Often, Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMB) get their start using home-grown systems and those they’ve pieced together for specific purposes within their operations. However, as time passes and the organization grows, those same systems don’t scale and can hinder a business’ competitiveness because of poor performance. That’s where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) comes into the picture. An ERP system is one that integrates all your business’ essential operations into one interface, connecting the data you need to the departments that need it.
The latest component of Industry 4.0, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), maybe be an unfamiliar concept now, but soon these three words will be on the lips of operators big and small all over the world. RPA is already generating substantial revenue savings for businesses, with $50 million recovered in 2017, with a projected compound annual growth rate of more than 60% through 2026. Coupling this emerging technology with a business-centric solution like ERP systems will ensure your workforce is free to engage in the more demanding aspects of your operations, all while automation handles the rest.
There are a host of reasons why businesses ask the question: Do We Really Need an ERP solution? You may be asking yourself the very same regarding your business’ current state. For many growing enterprises, ERP is a “four-letter word”. However, operating within cobbled systems that demand attention with every little update or modification is like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. This approach bleeds businesses dry. Addressing the shortcomings of siloed systems and preparing for growth before you’re inundated with orders, data, and paperwork by implementing an effective ERP solution will make all the difference.
Encompass Solutions’ Greensboro office had a great time last night meeting with Avalara to reconnect after the new year and discuss integration opportunities with clients in need of automated tax compliance in the form of an end-to-end solution.
Melt Kitchen and Bar was the venue, which served up some exceptional appetizers and beverages throughout the evening. The restaurant is known for their crispy Brussels sprouts and after ordering a few plates for our own research purposes we can definitely agree they are a must for anyone visiting. Sampling the craft brews on tap alongside good conversation kept the night’s event flowing smoothly at this local hot spot many of us will be revisiting in the future.
Automation has experienced a substantial boom over the past several years and things are only gaining momentum. We couldn’t possibly cover all the latest updates and emerging trends, so here are the 10 we believe to be the most exciting emerging trends in automation for 2018.
1. Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) Technology Bringing Down Overhead
Lower cost and higher value products with the capability of connecting to existing infrastructure and relaying relevant performance data in real-time will continue to cut automation costs for operations, at scale. Higher-performance processors, detailed sensor equipment, more robust analytics software, ultra-precise vision systems, and cloud computing are only a few examples of IIoT tech that are shaking up automation in Industry 4.0.
For those unfamiliar with the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, the recently passed tax reform applying to alcoholic beverage manufacturers, the short of it is that the legislation offers two years of heavy relief from federal excise taxes applied to one of the most severely taxed industries in the US. So, what are craft brewers, distillers, and vintners going to do with it? For most, the word is grow.
The tax breaks will translate into substantial annual savings for these craft beverage makers, between $20,000 and $100,000 to be more precise, and allow them to hire more staff, expand operations, and invest in marketing to build their brands.
Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) costs can cripple a manufacturer’s bottom line, especially when the required work compounds problems by impacting production to a significant degree. Implementing a dynamic ERP solution, like Epicor ERP, can address the issue before it becomes a problem. Through an effective mix of Quality Assurance and Asset Management modules, Epicor has built a powerful solution to specifically tackle the tasks associated with maintenance management, from Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to multinational corporations.
Your operations are scaling nicely at HQ, but coordinating with remote resources and even inter-departmentally in real-time is proving to be a significant hurdle. Most of your team is in-house, while any number of employees can be out on the road, on the manufacturing facility floor, or logging in remotely. However, you need everyone connected and on the same page to be functioning at 100%. A robust ERP system fro the likes of Epicor keeps everything in the pipeline and within arm’s reach, but you’ll be pinned to the desktop when making any significant maneuvers that rely on data from your ERP systems.
Manufacturers and distributors have access to data on a scale that has never existed before and the two are leveraging the insights gleaned from that access to pursue new innovations in automation and systems that are reshaping the face of these industries. Pairing innovations like these with a robust ERP solution is the most effective way to ensure your business is prepared to address emerging trends that can reshape your industry overnight.
First, there was industry 1.0, the emergence of mechanization, as well as water-, steam-, and fossil fuel-powered systems. This was followed by mass production of goods, assembly line manufacturing, and electricity powering it all in Industry 2.0. With 3.0 came computers and automation using robotics. Today, we’ve reached the next milestone in revolutionizing Industry. Connecting established trends and emerging technologies between automation and data exchange in manufacturing is Industry 4.0. Also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, it is focused on bringing cyber-physical systems into the mainstream and placing them at the forefront of the manufacturing industry.
Following the most recent tax reform legislation passed by the federal government, manufacturers of all sizes have enjoyed success in their sectors. This week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders delivered a daily press brief that highlighted how policies outlined in the new tax law have had a positive impact on businesses. One such success story came from Pittsburg, PA’s H&K Equipment.
H&K Equipment’s Story
The company was founded in 1983 by three entrepreneurs and run out of a garage. Today the company has grown to include 200 employees providing services in selling, renting, and servicing lift trucks, container handlers, railcar movers, personnel carriers, yard trucks, and industrial sweeping and scrubbing equipment.