Types Of Custom Software Manufacturing Companies Should ConsiderBy developing the right type of custom software solution, manufacturing companies are able to effectively stay connected with their clients, improve internal efficiencies, automate tasks and much more.
Custom manufacturing software is designed to streamline operations, minimize unnecessary downtime and increase overall efficiency and profit margins. In the manufacturing industry, money is made on the factory floor as raw parts and materials are converted into finished merchandise to be sold directly to consumers, other manufacturers or wholesalers who then distribute the goods to retailers. Many components go into the manufacturing process; manufacturing businesses often rely heavily on custom software to ensure that core processes run smoothly.
Top Custom Software Solutions For The Manufacturing Industry
There are several types of custom software that manufacturing companies should consider to improve client management and production efficiency.
Enterprise Resource Planning Software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is used by businesses to help manage their day-to-day activities, such as procurement, accounting, project management, compliance, risk management and supply chain operations. Comprehensive ERP suite software may include a range of tools and functions, including enterprise performance software that can help businesses plan, predict, budget and report on the financial results of the business.
ERP software is often tied with other business processes, sharing a flow of information. Collecting a company’s transactional data from multiple sources on a single platform can help eliminate duplicate information and provide business leaders with an accurate source of up-to-date data. Enterprise planning software is a valuable tool for integrating processes, people and technologies in a modern enterprise.
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Customer Relationship Management Systems
As with many businesses, manufacturing companies interact with customers, whether in the form of direct customers, other manufacturers or wholesalers. Managing these communications is critical to maintaining mutually beneficial relationships that may prove financially valuable for many years to come. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are designed to manage all of a company’s relationships and interactions with customers and prospects.
CRM systems help companies stay connected, improve productivity and boost profitability. Manufacturing businesses have access to a wide range of tools to help manage customer relationships, including spanning marketing sales, customer service interactions and digital commerce communications. With an effective CRM solution, businesses can easily gain access to data, making it easy to collaborate and grow.
Advanced Web Applications
Custom web applications can help businesses reduce costs and achieve a higher degree of interaction and responsiveness. These advanced web applications do not need to be installed or updated by individual users and are both accessible and scalable. They are optimized for speed, have quality security features, are made with flexible functionality and have been proven effective in improving internal workflows.
Web applications are essentially software that runs on a web server and can be accessed through a web browser with a network connection. Common examples include web mail, online banking, online retail sales and online auctions.
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Enterprise applications are a type of software application that enables companies to conduct critical business operations. Although the goal of every business is to grow and thrive, managing multiple expanding departments within a company can become challenging over time. Enterprise applications integrate departmental software into a single user-friendly interface that makes it easy to share information across the company.
Integration tools are often used to streamline processes using data from multiple sources to make workflows within a company smoother. With custom enterprise applications, manufacturing businesses can take advantage of new opportunities faster than the competitors. This software also allows businesses to more easily identify market shifts, resolve reputation management issues and address supply chain challenges.
Software as a Service (SaaS) enables companies to purchase software on a subscription basis. This software offers innovative tools that make work easier and optimizes the functioning of the manufacturing production chain. SaaS differs from traditional software as it does not have to be installed on a machine to work. Instead, it is hosted in the cloud and accessible from nearly any device.
There are numerous benefits to using & developing a custom SaaS application, including reduced operating costs, enhanced mobility, better data security, greater flexibility in the use and access of data, better quality service and improved interconnection. The functionalities of SaaS applications can greatly vary; some of the most common software used by industrial companies includes computer-assisted maintenance management (CMMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM).
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Many manufacturing companies can also benefit from the creation of a web portal. A portal refers to a web-based platform that gathers information from various sources and inserts it into a single user interface. Users of the portal are then presented with the most relevant information for their context.
Web portal development offers businesses the ability to access real-time information, seamlessly integrate with third-party tools and streamline internal and external communications. Custom web portals can be developed to meet the specific needs of a business and offer a variety of functionalities, such as customizable user-permission settings and advanced search functionality. Web portals are also fully responsive across all devices.
System integration solutions can help businesses gain efficiency and reduce IT complexity. Although manufacturing companies often use new technologies to give their businesses a competitive advantage, complications can occur when there are too many applications and external systems that are not properly integrated. This disconnect creates wasted time and money.
System integration helps solve this problem by connecting various subsystems within a company into a single, broader system that is equipped to function on its own. Linking multiple IT systems, services and software in a way that enables them to work together seamlessly can streamline internal processes, improve analysis and reporting and save on maintenance costs.
The use of cloud technology refers to how programs and data are accessed via the cloud instead of a personal computer. Many manufacturing companies are making the wise move to the cloud where anyone can access programs and data from any device and location. Cloud applications are a convenient solution for managing applications, email, files and databases. There are several cloud computing models available to businesses, such as private cloud, public cloud, community cloud and hybrid cloud.
One of the biggest benefits of this resource is the ability to reduce physical data centers or, for some businesses, to eliminate them completely. Establishing a cloud server allows businesses to reduce the number of servers they require, the number of employees needed and the cost of the software.
Application programming interfaces (APIs) have transferred the way that data is used across businesses. Developing APIs that are reliable and easy to use can help applications seamlessly interact, and satisfy business requirements with open-source and third-party APIs.
Custom API integrations involve the development of API architectures with high-level security protocols. API solutions cover a wide range of areas, such as development, documentation, integration, deployment and ongoing support and maintenance of APIs. They can be adapted to new software and processes to help streamline workflows.
Many manufacturing companies choose to open an online store to make it easier for wholesalers and other customers to purchase products. The use of eCommerce software makes it simple to create an easy-to-use interface that integrates with other platforms, such as CMS, CRM, ERP, accounting software, email marketing tools, social media network and fulfillment services.
There are two main types of eCommerce software. On-premise software is installed on a local computer or server and is controlled by a team of on-site professionals that correct problems, manage updates and perform general troubleshooting. Software-as-a-Service is a hands-off approach to eCommerce as all patches, updates and new features are performed automatically or with a one-click integration. The software serves as an all-in-one platform that businesses can use to manage orders, customers, products and inventory. It can also be used to automate taxation and shipping.
Mobile App Development
Custom mobile applications can be personalized to meet the unique needs of a business. The process of creating software applications, which operate on mobile devices, relies on a network connection that works with remote computing resources. In the modern smartphone market, there are two main platforms. The iOS platform from Apple is used to power the popular line of iPhones; Android from Google is used by Google and other OEMs to build smart devices.
When they develop a mobile app, businesses can enjoy many benefits, such as improved efficiency, secured app data, high scalability, ease of maintenance and ability to integrate with existing software. Mobile apps can also improve customer relationships, enhance project management, provide real-time project access and record digital files for accountability.
Project Management Software
Project management software aims to help facilitate the workflow of team collaborations. This type of software is suitable for both startups and seasoned businesses. With project management software, businesses are able to assign and reassign tasks, track deadlines and control the overall process of the project. The software makes it simple to run multiple projects at once, while also tracking the performance of team members and automating the entire workflow.
There are two main types of project management, including on-premises software and online software. On-premise software resides on the company’s servers and is managed by a team of IT professionals and is located in a data center. Online software works on cloud-based technology and is offered in the form of SaaS.
Speak With An Experienced Custom Software Company
Manufacturing companies of all sizes depend on custom software to meet a specific set of needs. While packaged commercial software products and services can temporarily meet the needs of some businesses, custom software is designed to integrate seamlessly with existing processes and ensure that operations continue running without interruptions. For more information about the types of custom software manufacturing companies should consider or to speak with a custom software expert, contact Orases by calling 301.756.5527 or by requesting a consultation online.