Tools for Modern Manufacturers to Improve Efficiency – Manufacturers today cannot afford to lag behind. The direct to consumer trend has been gaining popularity for the past years, but the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated it even further.
Consumers expect to be able to buy straight from producers, have the possibility to customize a product based on their specifications, have access to excellent customer service, and buy at affordable prices. That’s why, big names Nike, Audi and Siemens, among others, are betting on D2C and implementing smart factory solutions.
In this ever competitive landscape that is pressuring manufacturers to reimagine their businesses to meet customers’ demand, adopting the right technology can give a solid competitive advantage. If you want to be among the industry leaders, this article shows you 4 different tools that can help you better manage your manufacturing business.
1. E-commerce platform
Choosing to sell online, automatically implies building a website. You could of course choose to sell via marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy, but having your own ecommerce store adds credibility and strength to your brand.
While there are many options to choose from, Shopify and WooCommerce remain the most popular options, because of their reliability, integration capabilities with other tools, and ease of use.
You can choose to build your website on your own or hire specialists. There are various themes, free or paid, that can help you create a modern, sophisticated website, your customers can use to purchase your products.
2. Accounting tool
You need to track your expenses, customize invoices, and run financial reports. Choosing the right accounting software is crucial to keep your business finances up-to-date. QuickBooks and Xero are two of the most popular choices, specifically tailored to small and growing businesses.
It’s up to you to decide whether you’ll handle this aspect of your business by yourself or use a professional accountant. Either way, accounting software will help you stay organized at all times.
3. Shipping app
Automating shipping is vital when selling online, directly to consumers. People expect to have same-day delivery or next-day delivery at most. Using a shipping tool to streamline shipping can save you both time and money.
For example, 2Ship is an online, multi carrier shipping platform, letting you choose from over 400 carriers so you know you’re getting the best rates. The platform promises to help you avoid overpaying for shipping. All you have to do is select the best price and service for all your shipping needs or even let 2Ship do it automatically for you.
4. Manufacturing software
It goes without saying that manufacturers need to stay on top of raw material inventory management, track their products at various warehouses, and optimize processes based on live data.
Manufacturing and production management system can increase efficiency by reducing waste, increasing quality, and improving customer service. Large enterprises need complex ERP solutions like SAP or Oracle, while micro-businesses could manage inventory in Excel spreadsheets. Small and medium-sized businesses need modern solutions that are easy to implement and use, and integrate with other business essentials; Focal, Katana MRP, Odoo, or Fishbowl inventory are a few examples of such tools.
In order to be able to compete, manufacturers need to make use of smart technology to adapt and meet the modern consumer’s expectations. Joining the digital revolution doesn’t come without challenges, but it certainly is the way forward for manufacturing businesses.