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Forecasting US Manufacturing in 2017 Part 2: Strategies for Success

Today we continue to look at the 2017 manufacturing outlook for the United States. In the first part of this series we looked at the forecast of where manufacturers expect the industry to go this year, as well as some of the challenges they will face in getting there. Today, in part 2 of this series, we will look at specific strategies that top manufacturers are implementing in order to become more profitable.

As we highlighted in the last blog, 44% of small to mid-sized manufacturers were projected growth of at least 10% this year. In order to uncover the strategies these companies plan to employ in order to achieve that growth, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA) segmented out this group from their survey and compiled their answers. Below are those answers.

Setting Themselves to Succeed

When LEA parsed out the companies projecting high growth in 2017 their top 3 priorities for this year were investing in research and development, cutting operational costs, and restructuring for growth. These three strategies can all be achieved by investing in modern ERP software. It is well known that ERP software is specifically designed to help organizations maximize efficiency, allowing you to do more with less. It can help you organize inventory, reduce and eliminate manufacturing bottlenecks and give total visibility to front office operations. All of these things allow you to cut costs. ERP is also designed to scale as your operation grows.

What some people don’t know is that ERP can be used to manage research and development. Programs like Macola 10 have integrated CRM, which allows business to manage workflows throughout the R&D process. Materials planning, quality control and testing can all be tracked and logged in your ERP. This allows you to invest in R&D with the peace of mind that investment will be managed efficiently and tested properly every step of the way.

Capital Expenditures and Technology

It should also come as no surprise that respondents who are projecting high growth also are anticipating investing in equipment and technology. The top three areas that manufacturers are planning on investing are equipment, plant expansion/modernization and computer software and hardware.

While computer software is third on the list, ERP can also help you manage the other two areas of investment. An important part of investing in new equipment is keeping that equipment running at peak performance. ERP can help you stay on top of equipment maintenance by setting up automated alerts. It can also help you plan jobs to get the most out of that equipment, improve lead times and maximize plant output.

Modernizing your plant is also something that ERP can help with. Warehouse management software can help you better organize your warehouse, integrate inventory with your ERP system through barcode scanners and even improve order pick times, allowing you to get orders out the door faster.

Understanding how industry leaders are preparing for 2017 can help your business take advantage of opportunities as the present themselves. For more information on how ERP software can set you up for greater success this year you can call The Attivo Group at 877-428-8486 or contact us here.