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6 Surprising Benefits of Cloud Communications for Manufacturers

In manufacturing, every step toward greater efficiency boosts competitiveness. This is why the adoption of cloud communications has become a critical turning point for the industry. Enabling enhanced productivity while driving down IT costs, cloud communications has been game-changing for manufacturers. Let’s take a look at the industry’s unique IT challenges and some of the surprising benefits this technology brings to the table.

IT Challenges in Manufacturing Today

From robotics to the internet of things (IoT), new technologies are pushing the industry forward at an exponential rate. The problem is, for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies that won’t realize the cost-savings that come with large-scale operations, rapid technological change can be out of reach. They may not have the resources to invest in new IT and develop solutions for leveraging data, analytics, and automation.

Cost-effectiveness is critical in manufacturing, but the reality is, investing in new technology is often expensive.

This is where cloud communications is so useful. It allows companies to dramatically reduce IT costs while making it far easier to manage operations effectively. Manufacturers can streamline operations and collaborate using sophisticated data without increasing hardware and software costs. This leaves more budget for research and development, new technology, and growth.

How else are cloud communications helping manufacturers thrive?

1. Ability to Solve Problems Fast

Even minor problems can derail operations. With cloud communications tools such as unified communications as a service (UCaaS), your entire team can access real-time updates on shipping delays, back-ordered materials, or changes to a delivery schedule. This level of communications enables every decision-maker on the team to stay in the loop so employees can collaborate and problem solve quickly.

2. Enables Teams to Stay Connected from Wherever

As we saw during the pandemic, to ensure business continuity, employees in all industries should have the flexibility to work from wherever. That way, when the unexpected happens, whether it’s a hurricane, a power outage, or a pandemic, there’s always someone available to take calls from customers and to keep things moving along with suppliers.

With UCaaS, your employees are just as connected in the office as they are outside of it. As long as they have an internet connection, they can make calls, hold virtual meetings, send secure emails, and share files.

If your company has a contact center, a cloud-based contact center solution with features like IVR, omnichannel routing, and dynamic notifications allows your agents to offer the same high level of service they would provide in an on-site contact center.

3. Frictionless Scaling

Another benefit is easier scaling. With cloud-based communications tools, your company doesn’t need to purchase new hardware or software to expand your capabilities. The technology grows with you.

  • Adding new users to your communications platform is as simple as making the change remotely from the software’s control panel.
  • With cloud communications technology that integrates with popular business apps, you can use your communication tools from your sales, customer relationship management, and collaboration applications.
  • As cloud communications can be used with a remote workforce, you can expand your team without having to hire locally.

4. Easier to Leverage Data

With cloud technology, manufacturers have access to data that reveals insights at each point of the supply chain and value chain. When you and your teams have vast amounts of useful data at your fingertips – whether you’re using a mobile device on a project site, in the office on your desktop, or working remotely, your company can use these insights to drive smarter business decisions. With a cloud-based communications system, sharing this data and taking action based on discovered patterns and trends happens in real-time.

5. Breaks Down Siloes

With cloud-based tools, communication and collaboration are streamlined in all directions – between departments, with suppliers, and with customers. This not only improves customer and supplier relationships, but it also helps break down internal siloes.

With UCaaS, all of your communication tools are available from one app. This makes it easier to keep track of conversations and to collaborate in larger groups without creating confusion. You can also centralize the management of the entire company through one platform.

Also, everyone shares the same integrated information on customers and suppliers. So, everyone’s on the same page when it comes to what a customer needs, customer service best practices, and supplier needs.

6. Better Reliability and Security

Reliable, secure communications are a must for manufacturers. However, with traditional systems, communication channels are separate and rely on different technologies. You have to keep your in-house systems protected yourself and invest in the best communications technology to maintain high levels of reliability.

With cloud communications, your cloud provider hosts the software and the communications system off-site in a protected data center. You can also choose to work with a provider that guarantees above 99.99% uptime to avoid problems with dropped calls, poor voice or video quality, or unreliable performance – issues that aren’t going to cut it in a globally competitive industry.

With a reliable, security-first cloud communications system, your teams can count on flawless communication whether you’re coordinating with suppliers or sharing data internally.

Intermedia offers all the cloud-based communications apps manufacturers need to thrive, including Intermedia Unite, Intermedia Contact Center, Email Encryption, and SecuriSync File Backup and Sharing. Explore our customer stories and learn more about how companies in manufacturing, healthcare, engineering, and other industries are benefiting from Intermedia’s cloud communication services.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Program Manager of Digital Content and Strategy at Intermedia