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In the wood manufacturing sector, there has always been an element of skepticism associated with so-called disruptive technology.
As a manufacturer, striking the right balance when implementing tech into the operations of a business isn’t easy: No one wants to get left behind, but no one wants to negatively disrupt their operations either. In this sense, the word “disruptive” can seem as though it has two very different meanings.
Unfortunately, wood product manufacturers have been more prone to accepting the negative connotations of the term. As Harry Urban notes in the March issue of FDMC, “Whereas other industries such as automotive and metalworking were quick to adopt CNC, robotics and data-driven manufacturing, much of the woodworking industry remained labor intensive and dependent on skilled craftsmen.”
While there’s no denying Urban’s point, the reluctance that he describes here is often used to infer ignorance or describe a stubborn approach to manufacturing when the truth is the culture of the sector has always been cautious and conservative. These are two attributes that have traditionally served the industry – built on a mantra of measuring twice to cut once – very well throughout its history.
ERP and MES
This explains why now we’re seeing such a widescale adoption of automation and integration in wood manufacturing. Industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and manufacturing execution systems (MES) are now time-tested and proven to be of enormous benefit to those who work with wood.
Instead of wholly disrupting a business, software like 2020 Insight offers an end-to-end cloud-based ERP manufacturing software solution built specifically for cabinet, furniture and architectural millwork manufacturers. It integrates the processes that wood manufacturers are already using to deliver a complete manufacturing software. By “complete,” that means a seamless flow of information from the bid and order entry through to final installation.
There are no worries of negative disruptions because it’s a solution custom built for wood manufacturers. And perhaps best of all, implementing a solution like 2020 Insight acts as something of an insurance policy for the next industry disruption. An underappreciated aspect of the right ERP software is the flexibility it creates within the operations of a business.
In his FDMC column, Urban goes on to quote Executive Briefing Conference keynote speaker Stephen Shapiro as saying, “We often think of disruption in terms of emerging technologies, but being disruption-proof is much more. It is about remaining desirable in the future and ensuring that what you offer today is still wanted tomorrow.”
This is exactly what 2020 Insight can do for a wood manufacturer. No single business can control the market, but every manufacturer can control how they respond to it. By automating and integrating business processes through 2020 Insight and its range of modules, manufacturers get an unmatchable competitive advantage when it comes to market fluctuations.
Because it connects operational workflows with a shop’s capabilities and requirements, custom orders can be executed just as easily as standard ones. But not only does 2020 Insight increase agility to respond to market demands, it also allows manufacturers to accelerate their time to market for new products. Engineering design integration and automation through 2020 Insight has helped reduce time to market by as much as 90 percent for 2020 customers and led to new products being designed and launched in fewer than 12 weeks.
Perhaps best of all, though, is that market disruptors are seen in advance through 2020 Insight’s integrated business intelligence. This intuitive tool analyzes operational data with customizable and interactive charts that make plain where trends are heading. It gives manufacturers the information they need to respond, turning disruptions into opportunities instead of business-debilitating developments.
Do not disturb
To a sector as traditional and long-lasting as wood manufacturing, disruption was always going to be a term that raised eyebrows rather than hopes. Yes, certainly, other manufacturing sectors were able to benefit by adopting emerging tech faster. But that doesn't mean the game is over. There is still time to catch up, and that’s what we’re seeing across the industry right now. As Urban notes in his column, “Woodworking companies are embracing new technologies more than ever before.”
For manufacturers considering ERP software like 2020 Insight, that’s exciting news. By implementing ERP software right now, you get the best of everything: emerging tech that’s proven, time-tested and customized to wood manufacturing. It takes everything that’s good about the term “disruption” (before it became a cliché) and eliminates the negative connotations that have since developed. 2020 Insight makes your business run more efficiently, without disrupting it.
We'd love the opportunity to demonstrate our software’s capabilities, and show all that 2020 Insight can do for your business. To book a demo with a representative who can answer any questions you might have, click here.
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