Manufacturing CIOs’ Top 10 Priorities For 2018

Manufacturing CIOs’ Top 10 Priorities For 2018

  • Manufacturing CIOs and their teams’ top priority is to support, strengthen and accelerate new growth by deploying enterprise applications and platforms in innovative new ways.
  • Digitally transforming manufacturing operations to deliver higher levels of product quality will dominate nearly all CIO’s agendas in 2018.
  • Gaining new insights into supplier performance, product quality, and production using analytics, Business Intelligence (BI) and Manufacturing Intelligence is accelerating.

2018 is going to be a breakout year for many manufacturing CIOs. The majority if not all are becoming members and leaders of revenue growth and strategy teams. The days of a CIO and their staff concentrating on reducing costs alone are coming to an end, as IT infrastructure investments must start delivering revenue growth. CIOs are strategists now, more focused on how to make future growth opportunities happen with the portfolio of IT investments they are managing and planning to add.

Top 10 CIO Priorities

CIOs are now in the role of growth strategist. To excel in their roles, CIOs will concentrate on the following top 10 priorities this year:

  1. Drive greater revenue growth, capturing more market share while maintaining IT spending at or below budget. 2018 is quickly emerging as the era of the CIO strategist, as their roles rapidly expand to include responsibility for revenue and growth. The focus now is on how to orchestrate CRM, ERP, MES and various other manufacturing systems to support growth while keeping IT spending at or below budget.
  2. Digitally enabling quality management and compliance across all production centers. One of the factors fueling the growth of manufacturers is the increased level of mergers and acquisitions enabled by Private Equity (PE) firms. With more manufacturing companies becoming consolidated, CIOs need to create a single, unified quality management system that scales across all production centers.  A recent survey IQMS completed found that 92% of manufacturers say product quality defines their success in the eyes of their customers. You can find the survey results here, summarized in the white paper, What Drives Manufacturing Growth?
  3. Adopting and excelling in analytics, Business Intelligence (BI) and Manufacturing Intelligence to improve operations and stay customer-focused. Gaining insights into how the most time- and cost-consuming aspects of production operations can be improved is what’s driving manufacturers to adopt analytics and BI applications. By combining analytics and real-time monitoring, it’s possible to gain more insights into how Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Inventory Turns, and quality acceptance rates can be improved.
  4. Enabling mobile access to ERP applications so production leads and teams can manage the plant floor by walking around. Freeing production teams up from their offices and desks so they can work with production data on the mobile devices makes them more responsive to sales, channel partners, and customers. Providing untethered access to an ERP system frees up senior management to check on vital manufacturing, production and quality statistics and metrics too.
  5. Rolling out real-time monitoring across all shop floors to improve production scheduling, improve track and traceability, and meet compliance requirements. Real-time monitoring increases shop floor efficiency by finding production bottlenecks faster and enabling higher levels of inventory control accuracy and performance. With CIOs and their departments being members of revenue growth and strategy teams in 2018, knowing how to improve production efficiency is an essential part of finding new ways to grow while maintaining costs.
  6. Opting for the more intuitive user interface options on ERP systems that are customizable by users so that they can get more out of existing systems. Getting to the data needed to make a decision quickly depends on how well-designed the user interface is for any enterprise system. Manufacturing CIOs are often in a tough position as they’ve fine-tuned legacy ERP systems, yet users are asking for a new, more intuitive user interfaces. IQMS is taking this into account in how our latest EnterpriseIQ flagship release is designed to give users the flexibility of working how they want.
  7. The ability to have greater financial visibility into multisite operations globally with the flexibility of adding in new businesses and operations. Multisite financial reporting is a must-have for any CIO looking to scale operations across multiple plants and production locations. ERP systems that excel at this dimension include a broad base of reports that are customizable, including the ability to create custom Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The latest version of IQMS’ EnterpriseIQ ERP system includes in-depth multisite financial reporting and analysis. Having the visibility into how shop floor performance is driving top floor financials is essential for CIOs to enable IT to contribute to long-term revenue growth.
  8. Close the knowledge gaps between sales, engineering, and production by integrating CRM, ERP and PLM systems. The more complex product lines are, the greater the potential for the disconnect between sales, engineering, and production of what can be reliably built. Selling build-to-order, configure-to-order and engineer-to-order products is a challenge when gaps exist across selling, production and engineering systems. CIOs are prioritizing real-time integration including a more scalable system of record to alleviate this challenge.
  9. Using quality audits to discover new areas where product quality and compliance can be improved. This is especially true in aerospace & defense, food and beverage, and medical products where compliance is key to reducing costs, winning new customers and alleviating the downside risk of warning letters and restrictions from government regulatory agencies. Internal audits also find areas where suppliers, production processes, and final inspection can be improved. For CIOs in highly regulated industries, these are a must-have in 2018.
  10. CIOs redefine maintenance and support agreements, so they indexed to customer satisfaction. The best ERP systems have maintenance and support programs designed to reduce customers’ costs while increasing satisfaction levels. Looking to reduce maintenance and support costs, CIOs are redefining maintenance and support contracts to index payment terms of customer satisfaction results, further driving greater visibility and cost control into overall operations.

Whitepaper Growth in Manufacturing

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This article was written by
Louis Columbus

Louis is currently serving as Principal, IQMS. Previous positions include Director Product Management at Ingram Cloud, Vice President Marketing at iBASEt, Plex Systems, Senior Analyst at AMR Research (now Gartner), marketing and business development at SaaS start-ups. Mr. Columbus’ academic background includes an MBA from Pepperdine University and the Strategic Marketing Management and Digital Marketing Programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Louis also teaches MBA courses in international business, global competitive strategies, international market research, strategic planning and market research. Mr. Columbus currently is a member of the faculty at Webster University and has taught California State University, Fullerton: University of California, Irvine & Marymount University.