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Tech Insights 4 min read

Manufacturing in 2023: Trends and Challenges

As the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve and change, so too does the need for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. In December 2022, Microsoft and Gestisoft hosted a webinar to discuss the trends and challenges the industry is facing in the coming years. In this blog post, we'll explore the key trends, challenges, and investments that are likely to shape the manufacturing industry in 2023 and beyond. We'll look at Microsoft and Gestisoft's supply chain resilience solutions and how they can boost profits with digital engagement. So, if you're looking to stay ahead of the curve in the manufacturing industry, this blog post is for you.

The Current State of Manufacturing Supply Chains

The manufacturing industry is always changing to meet customer demands and global markets. To stay competitive, manufacturers need to be agile and ready to respond quickly to changes. This means having an efficient and complex supply chain. But it's easier said than done.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems help businesses manage their manufacturing supply chains. ERP systems provide visibility into all aspects of the supply chain, from production planning to goods distribution to order fulfilment. ERP systems also help businesses adapt quickly when faced with new challenges or changing market conditions.

However, research shows that only 20% of supply organizations believe they have a highly resilient network due to a lack of resources or insufficient investments in ERP technology. This indicates that many businesses aren't taking full advantage of their ERP solutions and are missing out on the potential benefits they could offer.

To unlock their full potential in 2023, manufacturers must invest in modern ERP systems that can optimize operations and improve efficiency across the entire value chain.

A person in front of a computer screen looking at the self-evaluation guide.

Challenges in Manufacturing Supply Chain

The manufacturing supply chain has a number of challenges. To stay competitive, firms need to reduce costs and improve processes. This is done by having access to accurate data for efficient planning and forecasting. Also, businesses often have difficulty meeting industry standards and regulations.  If the supply chain is disrupted, this can lead to expensive delays and backlogs that damage customer service. To effectively manage the supply chain, businesses need real-time insights into the entire value chain process. Without such visibility, managers are unable to make informed choices or respond quickly in times of crisis.

Many organizations are using ERP systems like Microsoft Business Central to improve their supply chains. These systems help with business activities from production through distribution, and give insight into inventory levels and forecasting capabilities. With an automated system, you can cut costs and increase accuracy and flexibility in decision-making efforts.

ERP Solutions for Supply Chain Management

ERP solutions help manufacturers improve the efficiency of their supply chain operations. They do this by unifying data from all areas of production. ERP systems allow for accurate forecasting, efficient planning, and reliable tracking of inventory levels. With better visibility into processes across the entire value chain, companies can make decisions faster and more accurately.  There are two main types of ERP solutions: on-premise and cloud-based. On-premise systems are installed on a company’s existing hardware and managed internally. Cloud-based systems are hosted offsite by a third party provider and accessed via the internet. While both offer similar features, cloud-based solutions generally provide more scalability than on-premise systems.

Microsoft Business Central is an ERP system for small businesses in manufacturing or distribution that need everything from financial management to customer relationship management to automated workflow. It has many features, such as integrated financial management, built-in customer relationship management, automated workflow, enhanced security protocols, and more. You can customize the reports and dashboards.

Business Central is a supply chain management platform that makes it easy to manage inventory, orders, and delivery. You can see real-time stock levels, demand projections, and delivery times. Business Central also lets you set up your supply chain based on your specific needs or goals. This makes it easy to customize invoicing, project accounting, and more. With Business Central, you can unlock the full potential of your supply chain in 2023.

Case Studies and Examples

ERP solutions enable industries to improve their efficiency. For example, Microsoft Business Central and Outlook help customers manage orders and deliveries. You can store all important emails in a single place, which makes tracking invoices, payments, and service agreements easier.

Business Central uses artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast demand and schedule production. AI-driven insights help manufacturers identify and address discrepancies in their operations to improve performance.

Gestisoft implemented Microsoft 365 Business Central in a company that focuses on industrial generators and motor engines to reduce their management efforts for production and distribution. They wanted to regroup all activities related to the manufacturing and maintenance of these products. They also have a network of 40 dealers and resellers who they act as distributors to. Alongside warranty management and a service module, Gestisoft also implemented an app called Insight Works within Business Central for shop floor management and expanded it for the management of field staff. The goal for them was really to reduce the time loss that they experienced in their operations, improve some of the efficiencies of the entire organization, and also help them to collect data to make some decisions much quicker.

Gestisoft also worked with a company that links residential solar, electric vehicle charging, smart homes and energy solutions. They needed a modern solution that could grow with them. Business Central allows you to go step by step so you don't have to implement the entire suite from day one. They were a startup that was heavily funded by a venture capitalist and they wanted to go international after that. They needed to have a system that was spanning from CRM, ERP, tackling even contract manufacturing to help them expand and scale after that.

Modern ERP systems can help businesses like those to compete effectively without sacrificing quality or service levels. With AI providing predictive analytics capabilities, investing in modern ERP solutions is essential for organizations aiming to maximize productivity in 2023 and beyond.

Book Your Free ERP Readiness Assessment for Business Central

Business Central is a solution for managing and improving operations throughout the entire value chain. It has features like integrated financial management, automated workflow processes, enhanced security protocols, and customizable reporting dashboards. It also has AI applications which enable businesses to make faster decisions based on real-time insights into their operations.

As a Microsoft Solution Partner, Gestisoft offers a free ERP readiness assessment to help companies decide if Business Central is right for them. The assessment covers key areas such as supply chain performance, compliance requirements, and customer service goals. It also assesses current industry trends and suggests ways in which organizations can improve efficiency through Business Central's suite of tools.

With this assessment, you can begin taking steps to unlock your supply chain's full potential in 2023.

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April 18, 2023 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization