Future Perfect: How to Compete as a Manufacturer in a Changing World

5 Ways Epicor Prepares Manufacturing Companies to Compete and Succeed in a Changing World

Manufacturing Change: The New Realities of Innovation and Growth

Change — and the innovation it creates — increasingly defines the winners and losers in today’s manufacturing industry:1

Let’s look at five key areas where successful manufacturers must embrace change — using it to drive innovation, competition, and growth. We’ll also explain how Epicor Cloud ERP equips manufacturers to regard change as an opportunity rather than a threat.

1. The Accelerating Pace of Technology Change

Technology isn’t just transforming the world — it’s doing so at an ever-increasing pace:2

  • Computing power cost $222 per million transistors in 2003 — and $0.016 in 2016
  • Storage cost $569 per GB in 2003 and $0.033 per GB in 2016
  • Electrification took 46 years to reach 25% of U.S. consumers; the World Wide Web took seven years

Epicor Cloud ERP helps to solve this challenge by integrating predictive analytics, machine learning, mobility, and other technologies faster and at a lower cost than on-premises ERP. Service-oriented architectures, Web 2.0 standards, and other capabilities use technology innovation — at any pace — to fuel manufacturing performance.

2. The Changing Face of the Modern Workforce

More than one in three U.S. workers today are Millennials — adults born between 1982 and 2004.4 They’re a group with strong opinions about the role technology plays in their lives:

  • They are 64% less likely to consider changing jobs when employers keep them engaged.5
  • 67% prefer to work for tech-savvy firms.6
  • 65% consider themselves to be advanced technology users.7

Epicor Cloud ERP, which is building a world-class user experience and takes an aggressive approach to technology innovation, enables manufacturers to attract and engage the Millennial talent they need to stay competitive.

3. Competing in a Global Manufacturing Marketplace

74% of U.S. manufacturers say growth is a top business priority. Most of these firms see overseas expansion as a key to achieving this growth:9

  • 92% plan to enter new geographic markets within the next 12-24 months.
  • 56% say these will be “significant” geographic initiatives.

Geographical expansion, however, is not easy. Global manufacturers must manage disparate and decentralized organizations that span multiple nations, cultures, regulatory and legal norms, levels of economic development, and many other variables.

Epicor Cloud ERP cuts these challenges down to size. It offers multi-company, multi-site and multi-lingual capabilities; country-specific functionality; master data management; and other features that give manufacturers the visibility and control they need to build and sustain profitable, global growth.

4. Tapping the Power of Analytics and Data-Driven Manufacturing

Modern manufacturers generate vast quantities of data. Useful insights are the proverbial needles in a haystack— and these “needles” must be available in real time, using intuitive formats that support fast and effective decision-making.

  • 92% plan to enter new geographic markets within the next 12-24 months.
  • 56% say these will be “significant” geographic initiatives.

Epicor Cloud ERP and Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) unlock these benefits with:

  • A flexible, seamless integration with Epicor Cloud ERP
  • Out-of-the-box dashboards support quick, intuitive decisions
  • “Drill-down” views offer intuitive, on-demand access to deeper insights
  • Modular, role-based content packs make it easy to ask useful questions and to get actionable answers.
5. Charting a Path to Sustainable, Cost-Effective Compliance

Regulatory compliance is a fact of life for any modern business. Manufacturers, however, face some unique — and often very dangerous — compliance challenges:12

  • Manufacturers pay an average of $19,564 per employee, per year to comply with federal regulations — nearly double the average across all industries.
  • 99% cite federal, state and/or local regulations as a significant source of risk.
  • 95% specify environmental regulations as a particular concern.

Epicor Cloud ERP integrates governance, compliance, and risk software to deliver business process, data management, audit and records management, and other compliance-related capabilities. Features such as audit trails, product lifecycle management, and Advanced Quality Management also help manufacturers to manage quality-related compliance risks.

Discover How You Can Profit from Change

Each of these issues creates unique challenges for manufacturing firms. All of them, however, reflect a new reality for manufacturers of any size or type: Success and survival depends on business applications that are agile, adaptable, and engineered for innovation — without imposing crushing costs, complexity, and risk on the firms that use them.

This is the formula that positions manufacturers for success using Epicor Cloud ERP— and it’s a formula that point solutions, homegrown solutions, and even legacy on-premises ERP environments are inherently unable to duplicate. The imperative to reimagine your business has never been stronger. Explore how Epicor can prepare you to compete and succeed in a changing world.

1. “Global Growth Tracker Survey Reveals 10 Characteristics That Enable Manufacturing Companies,” Epicor.com blog post, published Mar. 24, 2017.
2. “2016 Shift Index,” Deloitte research publication, published Dec. 13, 2016.
3. “Rapid Technological Change Is The Biggest Threat To Global Business,” Forbes.com, published Feb. 9, 2017.
4. “Here Is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According to Facts,” TheAtlantic.com, Mar. 25, 2014. The article attributes its definition of the Millennial generation to researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss, who popularized the term and its widely-accepted definition.
5. “For Millennials, Is Job-Hopping Inevitable?” Gallup.com Business Journal, published Nov. 8, 2016.
6. “Generational Research on Technology and Its Impact in the Workplace,” CompTIA survey report, published Jul. 1, 2013.
7. Ibid.
8. “Median Age of the Manufacturing Workforce,” Manufacturing Institute, updated Oct. 2013.
9. “Global Industrial Manufacturing Outlook,” KPMG infographic based on eponymous survey data, Jun. 2016.
10. “Global Growth, Local Roots: The Shift Towards Emerging Markets,” McKinsey.com, published Aug. 2017.
11. “Manufacturing Analytics Unleashes Productivity and Profitability,” McKinsey.com, Aug. 2017.
12. “2016 BDO Manufacturing Risk Factor Report,” BDO.com, Jun. 2016. Applied to all statistics cited in these bullet points.

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