As we follow the industry news in Canada, we have seen a noticable trend of growth and expansion within the Ontario manufacturing sector and thought it was worth highlighting (and celebrating).
The economy changes very quickly and in unpredictable ways as we’ve seen with recent oil prices, the “economic downturn” of 2008 and many other events such as these.
There is no silver bullet answer as to how to remain profitable and competitive in such a rapidly changing world but it seems the more agile a business can be, the better its chance for success.
Here is a sampling of the recent successes in Ontario:
- Feds lending $10M to Brantford, Ont., forging firm for expansion
- Patriot Forge to Expand Brantford, ON Facility
- Nemak invests $15M to retool Windsor plant, create 80 jobs
- Magna Actively Looking for Acquisitions, CEO Walker Says
- Magna Buys Head-up Display, Electronic Components Maker
- Turnkey system supplier Eclipse Automation expands in Cambridge, Ont.
- Linamar gets $101M in federal, Ontario funds for $507M expansion
- Koss Aerospace awarded $5 million funding
Much of this has stemmed from government programs, here are a few you might be interested in learning more about:
- Alberta-Ontario Innovation Program
- Advanced Manufacturing Fund
- Technology Demonstration Program
- Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI)
- Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF)
- SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth Program
If you’re looking for more, Industry Canada has a searchable database available on their website called Government Programs for Canadian Manufacturers.
There are several ways a manufacturer can grow
- Additional product lines
- Additional markets
- Organic growth
As a result, manufacturers could need to increase their facility size, add additional facilities or warehouses, increase their employee headcount and upgrade their software and hardware technology.
The Need for Scalable, Agile Technology
Growing manufacturers require an agile ERP system that can scale and adapt to new processes, increased resources and changing structure (additional divisions, companies, etc).
An agile software environment means:
- The software is configurable
- The software works with commonly used software applications (Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, etc)
- The software is accessible regardless of location (e.g. via web browser and mobile app)
By investing in a scalable, agile ERP software application, a business can experience benefits such as:
- Starting orders on the shop floor days faster
- Reducing costs and overhead (e.g. eliminating duplicate data entry tasks)
- Making better business decisions and running day to day processes smoothly with easy access to information
- Transforming vendor performance from a paperwork “nightmare” to a fully automated process
Anytime is a good time to begin exploring technology improvements in manufacturing. During slower periods, staff have more time to focus on streamlining processes and thinking through the best practices for the business. During busy times, businesses are looking for ways to do things more efficiently (increase output and quality while maintaining or lowering costs) and a new software environment can help support this.
In any case, it’s best to take the time to select the right technology partner. They will become a part of your organization for a time and will work closely with you to ensure the software meets your needs and supports your goals.
Here are a few articles that you might find helpful: