5 myths about cloud based manufacturing software – why is it worth to plan your production online

Dilemmas of cloud based manufacturing software

Selecting the right production manufacturing system for a small manufacture can be challenging. Precision, flexibility, and being technologically advanced are becoming the main factors to consider. Potential Clients very often ask us about advantages and disadvantages of using cloud based manufacturing software. Many of them feel anxious about the idea of not using on-premise system….but once they try it, it seems for them impossible to go back to the old ways of production planning and management. They come to learn how vital the cloud and online planning can be.

It takes just 15 minutes to start using Prodio manufacturing software and schedule the first production order

 

Dispelling myths

It seems that majority of drawbacks of cloud based manufacturing software is far fetched and has little to do with reality. Hopefully in this article we will be able to clear your doubts regarding not only Prodio, but cloud computing in general. 

1. Security of online cloud based manufacturing software is very often much higher than internal network infrastructure used in a small manufacture. 

Security and confidentiality risks are reported to be among the top concerns about cloud based manufacturing software, especially having in mind the data protection. If you have a large company with extended IT department, customized intranet, encrypted connection, etc. I will not argue – in such case the cloud won’t be as secure as your own network.

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However if you have a small manufacture I would like you to answer honestly these few basic questions: 

1) Are hard drives in your laptop encrypted in any way? I don’t mean here a password to your Windows account, but an encrypting equipment module such as BitLocker. If you don’t have it, it is easy enough for somebody to break into your office and steal the laptop, then take the drive out, put it inside a different device and voila! All your data is in plain sight ready to access by anybody. 

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2) If you use a free email account such as Thunderbird or Outlook, you should have checked the option of sending your password to the server by an encrypted protocol. Otherwise, if you use an open Wi-Fi network, ex. at the airport, your password is saved as normal data. It means that anybody connected to the same Wi-Fi network, can log into your email account and steal your data.

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3) How many times, during the last few months, have you changed your Wi-Fi network password? Which encryption protocol do you use? Remember not to use the password saved on your router, as there are programs which can easily break it and access your network.

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4) How is you data from internal server backed up  – how often – a few times a day, do you use each time a different location? 

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I think, that if you answered honestly, you have a clear picture in mind, that your network might not be the safest place, or at least might not be as secure as you thought.

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I could continue to ask you questions but my point is to show you that storing your data in professional server center makes more sense and is much more secure, because there is a whole bunch of people making sure your data is protected. 

The connection is encrypted, few times a day an automatic backup is carried out to a computer in a completely different location.

Two interesting tidbits here: if you use Gmail or any other free email account – remember that by accepting the rules you agreed to making your personal data and emails available to third parties. Gmail is a typical SAAS service, such as Prodio, with one important difference: when you use Prodio there is no need to worry about third party access to your data. 

 

2. Availability of cloud based manufacturing software 

The second biggest concern regarding SAAS software is the accessibility and the fact that you must rely on your internet provider’s connection to access your data. First of all, nowadays if there is a problem with the wifi connection, almost anybody by using tethering mode can change their mobile phone into a hotspot, so there is a way to get back online quickly. 

Please note, that if your external server fails, it is up to you to fix this problem and hire an IT specialist to deal with the failure. Once you use an online software, you have the whole bunch of people working on it, and it’s their job to solve this problem quickly and efficiently. 

I would also like to dispel the myth regarding sharing the internet at the production hall. The general concern is that such arrangement will result in lower quality of tasks performed.  It seems that this criticism is a bit far fetched, especially now, when we all have internet access from our mobile phones.  

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3.What happens if we decide to “close up the shop”?

This is another issue of a great concern, because it requires placing a large amount of trust in your vendor. Potential Clients consider a negative scenario and worry that they might be left with nothing if we decide to “close up  the shop”? To be honest it is a great argument, but it applies more to companies creating on-premise software systems, which need a physical on-site central installation. You purchase a licence for a few hundred thousands and might be left with nothing when the vendor decides to shut down. 

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 The argument in favor of Prodio is the fact that we get a constant profit in comparison with companies earning commission on each implementation. It wouldn’t make sense for us to close the business as it generates a steady income. 

4.Automatic update of cloud based manufacturing software

It is important to mention, that Prodio updates automatically. There are many of on-premise manufacturing software systems which aren’t supported by their creators and require  additional payments for almost any customization. That’s why each time you need to adjust your software to changes in your manufacture, you are forced to hire a company to help you with the integration or find a different  one to solve this problem. 

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In cloud based software systems updates are faster, more features are implemented with every update, therefore the system is enhanced frequently and its functionality increased daily, so you always have an updated version.  

5. Access to your data 

At the end of this article I would like to talk about accessibility of data – because some of you prefer on-premise software with all infrastructure in place and data housed at their manufacture. 

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This is not uncommon that many software producers create databases in difficult to access technology which might prove hard to move to other environment – simply for the fact that they don’t want to lose the customer.

Having an on-site software isn’t the same as being the owner of your own data and it might turn out, that the only thing you own is a large file of completely useless database. 

Prodio works differently, because with one click you can export the working history and the list of orders to an Excel file. In this way you will keep track of what is currently happening in production with live reports and dashboards as well as get alerts about any anomalies and safety hazards. No critical information will ever slip through the cracks, so it will be much easier to secure your data. 

Companies are consistently looking for ways to make their business operations run more smoothly, perform more efficiently, and require less day-to-day management. Software should be easy to use and quick to deploy. Considering the above we haven’t mentioned other advantages such as lower upfront and operating costs, rapid implementation, flexibility, backup routines and user friendliness. It is no point in boasting about amazing features cause the best way is to try Prodio for yourself and see its benefits. 

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