They’re computer savvy, digitally connected, and constantly collecting and passing along critical data. But who are they? They’re the employees on your manufacturing floor.
Although most people still picture manufacturing jobs populated by blue-collar workers, there’s an increasing need for the employees in your plant to have and use the latest technology—if not now, then soon.
There are several monikers for the changes sweeping through the manufacturing world—the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, or Industry 4.0. No matter what you call it, whether your small to medium-sized business (SMB) survives and thrives in the coming years depends on how you respond to this trend.
SMB software leader Microsoft defines Industry 4.0 as “the transformation occurring in manufacturing to integrate digital technologies such as cloud computing and analytics, AI and machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) into production facilities and operations.”
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the nerve center of a modern, smart manufacturing operation, bringing every aspect of your SMB together in a synergistic solution that positions your company for growth.
Microsoft’s subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) licensing model makes cutting-edge business technologies like Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and integrated artificial intelligence (AI) accessible not only to large-scale enterprises but also to small and mid-sized manufacturing companies. Your implementation partner is almost as important as the business software you choose. No matter how good your technology is, it doesn’t benefit you unless you achieve user buy-in and competency.
Stoneridge Software is a certified Microsoft Solutions Partner for Business Applications with a Specialist/Expert designation for Dynamics 365 Business Central. We view every customer engagement as a long-term partnership. We commit to providing ERP software that meets the needs of your SMB manufacturing company, then train your employees how to use the system and provide ongoing support.
Supporting the Breadth of the Manufacturing Industry
Despite a wealth of news coverage on offshoring, we’re well aware that manufacturing is still the single largest sector of the U.S. economy and that the U.S. has the second-largest manufacturing sector in the world.
At Stoneridge, we’ve made it our business to support SMB manufacturers.
- We’ve worked with discrete manufacturers, batch and continuous process manufacturers, and remanufacturers.
- We have ties to companies across a host of industry subsectors—chemical, cosmetic, medical device, and food and beverage manufacturers.
- We understand the challenges you face as a small or mid-sized manufacturer:
- Managing your supply chain and inventory amid global uncertainty
- Moving from legacy on-premises servers to the cloud
- Updating and combining discrete systems into an interconnected whole
- Adapting to the accelerating pace of technological change
- Leveraging tools like AI and IoT to increase efficiency, productivity, and uptime
- Training and retaining a technologically adept workforce
Dynamics 365: Industry-Leading Manufacturing ERP Software
From the front office to the factory floor, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the linchpin that links your disparate business systems into a cohesive unit. A manufacturing ERP powerhouse, Dynamics 365 provides:
A suite of powerful business applications
A suite of powerful business applications that can be used singly or in combination as needed: For example, Dynamics 365 Business Central covers ERP and customer relationship management functions for small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses. SMB manufacturers can use Business Central on its own or pair it with applications like Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management or Customer Service.
Cloud-based manufacturing software
Say goodbye to capital investments and maintenance costs for on-premises information technology (IT) infrastructure. Enable IoT and machine-learning enhancements to equipment maintenance, manufacturing processes, and safety procedures. Access ERP data on any device with an internet browser.
SaaS subscription licensing
No need to buy a standalone product at an exorbitant price. Transparent per-user licensing allows you to control costs and expand (or even contract) your user base as needed.
One universal source of data across all departments
With Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM solutions, your marketing, sales, finance, customer service, and human resources teams are interconnected with supply chain, manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping teams.
Access to the entire Microsoft business software ecosystem
Dynamics 365 is part of the broader family of Microsoft business applications, including:
- Microsoft 365 productivity and communications programs like Word, Excel, Outlook, and Teams
- Microsoft Power Platform’s low-code tools for app and website creation, business insights, and business process automation
- Microsoft AppSource—independent software vendor (ISV) extensions that meet niche manufacturing needs
- Microsoft’s cybersecurity expertise, research prowess, and multi-billion-dollar investment in advancing and applying AI to business
The Best Time to Adopt Cloud-Based Manufacturing ERP Software: Now
The bigger the ship, the wider the turns it makes. One advantage small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses have over larger organizations is that they’re more nimble and better able to adapt to change.
Microsoft’s manufacturing ERP software is scalable. You can start small and let the system grow alongside your company. Need more users? Add licenses. Need more servers? Add them on Azure. Dynamics 365 is SMB manufacturing software that serves the needs of businesses of all sizes—so when you deploy a Dynamics 365–based ERP, you’re setting up your business for now and later.
In addition, a Dynamics 365 ERP is the backbone of a smart factory—the repository for data collected by IoT sensors, churned by machine learning algorithms, and fueling predictive maintenance and process and safety refinements.
Whether or not your company is ready for Industry 4.0 today, a Dynamics 365 manufacturing ERP solution makes you ready to adopt smart technologies when the moment is right.
Stoneridge Software: More Than a Vendor
At Stoneridge Software, we’re much more than a software vendor, and our services extend well beyond adept license management. We’re a full-service SMB manufacturing software partner. Our services include:
- ERP and CRM implementation and optimization
- Integration with Microsoft 365 and Power Platform
- Integration of industry niche ISV extensions
- Organizational change management consulting
- Training to ensure user adoption and competency
- Ongoing support
When you choose one of our support plans, you gain access to senior-level team members—not just minimally trained agents with a script. Break/fix support is included, but our plans don’t end there—we also provide support for ISV extensions and how-to training.
Like it or not, manufacturing is changing, and you can get on board or be left behind. Partner with Stoneridge to implement an SMB manufacturing ERP solution that sets your company up for adaptability, growth, and Industry 4.0.
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