Why Manufacturing Automation Solutions Are a Must in 2020

COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in major disruptions in various aspects of our lives. One of the results predicted to occur after pandemic lockdowns are lifted is the economic recession that can hinder the business efficiency for several years. Cost-efficiency of all processes becomes crucial for business survival, and this is where manufacturing automation solutions come into play.
By reducing the risks and expenses originating in workforce management as well as augmenting personnel with robots and specialized software for the manufacturing industry, the businesses can greatly reduce their operational expenses and secure a healthy bottom line. This is especially important in a highly-competitive market that was expected to reach $4 trillion in 2020.

Let's take a closer look at the benefits of manufacturing automation systems and the ways to use them in Industry 4.0 installations. Read on to find out how MRP software helps achieve manufacturing optimization.

Benefits of manufacturing automation

The majority of manufacturers today have to work in harsh conditions of short-notice production orders, increased product quality demands and higher product output requirements while retaining cost-efficiency and transparency of operations. Low availability of skilled labor and high risks of employing an unskilled workforce makes shop floor process optimization in manufacturing a top priority for 76% of manufacturers.
We can say without any exaggeration that 9 out of 10 manufacturing operations can be automated to reduce risk and increase efficiency. By updating the existing systems and introducing manufacturing automation companies can reap multiple benefits:

  • Increased labor productivity. 58% of manufacturers struggle to meet the production demand due to the low availability of skilled labor. Replacing unskilled employees with robots ensures high productivity of corresponding processes.

  • Reduced salary expenses. Modern technology can help automate at least 64% of routine manufacturing tasks, allowing the businesses worldwide to save or reinvest as much as $3 trillion of labor costs annually.

  • Improved product quality. Using smart manufacturing and automation of related tasks greatly reduces the number of flaws and defects in all stages of product manufacturing.

  • Increased product safety. AI-controlled product quality control catches any potential product defects, eliminating the risk of recalls or catastrophic events.

  • Work in hazardous conditions. Robots can operate in hazardous conditions like acids, poisonous gases, etc, greatly reducing the risks and costs of such operations.

  • Short-notice production. Leveraging material requirements planning software along with supply chain automation tools helps deliver any product numbers within tight deadlines.

  • Removing repetitive operations. By ensuring that both manual routine and repetitive digital operations like data input, analysis and reporting are automated using AI, Industry 4.0 technologies help your team concentrate on building better employee and customer relationships, delivering stellar customer service and growing various other skills that help secure a better future for your business.

Reasons for the automation of manufacturing processes

Manufacturing automation: processes you should automate to get more efficiency
These 7 manufacturing processes and components can and should be automated, and here is why.

Research and development

There is a lot of research and intense communication between various structural parts of your company before a new product hits the market:

  • Evaluation of product design options and using virtual simulation software to test them out

  • Fast product prototyping using additive manufacturing

  • Generative design

  • Development of cost-efficient approaches to customization in mass production
Implementing product lifecycle management software helps structure all these activities and streamline the R&D processes for your company.


Managing the stock of raw materials usually involves multiple ad hoc interactions with suppliers, email/phone/messenger communications, etc. Various procurement aspects can be automated:

  • Securing the best price and availability of raw materials using data analysis tools

  • Shortening the cycle time between the order placement and the delivery

  • Providing transparency to all stages of order handling.
Applying AI algorithms for dealing with these tasks helps with shortening the procurement time and increasing the production output, thus growing your revenues.

Sales and order processing

Ensuring the correct quantity of the right product is delivered on time to the right customer has always been an administrative sink drain for any business. Here is how automation can help:

  • Order your products and services at greater speed through integration of sales into MRP and ERP systems

  • Use CRM systems to manage stakeholders' expectations, order inventory and payments

Distribution and logistics

Keeping an eye on all carriers involved in delivering your orders as well as monitoring the stock of your goods at all warehouses involves an enormous amount of work. Add periodic customer requests for checking where their items are — and you have yet another level of complexity.

  • Enable supply chain tracking and control of the movement of goods

  • Gain full transparency of the inventory quality and quantity

Customer service

In order to ensure uninterrupted and positive end-user experience, you need to provide stellar customer support — and here is how automation can help there:

  • Use Big Data analytics to predict customer needs and exceed their expectations

  • Provide personalized pricing and perks based on unique customer's data and the available inventory

  • Deliver memorable customer journey with sensor-enabled apps


Plenty of auxiliary operations are required to enable a smooth product journey across your factory floors and sections, from raw materials storage to the ready items warehouse:

  • Predict and avoid production waste using IoT tools

  • Leverage predictive maintenance to minimize equipment failures

  • Implement human-robot collaboration

  • Utilize remote monitoring of assembly lines

  • Use AI-enabled decision making
Handling these production activities can and must be automated through the use of manufacturing workflow software that ensures production continuity.


Manufacturing companies need lots of secondary operations to ensure timely completion of their product orders. The following aspects of HR, L&D, IT and other operations can benefit from automation:

  • Streamline basic paperwork like contract signing, approval of blueprints, product drawings and design sheets, using workflow software.

  • Automate most of the routine recruitment, HR, accounting and operations to minimize the effort spent on mundane work and maximize is efficiency.

Reasons for the automation of manufacturing processes

Industry 4.0 built using edge computing, Big Data, smart sensors, robots and manufacturing automation systems can disrupt the business landscape and help new leaders emerge. Quite the contrary, companies that fall behind on adopting this disruptive force and turning it into a competitive advantage will find themselves struggling to survive. The first step is to transition to using some necessary minimum of tools instead of the chaos of unstructured data. This helps streamline all the workflows greatly and increase their efficiency. This is why most companies have to select some kind of:

  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning),
  • MRP (Material Requirements Planning),
  • HRM (Human Resource Management),
  • CRM (Customer Relations Management)
  • PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)
  • SIEM (Security Information Events Management)
  • LMS (Learning Management System) and other tools.

Selecting the right set of tools depends on your unique manufacturing needs and requirements. However, what is an MRP system or ERP software actually needed for and how to get the one that fits your needs best?

What are business process automation systems capable of?

CRM system is a needed prerequisite for flexible, dynamic and productive Sales and Marketing operations. HRM and LMS solutions are needed to cost-efficiently and reliably attract, engage and retain talents needed to push your business forward. The rest of the systems play their own important roles.

However, these are just secondary systems for providing input for an MRP — a complex solution that can handle all relations with suppliers, employee schedules, current product orders, inventory records, etc. Centralizing all of these document workflows in a single system helps greatly streamline the manufacturing processes and leads to manufacturing optimization.
Enterprise Resource Planning
The next step along this way is ERP — an even more complex enterprise-grade system covering all aspects of manufacturing along with project management, compliance, employee management, perks and benefits, etc. There are various ERP systems on the market, each suited to the needs of some particular industry — but they cost quite a fortune to adopt and implement.

PLM or Product Lifecycle Management software is a key component for any company that provides end-to-end product design and manufacturing. These state-of-the-art systems help oversee and manage all aspects of product manufacturing at all stages, from idea refinement to design and production. ERP and PLM systems are complementary tools that can communicate with each other, yet support distinct business needs.

What are business process automation systems capable of?

There are the following advantages of using off-the-shelf ERP systems for manufacturing automation.

  • Ready-made ERP systems can be used at once after they are bought, implemented and configured, which reduces the time-to-value for them.

  • They also have dedicated support and extensive FAQ documentation, easing the learning curve for your personnel.

However, there are some serious downsides, too:

  • ERP systems are huge and complex behemoths that are developed quite slowly and if they lack a feature you need, its development will cost you a pretty penny.

  • In some cases, you will have to readjust your working processes to adopt the ERP and it cannot be done the other way around, which can cause performance drops during the ERP implementation stage.
In its turn, going for bespoke ERP, MRP or PLM software provides the following benefits:

  • The software is built to fit your needs and reflect your unique operational DNA. It can be tailored to meet your specific business policies and security regulations to ease the adoption. Furthermore your employees will not need costly retraining.

  • ERP/MRP software vendors have been there and done that quite a few times, so they can have ready solutions for your requests. Thus, you won't have to reinvent the wheel and will build the project from scrap. This will greatly shorten the time-to-value for your business.

  • Should you decide to adopt a new technology and expand a custom solution with new functionality, you can hire the same company (or another contractor) to do this. It's much faster and easier than in the case of using a ready-made ERP system.

There are just two points to be aware of:

  • Custom-built manufacturing automation systems do require more time and money for development and implementation, as compared to out-of-the-box solutions.

  • Working with an unscrupulous or inexperienced contractor can result in lost time and money.


The aforementioned pitfalls can be avoided when working with a reputable provider of manufacturing automation solutions, as they will have the expertise and reliability needed to bring your project to fruition. Globalluxsoft is such a vendor and we have a well-earned reputation of a trustworthy developer for MRP, ERP, PLM, CRM and other solutions, as well as delivering web and mobile SaaS products for the manufacturing industry.
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