Hiring a managed service provider (MSP) to oversee IT systems can improve almost any business’s productivity, cybersecurity, and efficiency. However, an MSP can be especially helpful for organizations in the manufacturing industry. An MSP with manufacturing experience understands the unique challenges of your industry — and how to build systems that will keep operations up and running. MSPs can unite various technology in use across production, administrative departments, and management. And they can do it in a way that is both secure and streamlined. Specifically, here are some of the benefits of engaging an MSP to manage manufacturing technology.
Although the manufacturing industry, as a whole, has not been heavily targeted by cybersecurity attacks the way some industries have, a data breach or other hack could still have a devastating impact on productivity and cost millions in lost revenue. Consider, for instance, Merck pharmaceuticals, which lost a projected $460 million in sales due to interruptions from the WannaCry virus.
In fact, in many ways, manufacturers can be more vulnerable to cybersecurity events, as many of these organizations tend to rely on older software and machines on the production line. Because of their age, these tools lack modern, sophisticated security protections, leaving manufacturers open to attacks.
An experienced MSP like CoreTech will work to make older technology interface with newer tools securely and safely. Our experts can isolate devices and systems that are more vulnerable to keep operations running even if a tool is compromised. Additionally, we can help detect suspicious activity and respond quickly to minimize the impact of a cybersecurity event. We will also provide advice on a plan for updating older software and hardware you are maintaining
Improving Efficiency and Productivity
Productivity is important for any business, but especially for manufacturers. Any period of downtime could critically affect production and cost you sales. It’s therefore crucial to protect yourself from network outages and interruptions.
As an IT provider, CoreTech will help you design efficient networks that allow for seamless collaboration between the shop floor, administrative teams, and vendors. We can help you build robust networks and backups to reduce the risk of downtime and negate the impact of disasters. We will also help you select tools to improve communication and connectivity between your staff and external vendors, sister plants and other business locations.
Streamlining IT Management
As a manufacturer, your focus is on streamlining operations and maintaining production — not your business IT. A good technology partner will help you identify all your IT assets and ensure that these systems are working together.
We’ll also take ownership of the maintenance and monitoring of these systems to give you time to focus on your core objectives. Dealing with a network issue or routine upkeep of your IT systems takes a considerable amount of labor, particularly if you have limited resources on staff to take on these tasks. An MSP, on the other hand, has a whole team of trained professionals available to help, which means we can fix problems proactively and respond faster to issues when they arise. This in turn improves internal productivity enormously.
Depending on what you manufacture, you may be required to meet certain compliance regulations, such as the ones outlined by HIPAA or the EU. At CoreTech, we have worked with numerous manufacturers to ensure that systems meet these legal requirements, and are able to provide supporting documentation to help you avoid fines and penalties for noncompliance.
Offering Expert Advice and Planning
A good MSP has years of experience planning efficient and reliable networks and workflows. Manufacturing IT experts can review your existing technology and help you determine where improvements or restructuring is needed. We can even make recommendations for other technology vendors and tools that will help you better achieve your tech goals.
Once we have effectively examined existing IT systems and implemented improvements, we can begin planning for your organization’s future. We’ll help you select new tools as needed and plan their implementation in a way that’s minimally disruptive. And we can monitor and maintain tools to keep systems up-to-date and determine when technology needs to be replaced.
When you hire an IT MSP, you’re essentially gaining a partner who can help you analyze your technology and provide expert guidance on the efficiency and security of your systems. But it’s important to choose one who understands manufacturing organizations and their unique IT needs. At CoreTech, we have extensive experience working with manufacturers in many different industries, from industrial products to consumer goods. We understand the types of challenges companies like yours face — and know how to build systems that improve productivity and ultimately, your bottom line. Get in touch today to find out more.