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Cloud ERP + COVID-19   

By Katie Foley

We are several months into the COVID-19 crisis and although more and more businesses are opening up, things are definitely not business as usual. The pandemic has completely transformed the way we work in the short term with the potential for long lasting changes.

Ways the Workplace has Changed

Going Remote 

Those deemed ‘nonessential’ in many states were asked to work remotely to help prevent the spread of the virus. While many companies are welcoming employees back to the office, many employees, especially those based in large cities, are still working from home for the foreseeable future. Although people miss the face to face interaction the office environment provides, the benefits of work from home (better work-life balance, less stress, casual dress, 30 second commute etc.) did not go unnoticed. Even once the pandemic subsides, work from home will remain popular amongst the workforce and businesses might need to be more flexible when it comes to allowing more remote work.

Social Distancing on the Shop Floor

Not all workers, in particular manufacturing shop floor employees, were fortunate enough to work from home during this difficult time. Depending on the nature of the manufacturing facility, some manufacturing operations were shut down if deemed nonessential. However, many manufacturing companies are considered essential and therefore stayed open during the hardest months of the pandemic. The plants that stayed open were faced with many challenges including how to keep productivity up while at the same time keeping employees safe and healthy. Most manufacturing companies were forced to implement policies such as the following to keep employees safe:

  • Social distancing on the shop floor
  • Staggering shifts so not everyone clocks in at the same time
  • Staggering breaks as well as moving breaks outdoors
  • Holding meetings virtually
  • Wearing masks and other PPE when social distancing is not possible
  • Increased cleaning
  • Avoiding job rotation
  • Expanding sick leave
  • Frequent hand washing and temperature taking

How Cloud ERP Can Help  

So what do the changes to the workplace have to do with cloud ERP? A cloud based ERP solution can ease the transition from traditional workplace to remote work.

Cost Savings

There isn’t a single business or industry that hasn’t been challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while we saw some sectors thrive, many businesses experienced a lull in activity making it hard on the bottom line. One of the benefits of cloud ERP is a much lower upfront investment versus a traditional on-premise model. This lower upfront cost makes cloud ERP an easier decision to invest in even if your business did experience a downturn during the past few months.

Flexibility

Another attractive feature of the cloud ERP model is the flexibility it provides. All of the data and software is hosted in the “cloud” (aka on the servers provided by a 3rd party hosting company) so there is no requirement for expensive computer equipment or the IT team’s manpower to keep everything running smoothly. So whether your employees are working from home, in the office, or a mix of both, all of your data and reports can be accessed remotely in real time allowing for business intelligence informed business decisions to be made at anytime.

Scalability

Just because there is a lower upfront cost to a cloud based solution, does not mean that the system is any less sophisticated. The cloud based ERP solution can help your business from its early days as a start up and stay with it as it grows. You can also add on modules or integrate with other solutions (business intelligence, advanced planning and scheduling, CAD, etc.) just as you could with any on-premise system.

Data Security

If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s that anything threat could be lurking around the corner and we must be prepared. The cloud provides best-in-class data security and doesn’t require hours and hours of your IT team’s time to maintain a modern data security system.

If the transition to remote work was hard on your business, make the decision to move to a cloud based ERP solution now.

Topics: Manufacturing, Company, ERP

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