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How Microsoft 365 Can Help Manufacturing Companies
Discover how Microsoft 365 is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry by providing tools to boost efficiency, improve collaboration, streamline supply chain activities, and enhance field performance. Learn more!
Manufacturing companies need to adopt modern technology to survive in today’s competitive market. The manufacturing sector is under increasing strain as businesses, and their employees deal with fluctuating prices for materials and components, intricate rules and regulations, sophisticated cyber threats, and fiercer competition.
To this end, Microsoft 365 has been developing tools to equip manufacturers at every stage of the supply chain, from raw materials to final products. It provides the solutions manufacturers need to achieve long-term success and boost output.
This article will explore how Microsoft 365 can help manufacturing companies navigate the modern business environment.
What Digital Transformation Means for the Manufacturing Industry
Some forces driving change across sectors include shifting consumer expectations, big data analytics’ effects, and machine learning developments. Additionally, the manufacturing industry must adapt to the increasing prevalence of automation in this fourth wave of the industrial revolution.
As part of Industry 4.0, all the machines and other devices involved in manufacturing processes will be linked to a single hub. This hub can collect, store, process, and draw insights from the resulting data. With the help of cognitive computing and the Internet of Things, manufacturers can automate mundane tasks and coordinate on more pressing issues.
Industry 4.0 gets propelled by data, analytics, and machine learning. The degree to which manufacturers leverage these digital transformation pillars will determine their success level in the fourth industrial revolution.
5 Ways Microsoft 365 can help Manufacturing Businesses
Even though manufacturers have always relied heavily on processes, they must now focus on improving their customers’ experiences if they want to succeed.
With Microsoft 365, manufacturing companies can have all the tools businesses need to set up a cutting-edge digital workplace in one convenient package. You can access the entire Office 365 suite with only a single subscription, including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Planner, SharePoint, and PowerApps.
With that, here are five of the most notable benefits and use cases of employing Microsoft 365 in the manufacturing industry:
Improve the Efficiency of Supply Chain Activities
With so many entities in a supply chain, it is difficult to get an end-to-end, real-time perspective. Improving supply chain procedures needs data from sales, suppliers, order fulfillment, product performance, and customer support.
Manufacturers can better respond to changes and advancements by integrating their data. This includes data from their supply chain, and public data like maps and weather forecasts into a system powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based, mobile-enabled solution that provides the right people, from those driving the supply chain to critical decision-makers, with instant, real-time information wherever they are. This opportunity allows them to handle problems before they substantially impact business.
Create, Review, and Send Out Staff Communications with Ease
Today, most people in the manufacturing industry still use antiquated methods and constant manual adjustments to keep on schedule and drive productivity.
Fortunately, Microsoft Teams includes a tool called Updates that streamlines the process of creating, submitting, and reviewing status reports, check-ins, and other updates without interrupting the workflow. Updates simplifies the management of all such operations. It includes tools for everything from routine updates, like inspections and maintenance updates, to one-time unplanned updates, like incident reporting.
Bring Collaboration on the Front Lines into Custom Applications
The Collaboration controls in Power Apps allow manufacturers to utilize the robust collaboration features of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams to facilitate contextual collaboration around business processes. This integration enables frontline workers to use your manufacturing’s specific collaboration experiences without leaving Teams.
Time is money in any industry, but manufacturers are under intense pressure to speed up production and bring their wares to market as soon as possible.
With Microsoft 365, businesses have more visibility into their operations, leading to streamlined procedures, reduced cycle times, and lower operating expenses. Manufacturers now have more leeway and flexibility to enhance their processes and respond rapidly to market shifts because of real-time product, customer, and performance data analysis.
Having the information necessary to innovate and reimagine provides employees more agency and reduces development and release times. You can achieve a shorter turnaround time for new goods and a greater ability to capitalize on emerging trends and opportunities through more collaboration in R&D, more accurate cost analysis, and streamlined production processes.
Amp Up Your Performance in the Field
In a sector where technicians spend most of their time away from the office, getting the right product to the right field service agent at the right time requires a sophisticated process. It includes determining what products are needed and then applying policies and workflows tailored to specific requirements.
A product catalog can identify all available products alongside the appropriate purchase processes, required clearances, expenditure caps, and budgetary allotments for effective field procurement.
With the help of real-time updates, you can keep your purchase constantly within the specified quantity and price range.
Smart scheduling ensures the proper field service agent with the right job capabilities gets deployed to the right place with relevant customer information on their devices for speedy issue resolution. Interactive schedule boards help manage resource assignments across numerous work orders.
You can improve first-time fix rates and stock levels kept up-to-date by field service agents, thanks to real-time visibility and intelligent forecasting.
Finally, meeting or exceeding the expectations of today’s customers depends on providing the field sales force with the resources they need to do their jobs effectively and building connections through one-on-one exchanges. Communication between the manufacturing company and the field sales team can be more effective when the latter considers when and how clients contact the firm.
However, manufacturers will require a solid business management system to create a stable firm that can survive the disruption that will inevitably come from this shift.
In this regard, you can always trust that Microsoft 365 will deliver.