Pros and Cons of Cloud-Based Manufacturing Software

There are plenty of benefits to implementing manufacturing software for your enterprise operations, but there are also some slight drawdowns that have to be accounted for. Before examining those, however, one should be well aware of what cloud-based manufacturing software is and whether or not it fits the premise of the business. 

What is Manufacturing Software and Why It’s Important?

It goes without saying that manufacturers are facing an increased number of challenges in the age of digital transformation. Competitive, geopolitical, and market factors need to be thoroughly weighed in and adequately accounted for when it comes to innovation and staying sharp in the game. 

With this in mind, manufacturing software is an optimization tool that can help deliver new products at a rapid pace, improve overall customer experience, productivity, and so forth. More importantly, here are a few ways it can help you grow in the context of an increasingly digitizing world: 

  • Achieve operational excellence 

A properly implemented manufacturing software can allow the enterprise to carefully monitor all manual operations and optimize performance. It happens through the usage of connected wearable devices, detecting anomalies, linear regression, and modeling information. 

  • Further your enterprise’s digital transformation 

To scale, one must adapt. Implementing cloud-based manufacturing software enhances the company’s capabilities to adapt and be more flexible when it comes to changes in the rapidly evolving corporate world. It happens through the application of real-time tracking, cloud analytics, as well as implementing both reactive and proactive approaches. 

  • Revamping your business

In an attempt to predict and optimize operation costs, especially when it comes to shipping and packing, cloud-based manufacturing software can easily help you trim down the cost of logistics, while also promoting an overly sustainable business practice. 

Now that we’re aware of what this type of software is and what it has to offer, let’s dive deeper into some of the benefits and potential drawbacks. 

The Pros of Cloud-Based Manufacturing Software

Right off the bat, it comes with a range of advantages. These include, but are not limited to: 

1. It’s quick and easy to implement

With the vast technical experience that FPT Software has, implementing a customer-centric cloud-based manufacturing software is quick and easy. The systems use the web, so you wouldn’t have to worry about investing in new hardware. 

The updates are implemented in an automated fashion. It also requires a lot less maintenance, hence saving resources that are otherwise allocated to a dedicated vendor with round-the-clock support. 

2. It achieves transparency of costs

Undoubtedly, expenses are a leading factor for manufacturers when they choose their cloud-based solutions. As mentioned above, it’s also one of the main pillars of cloud-based manufacturing software. 

The expenses associated with traditional fees usually involve fees for support, data storage, licensing, upgrades, maintenance, training, and so forth. 

With this type of software, you only pay a monthly subscription fee for the usage and, what is more, it’s easily scalable to accommodate the needs of your enterprise as you grow and go further. 

3. It improves security

Security is, in a lot of cases, an overlooked topic when it comes to the digital transformation of a company. 

However, using cloud-based manufacturing software means that information is being stored on a cloud-based system. This data usually includes trade secrets, accounting information, client records, and so forth. 

It means that your data remains protected in offsite servers that boast non-stop security with a redundant layer of protection. 

4. Doesn’t require physical servers

In the current age of digital transformation, physical servers oftentimes become obsolete because of the tremendous costs associated with their upkeep. 

Using cloud-based manufacturing software means that you don’t have to worry about maintaining your own servers, but this goes well beyond just maintenance. You won’t have to worry about the expenses associated with keeping the servers secure and in shape. 

5. Seamless to integrate

As mentioned above, cloud-based manufacturing software won’t require you to install and, consequently, to maintain in-house hardware and servers. 

It is a significant benefit for corporations because the integration is quicker, more comfortable, and a lot more convenient for onboarding new teams. 

Of course, there are some drawdowns to using this type of software. 

The Cons of Cloud-Based Manufacturing Software

Even though the pros tend to outweigh the cons, making an informed decision is only possible through careful examinations of both sides. So, here are some of the drawdowns of using this solution for your company. Please keep in mind that these are conditional and might not even pose a challenge if your enterprise is prepared enough. 

1. There Are Ongoing Expenses

That is what you may be prepared for, and it might not be an issue. However, cloud-based manufacturing software usually comes with a monthly subscription fee that has to be accounted for. 

It tends to be balanced out with the expenses you save (read above), but it still has to be kept in mind. Also, there might be some upgrades coming in, and usually, they are met with a fee, so it has to be thought through in advance.

2. You Lose Direct Control

It is perhaps the only serious drawdown of cloud-based software. You won’t be in control of the servers that store your information, making you more or less dependent on a third-party. 

There’s nothing you can do if there’s an outage at the provider’s systems apart from running backups associated with additional costs. 

Of course, it can’t be any other way. It’s also worth noting that providers are abiding by very stringent regulations, and their security tends to be nothing but top-notch. 

So, Is It Worth It?

Obviously, there’s no right way to answer this question as every company faces its own challenges. 

Typically, transitioning to a cloud-based manufacturing software solution tends to be worth it because the costs of its maintenance heavily outweigh the costs of initial setup and ongoing upkeep, especially compared to traditional solutions. 

However, every enterprise is different, and it’s important to make this decision based on your current and, perhaps even more importantly, the future needs of your company.