Limit Downtime and Enable Continuous Operations
by Max Manikian, on June 24, 2019
Today's manufacturing operations have to keep moving to ensure their production, warehousing and logistics capabilities keep up with the competition. If your company is hoping to improve supply chain effectiveness through continuous uptime, you know how hard it can be to reach this goal. One critical system going offline can bring operations to a halt, undermining efficiency and unbalancing the budget.
With decentralized software in essential business functions on the rise, an uninterrupted internet connection is often necessary to prevent supply chain downtime. Without access to their key systems, how will manufacturing plants, distribution centers and warehouses be able to keep up? You can counter such interruptions and keep your operations on track by selecting key systems such as Enterprise Labeling Solutions that have been designed with maximum uptime in mind.
The Costs of Downtime
Today, there is a close connection between an IT outage and more generalized downtime due to the central role technology plays in operations of all kinds. A manufacturing operation is only as strong as its connections to key solutions. As Information Age contributor Nick Ismail pointed out, disconnection from an IT system today is rarely limited to just an IT outage - full-scale downtime will inevitably follow, as operations can't continue without that key piece. That is where the real costs come in as resources sit unused and personnel can't perform their jobs.
Satellite locations that lose their connection to their corporate headquarters can find themselves in this troublesome situation if they don't have the capability to run their systems on-site. This is a concept leaders should remember when selecting their new software tools. With decentralized solutions becoming a common choice in enterprise operations due to their essential ability to bring consistent performance to geographically dispersed organizations, this is a highly relevant point.
The actual dollar value of downtime will differ from one manufacturer to another. Manufacturing.net contributor Dmitri Tcherevik explained that across the manufacturing sector, companies lose billions of dollars every year due to the temporary loss of some key part of their operations. He added that companies' endless pursuit of more efficient processes and more impressive profit margins will only make the downtime costs worse. As meticulously planned production lines come to a halt, organizations' budgets will suffer.
If your company is following enterprise trends, it is likely automating its processes and becoming more dependent upon software, especially decentralized systems. This isn't a mistake - those movements are prominent across enterprise sectors for a reason. However, it does make sense to mitigate the situation. Losing time and therefore money due to downtime is a problem no manufacturing organization wants to cope with, but these businesses have steps they can take to enable continuous operations.
Next-Generation Enterprise Tech
Software solutions that connect a central instance at a company's headquarters to all of that organization's other facilities seem like a source of downtime risk, and they are - unless they possess local failover capabilities to keep the supply chain moving. The major benefits of that centralized system - standardization to ensure corporate guidelines and lower maintenance, along with accurate and consistent data - still come through, as the local instances take over during outages and allow manufacturing, warehousing and distribution teams to keep working.
Once the connection comes back on, data is synchronized to make sure the work that was performed during the internet outage is still noted in the centralized database. Companies that employ these systems will discover the value of accessing sources of data truth when they see how easy it is to deploy standardized processes across locations that are whole continents apart.
All the key systems at the heart of manufacturing operations can benefit from such connectivity. Changes made to designs at one location should be reflected across the others instantly and consistently. Trying to enforce this sort of uniformity by emailing files back and forth is an old-fashioned solution prone to human error. This is why is mission critical to have an Enterprise Labeling Solution that is ideally suited to manage a centralized deployment and with decentralized local failover in the instance of potential disruption.
The Centrality of Labeling
Labeling is one of the most essential tools for keeping your company's manufacturing operations on track. If your teams cannot label products accurately at all relevant points of the supply chain - manufacturing plants, warehouses, distribution centers and more - production will come to a halt. Selecting a centralized labeling system that accesses data from a source of truth unites your whole network of facilities. Ensuring that the labeling solution also supports continuous operations prevents internet outages from bringing this system down so that business can proceed as usual.
Manufacturing today is more global yet more precise and efficient than ever before. Labeling systems have evolved along with the rest of the technology that powers manufacturers. If your organization has not yet centralized its labeling solutions, now is the time. Your company needs a solution that will improve your operations two times over, first by enabling greater efficiency and second by stopping preventable downtime from wreaking havoc on your practices.
if you'd like to find out more about how implementing the right type of comprehensive Enterprise Labeling Solution can help your company meet all of your labeling demands, check out our new report "Why Enterprise Labeling Matters."