Your manufacturing processes are producing more than just marketable items that generate revenue. They’re also producing vast amounts of data.
Until recently, manufacturers could only perform the most basic data analysis. Today, however, analytics capabilities combined with more opportunities to capture machine and production data present huge opportunities to drive efficiency. The growth of inexpensive, embedded sensors, the plummeting cost of employee wearable devices, and the availability of analytics platforms give manufacturers the power to connect, collect, and act on data like never before. This is the age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The data generated by IIoT can revolutionize the way manufacturers run their business. As McKinsey has observed:
“In manufacturing, operations managers can use advanced analytics to take a deep dive into historical process data, identify patterns and relationships among discrete process steps and inputs, and then optimize the factors that prove to have the greatest effect on yield.”
In other words, data can help you boost your output—but only if you have the right foundation to handle it. And simply implementing technology isn’t enough—you have to make sure it can scale, cost-effectively, to support the even more massive volumes of data your operations will no doubt produce in the future.
Daunted by the thought of building, expanding, and maintaining their own data centers, many manufacturers are turning to the cloud. There’s a good reason for this: the cloud provides unprecedented computing power, scale, and rapid innovation. And cloud ERP systems are the most effective and affordable way to connect massive data stores, mine them for useful insights, and translate these insights into greater operational efficiency. With cloud ERP, you get the connectivity and scalability you need to take full advantage of IIoT and big data.
How Cloud ERP Provides Connectivity
One of the biggest obstacles to data mining is the good old-fashioned data silo. Huge volumes of data are often accessible only to specific teams, but not to everyone in the organization who might need to aggregate them with other data volumes. It is through this aggregation that the best insights are often revealed.
As Cindy Jutras, president of the consulting firm Mint Jutras, points out in her article, IoT and the Connected Manufacturer:
“[T]he concept of collecting massive volumes of data from manufacturing processes is not really new. Manufacturers have had sensors and automated data collection (ADC) devices operating on their plant floors for decades now. But that’s also been the problem. The data never really got off the plant floor. All too often it simply sat out there, disconnected from other enterprise data, not reaching its full potential. It’s time we start connecting all the dots. But of course you can’t do that without the right technology.”
Within the open and connective fabric of the cloud, manufacturers can easily implement applications and data volumes that connect with their machines and sensors. But they’ll still need software that can help them not only find the right data, but also add value to it.
That hub should be a reliable cloud ERP system that lets the company’s brightest minds go in and analyze data from any desktop, laptop, or mobile device they choose. Cloud ERP sits between all entities and centralizes data collection and capture. This eliminates data silos, which create blockades to data mining.
How Cloud ERP Delivers Scalability to Support Data Growth
As we mentioned, your data volumes will only become larger as time passes. Legacy IT infrastructures are struggling to keep pace with today’s rapid increase in data. The cloud embraces it.
Highly elastic cloud technology eliminates concerns about storage and computing limitations by providing the scalability to support and analyze modern manufacturing data. As machines continue to generate staggering amounts of data, you’ll never have to worry about increasing database capacity, building new data centers, or exceeding available storage and computing power.
As you add more machines to your network, the cloud will support your innovation. Cloud systems are designed to adapt quickly to evolving technology. This enables you to connect and test new IIoT technologies at will.
As you collect huge amounts of data from machines, wearables, and computers, a cloud ERP system will keep these massive data stores at your fingertips and help you navigate them to find the insights you’re looking for. Cloud ERP is built to provide the computational power you need—seamlessly—through any browser.
Behind every successful use of big data in the manufacturing sector is a cloud ERP system that can help decision-makers find and analyze data stores to unearth the insights hidden within. Learn more about how the Plex Manufacturing Cloud can increase your manufacturing intelligence and help you make more informed, data-driven decisions.