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Interconnected manufacturing operations often demand process innovation

Ben Farrell
June 4, 2013

Manufacturers are increasingly dependent on a variety of technologies and services that rely on one another to complete projects on time. While this has, to some extent, always been the case, many technological barriers are being torn down in the industry, and more companies are finding themselves in a position where they must develop solid process integration and automation strategies to operate efficiently. Business process management software establishes the foundation that manufacturers need to streamline processes and remain competitive in an ever-evolving field.

Dealing with the outsourcing issue

Many domestic manufacturers face strong competition from large, foreign factories that can house industrial operations in an extremely cost-effective way. Spending less on labor, supplies and other manufacturing overhead can be an attractive option for many organizations. However, plenty of manufacturers have good reason to maintain their domestic factories, whether it is to stay connected with a skilled workforce, continue to builda corporate community or take advantage of benefits in their region. Regardless of why a manufacturing company chooses to operate within the United States, many fiscal conditions go against such organizations. However, processes-management technologies that improve collaboration, connect processes and align IT with company needs can deliver revenue gains.

When combined, these capabilities, which are central to BPM software, can create the profits necessary to keep domestic manufacturing organizations competitive in the global marketplace.

Managing the supply chain

For most manufacturers, operational success depends on bringing in materials, managing tools and machinery, having the right workers in the right place and configuring specialized technologies for the task at hand. Any errors in this complex workflow can slow a factory to a crawl. For example, a delay in shipping can lead to inventory problems in the supply side of operations, delaying a project's start date.

Many industrial organizations are dependent on suppliers and other third-party organizations for some of these functions, developing a framework to quickly and efficiently pass processes between partners and within the factory itself is essential to optimizing the value of the project. A BPM solution can use enterprise social tools, cloud applications and other advanced technologies to automate many core notification processes, alleviating the collaboration burden between partners.

Manufacturers face a hefty challenge because they rely heavily on interconnected operations to maintain a consistent supply chain. BPM for manufacturing can streamline processes between departments and partners, alleviating many of the key challenges facing manufacturers.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications

Ben Farrell