Future-proof your SAP systems: Effective strategies for the manufacturing industry

Is outdated technology holding your manufacturing business back? Your IT isn’t just a support system – it's your key to staying ahead.

6/13/2024  |  4 min

Topics

  • Archiving and Decommissioning
  • S/4HANA
  • SNP Glue
  • Manufacturing
Man manufacturing factory tablet computer.jpeg

If you’re in the manufacturing industry, you may recognize some of these challenges:

  • Supply chain issues
  • Finding skilled workers
  • Fluctuating customer demands

These challenges are enough to keep you busy, so the technology you use shouldn’t cause more hurdles. In fact, the tech you use can be instrumental in helping you tackle those challenges. Embracing digital solutions isn’t just a trend. It’s a necessity for remaining competitive.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, manufacturers that integrate digital solutions experience significant benefits:

  • 30–50% reduction in machine downtime
  • 15–30% increase in labor productivity
  • 85% improvement in forecasting accuracy

Considering these impressive statistics, we’ll examine how you can successfully mitigate these challenges and drive your business forward.

Four common manufacturing challenges 

Technology has needed to evolve alongside manufacturing to meet the demands of the market and customers who expect more, faster. But some of your biggest challenges might be hiding in plain sight – in your IT systems.

  1. Disconnected data: Fragmented systems hinder your ability to see the big picture and make informed decisions. Integrating these systems is crucial for gaining a comprehensive view of your operations.
  2. Outdated technology: Old software and hardware can’t keep up with today’s demands. It’s like trying to run a race in shoes that are falling apart.
  3. Cyber threats: As the world becomes more digitalized, the risk of hackers and data breaches grows. Protect your sensitive information by adopting robust security measures.
  4. No real-time view: Without a clear, up-to-the-minute picture of your operations, it’s hard to spot problems early or make the most of the opportunities.

While you need to take these obstacles seriously, they’re not the end of the story when you understand them and invest in the right solutions. 

woman manufacturing factory tablet.jpeg

Turning challenges into opportunities through digital transformation

You may not see an upside to business hurdles, but they often signal a need for change – which means the potential to grow. Here’s how you can embrace digital solutions to turn IT headaches into significant wins:

  1. Connect your data for smarter decisions

When your systems are aligned and share information, you get a 360-degree view of your business. This allows you to make decisions based on facts, not guesswork. Imagine seeing exactly where you have bottlenecks or predicting when a machine needs maintenance before it breaks down. That’s the power of connected data.

  1. Upgrade to modern systems

Adopt platforms like SAP S/4HANA, designed for today's fast-paced environment. These systems are flexible, scalable, and capable of leveraging the latest technologies, ensuring your operations remain efficient and adaptable.

  1. Use AI and IoT for smarter operations

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT) are already making a real impact in manufacturing. AI-powered predictive analytics can forecast potential issues before they become major problems. This is achieved by analyzing vast amounts of data to spot patterns you’d never discover yourself.  IoT sensors can track everything from machine performance to inventory levels, helping you stay ahead of potential issues and optimize operations.

  1. System optimization

Getting rid of old, unused data and systems is like giving your business a fresh start. It makes things run faster and more efficiently and reduces the risk of errors and security problems – it’s like spring cleaning for your IT!

Automated archiving and housekeeping processes streamline your operations, reduce the risk of errors, and mitigate security vulnerabilities. This proactive approach transforms your system, making it leaner and more agile, ready to adapt to evolving demands.

When you embrace digital transformation, you’re not just fixing problems but setting yourself up for success. Your processes become more agile, efficient, and better equipped to handle whatever challenges come your way.

 

SNP solutions for empowering your manufacturing business

You don’t have to take on these challenges alone. We understand the unique IT needs of the manufacturing industry and have developed custom solutions to turn problems into progress.

 

CrystalBridge: Smooth migration to SAP S/4HANA

Upgrading to SAP S/4HANA is a big step, but our CrystalBridge software is designed to make the process simple and stress-free. It acts like a reliable guide, safely moving all your important data and processes to the new system.

With CrystalBridge, you can upgrade your day-to-day operations without any interruptions. That way, you can enjoy the benefits of SAP S/4HANA – faster performance, better insights, and more flexibility – without any downtime or headaches.

Swiss technology company Bühler faced a significant challenge: Migrating 80+ systems to SAP S/4HANA while ensuring data consistency across all their locations. CrystalBridge proved to be the solution.

They successfully migrated with minimal disruption to their operations. Our solution streamlined the data migration process, reduced complexity, and ensured a smooth transition. Now, Bühler have better visibility into their data and improved decision-making capabilities, giving them a strong foundation for future growth.

SNP Glue: Connect your data anywhere, anytime

In many manufacturing businesses, data is scattered across different systems, creating information silos. SNP Glue is a powerful tool that breaks down those silos, bringing all your information together in the cloud. This means you can access your data from any computer or device, whether at the office or on the factory floor.

Thanks to SNP Glue, you have all your SAP data in one place, enabling you to leverage comprehensive reporting and analytics to gain the insights you need to drive continuous improvement.

When you have the right tools, you can strive for growth and be prepared for whatever obstacles come your way. Ready to ramp up your manufacturing business? We’d love to help you on your digital transformation journey so you can future-proof your manufacturing business and gear up for success. 

Topics

  • Archiving and Decommissioning
  • S/4HANA
  • SNP Glue
  • Manufacturing

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