no more time-consuming software upgrades for Cloud ERP customers to contend with!). In turn, this makes it easier for end users to quickly take advantage of their Cloud ERP’s latest features, designs and processes.
Manufacturers accustomed to infrequent ERP upgrades may need to think anew. A strong relationship with an ERP consulting firm can help. Ask how decision makers can stay regularly apprised of your Cloud ERP vendor’s latest features including end user training. The reseller should offer learning opportunities both online and offline so that end users can learn when it’s most convenient for them.
Better still, manufacturers should partner with Digital Transformation consultants who have invested time into understanding your manufacturing plant’s specific continuous improvement objectives. In 2020, challenge your Cloud ERP consultant to explain how your company can continuously improve and gain a competitive advantage.
3. Cloud ERP Gets Personal
The days of cookie-cutter Cloud-based solutions are over. Leading ERP vendors such as Infor are using the Cloud to deliver feature-rich solutions across vertical industries (e.g., manufacturing) and horizontal functions (e.g., customer relationship management). But that’s not all.
Young people want to work the way they live. In 2020, we expect that Cloud ERP will become more adaptable to meeting the expectations of a new generation of computer users. Look for applications where the user interface bears at least some resemblance to popular social media applications including personalization features to suit individual users’ unique needs.
4. Cloud ERP Empowers the Shop Floor
Manufacturers have too often limited their ERP implementations to the back office: payables, receivables, general ledger and so on. There’s no secret why this is so. To date, connecting shop floor workers to the manufacturer’s ERP has represented one of the greatest challenges to Digital Transformation in manufacturing.
On that issue, it’s fair to say that Cloud ERP is a game changer. Workers in motion can wirelessly connect to the Cloud ERP using their mobile devices where they can be empowered with real-time data. Manufacturers have also reported great success using display screens that are used to help shop floor workers act on timely, pertinent information – with or without direct supervision.
Today, Cloud ERP must have the ability to support the Digital Transformation of your shop floor. As this trend accelerates, settling for less is no longer an option for those manufacturers who want to improve their competitive positions in 2020.
5. Cloud ERP Meets the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming an integral part of manufacturer’s Digital Transformation planning in 2020. IoT sensors can be used to predict machine maintenance, monitor production flow, track inventory (within and without the plant), and etc.
Manufacturers can do more when IoT data is made accessible to their Cloud ERP applications. End users can gain unprecedented insights into their operations but ERP integration is required to act on the information in a timely manner. For example, Infor end users can leverage IoT data to predict equipment failures and schedule preventive maintenance from within their personalized Infor Cloud ERP solutions.
Simply put, your employees can do more when you allow the IoT to lend them a helping hand through your Cloud ERP solution. That’s why more and more manufacturers will look into their IoT and Cloud ERP options in 2020.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Speaks Up
Digital assistants that are accessed using voice commands have gained massive popularity among consumers. These devices are powered using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to continuously learn from user input.
This year, look for Cloud ERP vendors like Infor to continue to differentiate their solutions with enhanced AI support. Manufacturers can use AI to continuously process, analyze and act on data from multiple sources – and with minimal human input.
From quality to waste reduction to post-production support and beyond, a robust AI-powered Cloud ERP solution can be a key part of your Digital Transformation in 2020, if you want it.
7. Data Analytics Comes to Life
Manufacturers have made substantial investments in their information systems including Cloud ERP. Now, the challenge is to put this treasure trove of data to work. That’s why ensuring that decision makers have access to a state-of-the-art data reporting and analysis solution must be a cornerstone of your Digital Transformation in 2020.
Data analytics are particularly effective when the manufacturer has defined the key performance indicators (KPIs) that drive its success. Insist on a Cloud ERP consultant who understands your industry. Decision makers need timely, actionable data to manage the business effectively. In 2020, make sure they have it.
8. Cloud ERP Gets Faster
5G wireless is making a big splash – and for good reason. Among other things, 5G practically eliminates latency when mobile devices connect to the Cloud. For manufacturers, this means that more devices can be autonomously operated including machinery. In this way, you can nudge towards becoming a highly automated, ‘smart’ factory of the future.
In 2020, expect Cloud ERP solutions to take advantage of the new data opportunities that will accompany 5G. As a manufacturer, your Digital Transformation must include a Cloud ERP solution that can support data inputs from 5G-connected devices.
Make 2020 the Best Year Ever for Your Manufacturing Business!
As you can see, amazing new technologies are finding their way into Cloud ERP. As manufacturers like you implement their Digital Transformation strategies, consider how the trends surveyed above can be deployed at your business. With so many powerful new tools available to manufacturers, 2020 might be the best year ever for your business.