Lean Manufacturing and the Value of the Cloud

Manufacturers who are under constant pressure to improve accuracy, ease communications, simplify processes and reduce cost look skyward to the Cloud.

 

Lean manufacturing or lean production often referred to simply as “lean” is a method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. Lean also takes into account waste created through overburdened IT systems. Where does this intersect with how cloud services can help skinny down and lean out the IT burdens? What kind of value to the process is created when the IT load is cumbersome and clunky?  The true  “value” of cloud services can improve a manufacturing facility in many ways.

 

•    First and foremost, protection from natural disaster is the obvious benefit in having Disaster Recovery. It is just as important when it comes to potential internal plant disasters such as fire, wind, water, electrical, plant machinery break down, etc. The ability to recover data and critical operating information is crucial for the stability and longevity of a manufacturing business.

•    Every manufacturing plant has insurance to cover the costs of the material loss, but do they have the “data insurance” of cloud back-up that covers the protection of the critical information that keeps the plant up and running? The simple peace of mind that comes from knowing that the data is safe and secure and accessible is worth having the “cloud-premium”.

•    Having a centralized portal to access communications increases productivity, which enhances mobility and provides remote access. This can be very cost effective for the manufacturing companies opening plants in multiple locations or being in remote locations.

•    The capturing of critical company analytics, intelligence and manufacturing processes help to more effectively design better and more efficient ways of handling the processes.  When processes are streamlined and costs saved, the allocation of resources can better be used towards R and D rather than internal services needed for IT or hardware.

Utilizing cloud-based systems streamlines the key metrics of a manufacturing business so much that manufacturers can stop “manufacturing” excuses for lost data and downtime and start dreaming of the next big idea.