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Manufacturing Software

Innovation in Manufacturing: Can Software Really Help?

SMAS Conference Takes Place Today as Manufacturing Companies Tackle Innovation

The Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld is the grand location for this year’s Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) Conference.  Its central location is well suited for companies in both the East and West of the country.  Add to that, the large quantity of manufacturing companies based along the M8 corridor and in places like Livingston, it’s likely to be well attended.

Those exhibiting are offering services to help the manufacturing industry navigate the rocky terrain which is post-Brexit Britain.  Exhibitors include, professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants and recruitment consultants, as well as the inevitable manufacturing software providers.

Brexit Impact on Manufacturing

Latest headlines suggest the manufacturing sector is floundering in the wake of Brexit.  In some ways this is hardly surprising since successive UK governments have been neglecting the manufacturing sector in favour of the services (particularly finance) since the 1980s.

Despite reports such as these, Scottish Manufacturing performance is on the increase according to SMAS Director Nick Shields.  Growth has been strong and the new government Productivity Programme launching later this month aims to boost profits across a range of sectors, including Manufacturing.

The initiative is a collaborative affair between Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), Scottish Enterprise, SMAS, Zero Waste Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.   Workshops, events and activities are due to start in October and can include things like operational efficiency and business innovation amongst other things.

The SMAS Conference takes place on the day it was announced that Scottish manufacturing firms have made “record” savings through an efficiency drive.  Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown said: “The Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service forms a vital part of our support for the sector and working through this service, Scottish Enterprise has helped to deliver record efficiency improvements and productivity gains of £113 million over three years to the 202 manufacturing businesses it supports helping them innovate and identify where they need to invest to build their global competitiveness.”

Manufacturing Innovation through Software

Manufacturing innovation and operational efficiency are aligned in many ways.   And when it comes to building competitiveness and investment to deliver efficiency, you really do have to start with business software.

A manufacturing company investing in innovative new ERP manufacturing software, like NetSuite or SAP ByD, might expect to make the following operational efficiencies:


  • Agility – the ability to swiftly react to opportunities and challenges as your new ERP replaces complex and unwieldy legacy software
  • Improved productivity – Using one unified system for all your suppliers and customers creates a synergy across your business that you can’t get with silos of information
  • Transparency – a single, bird’s eye view of your business gives you the best insight into your business. When you have complete visibility of every aspect of your operation, you improve your decision making

Innovation doesn’t always have to mean developing new products or engineering in a different way.  Something as simple as deciding to run your business using a cloud based ERP manufacturing software can be innovative, especially when you factor customisation and integration into the equation.  NetSuite has been designed to be flexible enough to customise, build on, build out and integrate.  You can be as innovative as you like or as you need.

That said, the product comes with some out the box product features which will have an immediate impact on your business bottom line.

Some of the product features you might expect to experience with ERP manufacturing software include:

  • Product design and BOM management
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Order management
  • Supply chain management
  • Service and Support
  • Financial management


If you are a manufacturing business looking for ways to be more productive, innovative and profitable please get in touch

Written by Emma Stewart – Sales and Marketing Director at Cofficient