What to watch in 2020 for manufacturers

by Tom Lovell

The world is entering the 2020’s, and it’s that annual time where grand visions of change and betterment guide many—at least until January 12th, that is. Most resolutions have already crashed and burned by the time you read this. 

If your manufacturing organization has hopes for big changes and digital transformation this year, don’t let them fade away that fast. We already know that manufacturers are moving most of their technologies to the cloud, including SAP HANA by 2025. But that’s just one thing your organization can do this year. Here are some more trends shaping manufacturing in 2020 and ways to keep your organization’s digital resolutions alive: 


Leapfrogging previous kinks

In the business world at large, manufacturers are often thought of as the laggards compared to other industries when it comes to staying current. But manufacturers have a unique opportunity now. Digital transformation has taken other industries by storm, and the obstacles that first arose from the initial burst now have solutions. 

Manufacturers can leapfrog those previous mistakes and challenges and uncover the road to digital transformation faster than other industry predecessors. This gives manufacturing companies a great chance to improve processes and enable the leaders of those processes with fewer kinks and faster results than ever before. Manufacturers can better utilize the latest tools that have proved their worth, rather than winding up stuck with the first-round picks that didn’t pan out. 


Better insights with Manufacturing Cloud

Last fall, Salesforce introduced Manufacturing Cloud, a solution to unify S&OP teams with a better market understanding for the manufacturing vertical specifically. Manufacturing organizations have already been looking for ways to update their enterprise architecture, which will inevitably change technologies and processes across the board. Manufacturing Cloud steps in as the perfect tool to guide that transformation. 

Every manufacturer that still finds they rely heavily on manual task management tools, spreadsheets, and other outdated methods can now manage their core business functions and keep up on what’s new in the market with an automated solution like Manufacturing Cloud. 


RPA, AI, and IoT

What do those four things have in common? Automation. The future is full of lots of exciting automation technology, from the Robotic Process Automation manufacturers are already looking into for plants and distribution centers to IoT for better understanding products after departing the facility, and everything in between. 

Salesforce integrates with this latest technology as well, enabling manufacturers to bring automation tools into their work processes through Einstein—Salesforce’s AI technology. This means Salesforce connected to RPA, IoT, and more could help organizations identify the best lead opportunities, next steps to close a deal, the best price forecast for closing, what to do in a live situation to improve CSAT, and so much more. All together, there is a huge opportunity for manufacturers to create a thorough automation strategy, invest in the right technology, and watch as their companies speed to the frontlines of automated workplaces. 


2020. The close of one decade, the start of a new one. Let your manufacturing organization take this opportune time to close out the old way of doing things and streamline with the new. While staying current on all the digital opportunities out there and future-proofing your transformation is a big ask, there are expert partners to help. Reach out to Simplus today to find out what we can do for you.


tom lovellTom is Industry Lead here at Simplus. For over 15 years, Tom has helped companies implement data and process-driven strategies to bridge the gap between business and IT. These strategies have improved patient outcomes, reduced financial risk, and improved operational efficiency in healthcare organizations while bringing to bear streamlined costs, reduced risk, and improved revenue at manufacturers. His passion is architecting and sharing practical solutions that deliver valuable results for customers.

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