Simply put, the Cloud is a network that allows you to store and manage data, files, and software on 3rd party servers without the need to buy and maintain expensive hardware. For every business, utilizing Cloud-based technology equals lower operational costs, greater efficiency, and more streamlined workflows.
Cloud manufacturing takes the core tenet of Cloud technology – easy-to-use, online self-service software – and applies it to manufacturing services such as the ability to upload design specifications and centrally manage projects with state-of-the art prototyping features.
Cloud-based manufacturing eliminates the delays, errors, and frustrations common in the traditional email-and-wait experience – which explains why Cloud-based manufacturing platforms are seeing a sharp increase in adoption worldwide.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the key principles of Cloud manufacturing for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs), and the benefits you can expect to see from moving your manufacturing processes online.
Questions to ask when thinking about moving to the Cloud
You’re considering moving to the Cloud, but is your business ready to make the switch? Here are some of the key questions to consider.
Manufacturing in the Cloud offers an unparalleled level of agility and scalability from a software perspective – but keep in mind that you will likely need additional resources, such as multiple manufacturing locations and warehouses, to start manufacturing at scale.
Manufacturing prototypes or small batches doesn’t necessarily give you a complete picture of costs when manufacturing on a larger scale. Before moving to a new system, ensure you have a good understanding of the base cost of materials and components, the costs of production at scale, as well as finished product profitability so you can make accurate growth projections.
To develop a control system for wastage, you will first need to identify the cost of residuals such as damaged components, rejected final assemblies, theft, etc. Virtually all manufacturing businesses incur some wastage costs as a result of the production process; putting a value on yours will help you maintain accurate cost accounting as you grow and determine where you can increase the productivity of your operation. Adopting a lean manufacturing process like “Just in Time” can also help you reduce wastage and its associated costs.
Getting ahead often comes down to outperforming competitors in terms of speed of production and/or product quality. Before diving into manufacturing in the Cloud, you should be sure that you’re equipped to shift with changing demand as new competitors enter the market. Having a sense of nimbleness to adapt to new competitors will ensure you’re ahead of the curve.
Once you’ve determined you have the right foundations in place to transition into the Cloud, avoid the temptation to migrate quickly.
Without proper planning and research, you risk choosing the wrong Cloud solution provider or making a costly misstep. Assess the following for every prospective Cloud solution provider:
Migrating systems can be time-consuming, especially for businesses with established manufacturing processes, so it pays to be sure that the provider you choose ticks the right boxes for your needs now and into the future before making a decision.
Moving to the Cloud for manufacturing can sometimes be time-consuming. Is it worth the cost and effort? In short, absolutely – here’s why
Having to purchase more inventory certainly isn’t a bad thing, it means you’re making sales. But it is a bit of a pain. Having to constantly make up and fill out purchase orders is a time-consuming part of inventory management, especially for wholesalers that purchase inventory from several different suppliers.
As QuickBooks Commerce rolls out new functions that streamline the way users purchase inventory, we take a look at the current issue with purchase orders, why they are important and how QuickBooks Commerce can make this part of stock management easier.
The way QuickBooks Commerce helps with purchase orders is quite simple… it brings all the information together. As an inventory management system with a holistic and integrated approach to monitoring stock levels, QuickBooks Commerce makes creating and managing purchase orders super simple. You can quickly see all the outstanding purchase orders and bringing goods into stock is as easy as clicking the received button.
SMEs get back a great deal of their time and minimise the risk of human error as QuickBooks Commerce customizes the purchase order for the specific business using it. Pre-loaded suppliers are available for selection, current stock levels are outlined and prices are adjusted to different quantities. The simple and professional template allows users to easily navigate or modify the purchase order with all their inventory information right there in front of them.
QuickBooks Commerce’s inventory management software is designed to streamline the purchase order management process. QuickBooks Commerce’s purchase order features enable businesses to:
The draft stage is an optional status that you can apply to tentative purchase orders. At the draft stage, the order has not been made yet and there is no change to your stock level. You can also edit the PO and resave as needed.
Once you are ready to send your PO, you can approve the order and the status will change to ‘Active’.
The active stage is where you will begin to receive the goods in your purchase order. You can choose to partially receive purchase orders or receive all the goods. You can also add landed costs to your received delivery if required.
If your QuickBooks Commerce account is integrated with accounting software such as Xero or QuickBooks Online, your data will be synced at this stage. The PO will also be reflected in your stock reports as Incoming.
At this stage, all your goods have been received and your stock levels will have increased. The PO is not editable in this final stage.With its integrated approach to inventory management, QuickBooks Commerce makes creating and managing purchase orders simple and easily referenceable. From the dashboard, you can easily create, review, and update all outstanding purchase orders, with stock levels and pre-loaded supplier information all in the one place. Prices are also automatically adjusted to match different quantities as needed.
As with all of QuickBooks Commerce's functionality, the PO management dashboard enables growing businesses to work smarter, accurately plan for the future, and provide a better customer experience. QuickBooks Commerce provides not only effective purchase order management but also let’s you manage, connect and automate your entire business from one hub for inventory, orders, accounting, fulfillments and more. QuickBooks Commerce frees you from the operational challenges of building businesses and let’s you focus on what you love and do best - create amazing businesses.
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