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Selecting the right production manufacturing system for small manufacturers can be challenging. Precision, flexibility, and being technologically advanced are becoming the main factors to consider. Cloud computing seems like an answer to all those needs. That’s why potential Clients very often ask us about the advantages and disadvantages of using cloud-based manufacturing scheduling software.
Many of them feel anxious about the idea of not using an on-premise system. But once they try it, it seems impossible for them to go back to the old ways of production planning and management.
What is the reason for this initial anxiety? Mainly, believing in some of the common myths surrounding cloud computing. So in this article, we’ll try to dispel some of the myths and rumors.
The majority of drawbacks of cloud-based manufacturing software is far-fetched and have 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. So let’s start by looking at the top 5 myths.
Proving wrong 5 popular myths on cloud-based manufacturing software.
#1 The security of online cloud-based manufacturing scheduling software is much lower than the internal network infrastructure used in small manufacturing
Security and confidentiality risks are among the top concerns about cloud-based manufacturing execution systems, especially in data protection. Suppose you have an industrial machinery factory with an extended IT department, customized intranet, encrypted connection, etc. I will not argue – in such a case, the cloud won’t be as secure as your own network.
However, if you have small manufacture, I would like you to answer these few basic questions honestly:
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, steal the laptop, then take the drive out, and put it inside a different device, and voila! All your data is in plain sight, ready to access by anybody.
Are your online passwords encrypted?
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.
How many times during the last few months have you changed your Wi-Fi network password?
Remember not to use the password saved on your router, as there are programs that can easily break it and access your network.
How are your data from the internal server backed up?
How often do you create backups of your data? A few times a day, once a week or maybe only when you remember about it? How many copies of the data you have? And where is the data stored? Ideally, you should have at least three copies of your data, with one being stored offline.
So how safe your own network really is?
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.
I could continue to ask you questions, but my point is to show you that storing your data in a professional server centre makes more sense and is much more secure because many people make sure your data is protected. The connection is encrypted a few times a day, and an automatic backup is carried out to a computer in a completely different location.
An interesting tidbit here: if you use Gmail or any other free email account, remember that you agreed to make your personal data and emails available to third parties by accepting the rules. 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 scheduling 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.
Nowadays, if there is a problem with the wifi connection, almost anybody 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 online software, you have many 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 an arrangement will result in a 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.
#3 What happens if we decide to “close up the shop”?
This is another issue of 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”? It is a great argument, but it applies more to companies creating on-premise software systems for manufacturing operations requiring a physical on-site central installation. You purchase a license for a few hundred thousand and might be left with nothing when the vendor decides to shut down.
The argument favoring Prodio is that we get a constant profit compared to companies earning a 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 scheduling software
It is important to mention that Prodio updates automatically. Many on-premise manufacturing execution systems 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.
In cloud-based software systems, updates are faster. More features are implemented with every update; therefore, the system is enhanced frequently, and its functionality is 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 the accessibility of data – because some of you prefer on-premise software with all infrastructure in place and data housed at their manufacture.
This is not uncommon that many software producers create databases in difficult-to-access technology which might prove hard to move to other environments – simply for the fact that they don’t want to lose the customer. Having 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 a 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 and 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.
What else can our Prodio offer?
Companies are consistently looking for ways to make their business operations run more smoothly, perform more efficiently, and require less day-to-day management. The software should be easy to use and quick to deploy.
Considering the above, we haven’t mentioned other advantages: lower upfront
and operating costs, rapid implementation, flexibility, backup routines, and user-friendliness.
Still doubting whether a cloud platform can be as useful and secure as your on-premise manufacturing software? Then, how about scheduling a demo presentation or giving our free 14-day trial a test drive? We’ll show you that as our many other clients, you soon won’t imagine your manufacturing facility without our cloud service Prodio.
Cloud is definitely the future of manufacturing industry. With it, you can access your business data whenever and wherever you will need it. Plus, you won’t have to pay for managing, maintaining and upgrading your on-premise infrastructure – the only cost on your side will be a monthly or yearly subscription.
As for the security of your data, you can rest assured – cloud services are actually far safer than regular on-premise databases. Test our cloud platform Prodio, and you will see for yourself just how much more convenient cloud platforms are.
Cloud-based manufacturing software FAQ
What is cloud software for manufacturing?
Cloud software for the manufacturing industry is a solution that allows manufacturers to manage various business processes such as production planning, raw materials and inventory management, supply chain management, and more, using software hosted on remote servers accessed via the internet.
Are cloud-based solutions secure?
Of course they are – in some cases even safer than on-premise ones. Providers implement robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, and regular data backups, to protect sensitive manufacturing data. Additionally, reputable cloud providers adhere to industry best practices and comply with data privacy regulations.
Can cloud software handle complex manufacturing processes?
Without a problem. Cloud-based manufacturing software comes with several advanced features through which handling complex manufacturing processes is easier, such as production management and scheduling, shop floor control, materials planning, quality control, and job costing.
Are cloud solutions suitable for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies?
Yes, companies on the smaller side can especially benefit from using cloud solutions. Those tools offer lower upfront costs compared to traditional on-premise deployments, require minimal IT infrastructure, and can scale as the business grows. What’s more, cloud-based solutions provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with access to advanced features and functionality without the need for extensive customization.
Can cloud software integrate with other systems used by a manufacturing business?
Yes, most cloud solutions come with several integration features. For example, they can integrate with customer relationship management (CRM), warehouse management, accounting software, and more.
How does cloud platforms make scaling a company easier?
Cloud solutions are incredibly flexible and companies can tailor those platforms to meet their needs perfectly. For example, Manufacturers can easily add or remove users, access additional functionality as required, and scale their operations without the constraints of physical infrastructure.