FABTECH Wrap: A New Approach for a New Manufacturing Era

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Recently, the Epicor manufacturing team was at FABTECH in Atlanta, briefing customers, prospects and the media on how Epicor ERP is helping manufacturers maintain their competitive edge and gear up for growth

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Christine Hansen, Sr. Manager Product Marketing, Epicor

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Here in the U.S., the manufacturing sector is regaining its health and optimism remains high, but challenges remain. Chief among these challenges is the job skills gap

Not surprisingly, major themes at FABTECH 2018 revolved around automation, robotics, and the Connected Factory/Industrial Internet of Things. However, there was an equally important focus on leveraging technology to support innovation in the employee experience. 

FABTECH Wrap - A New Approach for a New Manufacturing EraChange is a mindset. Manufacturing jobs are radically changing and employees must be open minded and prepared with training and upskilling to take part of the new manufacturing landscape. Between man and machine, top floor and shop floor, ERP is helping manufacturers accommodate new and emerging technologies while helping synthesize data to ensure actionable information is delivered to the right personnel at the right time. 

At FABTECH, I presented on the topic of IoT for midmarket manufacturers. A few years ago, small and midmarket manufacturers (SMB) watched as large manufacturers put IoT initiatives into motion. Fast-forward to today and SMB manufacturers realize they can no longer afford to sit the IoT era out. My presentation was focused on the steps manufacturers can take to get started on their IoT journey. 

A modern ERP/MES solution featuring web services, open APIs, and cloud deployment can be the foundation for IoT initiatives. From there, manufacturers must identify value streams-the data related to key processes and metrics that run and drive their business-that IoT can help capture and monitor. Next, manufacturers can then integrate the IoT (near real-time) data about shop-floor activities as they happen with manufacturing planning and overall process orchestration that takes place in ERP and MES systems. To ensure a closed-loop continuous improvement process, analytics can then be used to ensure alignment with ERP/MES systems and IoT data for improved visibility and productivity enhancements.
Manufacturers need to leverage the latest capabilities to outperform competitors and keep pace with the ever changing and continually demanding manufacturing environment. As the ERP/MES partner of choice for thousands of manufacturers the world over, Epicor continues to invest in technology to enable manufacturers to succeed and grow. 

Get more guidance on growth. Download our "Manufacturer's Guide to Growing Profitably.

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