From the factory floor to the shop window, Connecticut manufacturers are starting to recognize the advantages of cutting-edge technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and automation driven software by machine learning. Businesses in our state have the luxury of easy access to tech talent, as its one of the best places in the nation to find IT expertise.
But with high demand comes high prices. The average ‘tech talent’ wage in Connecticut is $97,678 per year! A more economical alternative is outsourced IT support, which has no problem handling some of the manufacturing industry’s most valuable solutions.
Technology offers ways to draw data from a disparate array of sources, but there remains a lack of real-time data-driven insights in the manufacturing sector. There’s no reason that a business with 35 or more employees couldn’t afford to collect and analyze data from across its entire supply.
In fact, everything should be consolidated under a single platform that all departments and partners can access. One of the first steps toward improving efficiency and product quality is giving workers on the factory floor actionable data insights.
It only takes a couple industry-specific IT solutions set up and supported by certified professionals to generate real-time data that can be used to automate replenishment, shipping, and invoicing. Software like Microsoft Dynamics includes small-business-friendly predictive analytics and data-driven insights to help you forecast future needs.
Connecticut has one of the highest concentrations of government manufacturing contracts. If you produce parts that are related to military products in any way, you need to be compliant with the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), and that means bulletproof cybersecurity.
The role of data security is crucial, as ransomware like WannaCry proliferates and brings big-name companies to their knees. Hackers like to target supply chains because IT downtime is more costly for them than almost any other industry. Whether you manufacture submarine parts or shower heads, you need a multi-pronged approach to cybersecurity.
Manufacturers need everything from hi-tech intrusion protection systems to down-to-earth employee training if they want to stay operational. Unfortunately, the greatest threats usually come from irresponsible or ignorant employees, partners, and suppliers. One in-house technician and some antivirus software won’t be able to stop experienced hackers. So make sure you have cybersecurity solutions in place to protect you on several fronts.
In your industry, users should only have access to the data they need to do their jobs, which is hard to manage in companies where new data is constantly created. Also, as per industry regulations, every business should provide cybersecurity awareness training to every member of its team. Those two requirements alone justify a standalone IT position.
It’s not just security that you need to worry about when implementing a technology infrastructure for your shop. It’s also important that your IT goals match up with your corporate goals. In the world of manufacturing IT, that might include improving production efficiency or product quality, optimizing back-office processes, or reducing surplus stock or wasted raw materials. Whatever your aim is, technology should be directly linked to increased profits and productivity.
With an integrated and cloud-based technology infrastructure, you can achieve all of those goals and more. Full cloud-enablement will give you better visibility into your supply chain as well as access to data that you can use to improve operational efficiencies across the board, all while driving down costs.
While you’re at it, you can also outsource your compliance and security efforts to guard against supply chain attacks and other threats while also meeting and surpassing the regulatory red tape that defines many manufacturing processes here in Hartford.
Charles IT helps manufacturing companies in Connecticut monitor and control their production processes more efficiently with cutting-edge managed technology that’s tailored to the needs of your industry. Call us today to find out more.