Manufacturing machinery and a person holding a tablet.
Chapter 2

Digitally Enabled

When it comes to industry-specific software, not all solutions are created equal. Creating resilience for tomorrow while responding to today’s demands requires businesses to adopt platforms and services that are fast, flexible and can scale with the needs of their operation.

Here are five modern technology solutions already helping manufacturers to work smarter, more collaboratively and more efficiently.

1. Microsoft Dynamics 365

The next step in business intelligence

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the newest generation of intelligent business applications based on Microsoft Cloud Solutions such as Dynamics 365 (ERP & CRM), Office 365, Power Platform, Power BI and Azure services.

Dynamics 365 provides dedicated apps for Sales, Marketing, Project Service Automation, Operations, Field Service, Customer Service and Finance, on one flexible and scalable Cloud platform.

Developed to help your business to grow, evolve and transform, it’s now easier than ever to define or redefine job roles and processes, scale up, and purchase exactly what you need, when you need it.

Seamlessly integrating with your existing systems, such as Office 365 and SharePoint, Dynamics 365 connects the structured data and workflow from business applications to unstructured collaboration and productivity tasks.

What’s more, being available in the Cloud means Dynamics 365 apps can be used on mobile devices, both on- and off-line. Give your employees the flexibility to work anywhere with information at their fingertips and maximize productivity in your company.

Make large-scale, costly and lengthy ERP and CRM projects a thing of the past. With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can start small, achieve results fast, and pay only for the applications you actually need.

2. Microsoft Finance & Operations

Real-time actionable insights

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations accelerates your speed and accuracy of doing business. This powerful next generation ERP solution enables you to make better decisions more quickly, by connecting all of your sales, manufacturing, supply chain and finance processes and departments in the Cloud.

With built-in predictive analytics and intelligence for real-time actionable insights into performance, Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations empowers you to run your operation more efficiently, stimulate growth and achieve the agility your markets demand.

Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations can easily integrate with your existing systems and can scale up to include global operations as and when required. Insights into your supply chain provide improved end to end visibility and greater profitability through intelligent planning, execution, demand sensing and traceability.

Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations also includes complete asset management, enabling you to better predict, plan and react to plant maintenance. What’s more, the entire application suite can be extended with the Microsoft Power Platform tools and Azure services.

3. Microsoft Power Platform

Build, analyze, automate

IT departments shouldn’t be spending their time compiling reports and patching systems, they should be focused on innovation and value-creation. The Microsoft Power Platform enables users to work with apps, workflows, reports and chatbots themselves, helping your business respond to market demands faster.

The intuitive Power Platform enables those with relatively little technical knowledge to easily build apps, analyze data and automate processes, replacing the expensive and time-consuming customizations often developed in the past.

Suitable for digitizing paper processes and for replacing error-prone and disparate Excel spreadsheets, all data comes together in one database so that everyone has access to the same information at all times.

Microsoft Power Platform

4. Microsoft Modern Workplace

Work smarter, not harder

Swiftly responding to changes in the marketplace requires a flexible and agile organization, so providing a modern, digital workplace is essential.

Microsoft Modern Workplace, consisting of Microsoft 365 Enterprise (Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security) and the Power Platform, ensures employees get the best out of themselves, work together safely, and are flexible in the choice of devices and apps.

The advantages are clear:

5. Advanced Analytics & IoT

Data-driven decisions

Data from your processes, people, customers and suppliers offers unprecedented opportunities to initiate or accelerate new insights, improvements and innovations.

When correctly integrated and managed, data is your route to real-time monitoring, end-to-end visibility, improved customer satisfaction and so much more.

Gathering and storing data, however, is only the first step. Generating actionable insights requires an appropriate data infrastructure and the right analytics software.

Advanced Analytics is about researching what happened, why it happened, what will happen, and how to manage things more efficiently.

The Internet of Things is a network of objects, devices or other ‘things’ that measure, collect and share information about their use and their environment.

The combination of IoT and advanced analytics helps you make data-driven decisions, transform your organization and develop new business models.

Predictive maintenance, powered by IoT, is just one example of how manufacturers are already transforming their operation.

Predictive maintenance unlocks significant savings in time and costs, compared to traditional maintenance and servicing practices. Using Wi-Fi enabled sensors connected to Cloud-hosted applications, machines are now alerting workers as to when and where maintenance is required.

Moving from being reactive to predictive helps reduce costly downtimes, maximizes availability and optimizes your resource planning.