Business Automation and Software Blog

Mobility and the Cloud Are Hot in Distribution and Manufacturing Automation

Posted by Robert Baran on Thu, Mar 03, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Keeping up on the latest technology in distribution and manufacturing automation is important to remain competitive and continuously improve. You need to evaluate key trends and determine which ones will impact your business and which ones will help you reach your goals. We have taken a look at the hottest technology trends for manufacturers and distributors and how these may influence your future.

Digital mobility remains hot.

Mobility isn’t new but its uses continue to alter the business landscape. In 2016, we will see continued integration of mobile devices with business practices. All business functions will find uses for mobile devices. With business applications that can talk to any device, employees in every function will be able to collect, analyze, and report on information on their smartphones. Large companies already accept mobile payments, but that capability will soon be expected across the board. New mobile technology in the form of wearables will also move into warehouse, sales, and mobile field service.

The cloud becomes ubiquitous.

Businesses are moving their systems to the cloud in droves. On-premises applications are rapidly being replaced by cloud applications because cloud software offers efficiency and cost savings. As a result, subscription models are becoming commonplace. This trend is strong in distribution and manufacturing with cloud applications for inventory management, sales, and field service.

Cybersecurity is an increasingly high priority.

Increased connectivity means that security threat detection and mitigation will remain a spending priority. The unrelenting adoption of cloud, mobile, and social media have significantly increased the complexity of how corporations and individuals interact with and try to protect their devices, systems, data, personal information and money. Self-protecting applications and behavior analytics stand to improve security.

Big data and the Internet of Things (IOT) impacts everything.

Users are becoming increasingly global and consuming more data. Big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IOT) will continue to impact how we do business. IOT is about interconnecting and creating intelligence from all the devices around us. This technology will offer enormous cost savings and massive productivity enhancements in the future. The sheer volume of data is staggering, but it offers a world of opportunities for businesses to better manage inventory, improve customer relationships, and enhance daily operations.

System integration will become more prevalent.

System integration across all applications is not new to the world of enterprise resource planning systems. Connectivity and big data further drive the need for all business systems, including warehouse management, to be operating on a common database. Business application companies will create more partnerships to enable seamless transfers of information and a single point of access.

Business intelligence is visual and available to everyone.

People have an increased appetite for more advanced analytics to answer deeper questions. Visual analytics will serve as a common language, empowering people to reach insights quickly and collaborate successfully. Advanced analytics are for everybody; not just the analysts. Business intelligence will continue to impact the management of inventory and the entire supply chain.

3D printing is not far off.

3D printing could change the face of manufacturing and distribution automation in future years. 3D printing specialists have a large number of different products, parts, and supplies available for download. Soon businesses will simply download 3D printing files and then use those plans to create and build products.

Talent management is a critical strategy.

As the economy improves and the employment market tightens up, expect to see more attention paid to attracting and retaining talent. Human resource management systems (HRMS) with talent management will be more critical to be competitive in the hiring market.

PositiveVision provides a complete package of manufacturing and distribution automation technology with Sage 300. Our solution keeps up with important technology trends including mobile access, cloud deployment, business intelligence and talent management. Give us a call and let us help you incorporate new technology into your distribution or manufacturing business so that you can continue your success.

For a detailed look at how to use mobile devices with Sage 300 in your  business, download our whitepaper, Supporting Workplace Mobility with ERP.

Topics: Manufacturing Automation, Distribution Automation