How mid-market manufacturers can seize advantage

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

Factory worker using a digital tablet near the production line in factory. Image Supplied: MYOB/ Ryvalmedia
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Article by By Valantis Vais, MYOB Head of Go-To-Market, Enterprise

Australian mid-market manufacturers, in fact all mid-market operators in general, are facing an inflection point.

While the pandemic has placed significant strains on traditional business processes, we now know the winds of change have been blowing for some time.

A new study, ‘Seizing advantage: The technology pivot ANZ businesses must make’, from Forrester Consulting and commissioned by MYOB details how many businesses are still yet to complete the transition to cloud-based solutions, a decade after the era of digital transformation began.

Key findings of the study:

  • 54% of the 420 respondents host their current business and people management solutions on premises
  • 38% revealed that their organisations’ current solutions aren’t customisable enough to meet organisational needs
  • Significant business challenges are cited as a result of poorly integrated (or unintegrated) systems, including lengthy manual sales processes (53%), limited business development time (50%), insufficient customer targeting for high-value strategic customers (50%), and poor customer experiences (49%)

The study tells us a story of employees who are accomplishing daily tasks in a very manual and repetitive way due to outdated solutions and practices.

One of the more alarming findings was that employees waste an average of 12.5 hours each week on manual and repetitive tasks as a result of outdated solutions. For a business that employs 100 people, that is $2.7 million wasted every year.

Close to one in two respondents report their systems provide poor customer experiences, and 45 percent said their systems were siloed or disconnected, making it difficult to generate valuable insights and make data-led decisions.

Does this sound all-too familiar to you?

Building a case for change requires leadership

The ‘Seizing advantage’ study paints an alarming picture of mid-market businesses failing to leverage technology to be competitive, productive and ultimately more successful.

And it could be business leadership that’s at least partially to blame, with the study showing 35 percent of respondents believe leadership is unaware of how operation software can positively impact business goals, and therefore aren’t prioritising the change as required.

If Australian manufacturers are to respond quickly to market and consumer changes (particularly during times of disruption, such as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic), they need real-time visibility and reporting.

Historically, manufacturers are used to manual processes in their production, but this isn’t a way forward when it comes to data-driven administration tasks including workforce management and resource planning.

Manufacturers: It’s time to unite

Currently, unified solutions aren’t often found in mid-market manufacturers, with many making do with disparate solutions that operate in isolation or connect via piecemeal integrations.

That’s because the approach to-date has been to build out an integrated capability, resulting in a plethora of add-on solutions custom-engineered to create an overall solution.

It’s time for manufacturing leaders to begin to seriously discuss their technology roadmap beyond integration, and begin moving towards a truly unified system.

Such a system brings together critical management technology, covering finance and accounting, payroll, ERP and workforce management, as part of the one platform.

This platform should be modular and designed to be extended, allowing participants to collaborate and connect into a broader ecosystem. All functions need a simplified workflow experience that unleashes employee productivity.

The best part of this approach is it results in an adaptive, resilient system that supports creativity and business growth.

MYOB Advanced delivers such a solution, with end-to-end business management designed to meet the needs of Australian and New Zealand manufacturers.

With MYOB Advanced, you can manage your manufacturing operations with ease anywhere, anytime on any device. With a unified business management platform on your side, you can improve collaboration across teams, automate time-intensive processes to avoid delays and have complete visibility across your business in real time.

Discover how you can increase efficiency and set your manufacturing business up for sustained growth with MYOB Advanced Manufacturing Edition today.