Digital manufacturing is an integrated approach to manufacturing that is centred around a computer system. The transition to digital manufacturing has become more popular with the rise in the quantity and quality of computer systems in manufacturing plants.
Is Your Manufacturing Company Using Outdated Technology?
With your manufacturing company growing, it can be easy to get so busy that you aren’t keeping up with the latest technology. Very often, business owners get caught up in going after new and bigger clients, then they look around and find that they can’t handle the larger volume of orders.
Some manufacturing companies simply think that investing thousands of pounds in new servers and computers is beyond their budget. What they don’t realize is that investing in better technology makes it easier for your employees to get their jobs done each day. In the end, the investment pays for itself with more work being completed on schedule. As your manufacturing company develops a strong reputation for delivering projects on time and within budget, growth can become a businesses primary focus.
An older server that keeps shutting down can cost you several hours of productivity each day. In a year’s time, that can add up to thousands of dollars in lost production. What if you just go ahead and replace that old server with the latest technology? You’ll get better performance overall from your entire workforce.
Anytime your employees are sitting around waiting on an IT guy to come repair their computer, you’re losing money. You still have to pay these employees but they’re not processing orders or sending out invoices. They’re just waiting. Why not replace their old computers with the latest on the market? New computers have larger processors so your employees can work faster. They have larger hard drives so you can store more information. Plus, they have the capacity to run those big software programs that manufacturers need.
Outdated technology causes frustration for your employees and your IT staff. There’s no telling how much time and effort is wasted trying to get this equipment to run correctly. For some manufacturing companies, downtime can cost thousands of pounds per hour. You must take all this into consideration when thinking about whether to replace old outdated IT systems & equipment.
What if you have one old server that keeps shutting down and each time it does, half a dozen employees aren’t able to work. Maybe your IT department can get it back up and running within half an hour. This only happens once a week. But let’s more closely examine exactly what that costs just in employee salaries alone.
6 employees earning $20 per hour each = $120 per hour or $60 for 30 minutes. 30 minutes of downtime each week for 50 weeks per year = £3,000. But you haven’t figured in the time it takes your IT department to get the server back up and running. You probably pay your IT people a lot more than £20 per hour. Let's say they cost £30 per hour = £90. 3 IT employees working on this old server for an hour per week. £90 per week for 50 weeks = £4,500.
So far, you’ve spent £7,500 on this one old server that really should be replaced. It isn’t performing well. It’s slow and it can’t run the latest and best programs that manufacturers are using today. You still haven’t figured in the cost of lost work, orders, customer service, or whatever these team members would have been doing if the server hadn’t broke down.
You can see by the above example that there are a lot of expenses that you might not think of right away. You might simply be thinking that a few employees can’t work for a few hours each week, when it’s actually a much larger problem than this. And we haven’t even talked about employee satisfaction.
Workers who have the best tools available and the optimal work environment are far more likely to catch errors. They’re more likely to do better work. They simply get more done each day with fewer frustrations. You can’t put a price tag on that. When you can keep your employees happy, they’ll stay with your company. And everyone knows how expensive it is to hire and train a new employee. Study after study has been done on this topic and they all agree that hiring and training one new employee can cost you around £4,100 and it takes an average of 42 days to fill a position. Wouldn’t it be better if you could just keep your current employees happy so they aren’t looking around for new and better positions?
No network is entirely safe from hackers these days. So how do you minimize the chances that your network will get breached? You need the latest and best hardware and software, plus regular security training for all employees—even upper management.
Older computers, servers and software are an easy target for hackers. Without up-to-date and a properly configured network infrastructure, your business will be vulnerable. If everything isn’t constantly updated to combat the latest cyber threats, your data is at risk. Data losses affect your business reputation and can result in litigation and penalties. Some businesses are never able to recover from a serious data breach. Why take the chance?
There are lots of other reasons to replace your old, outdated hardware and software. It’s much harder to expand your business. When you can’t meet the needs of your customers, they’ll go someplace else. Your competition will be able to take over your market share.
As with any emerging technology, it’s more cost-effective to replace equipment every few years than it is to struggle with outdated equipment. The gains you’ll experience from upgrading your hardware will outweigh the cost of replacement. The increased speed alone will justify the cost of upgrading. You might not realize this because you’ve become accustomed to slow computing or wireless speeds. Once you upgrade, you’ll be glad you did. You will see a good solid return on your investment and in many cases, it doesn’t take long to see this improved ROI.
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