AWS Smart Business Blog

Three Reasons Small and Medium Businesses Should Use the Cloud to Improve Manufacturing Efficiency

Did you know 61% of small businesses say their supply chains have been disrupted by the pandemic and worker shortages? As a result, 63% say they had to alter their supply chains in the past six months. This impact has forced businesses to refocus on how to improve operationally. For small and medium-sized businesses especially, operational efficiency is fundamental to ensuring profitability in dynamic markets.

Fortunately, the digitization of manufacturing has made new levels of efficiency possible, with business intelligence providing a way to fine tune and optimize every aspect of the business. Manufacturers are augmenting and often replacing manually driven metrics and automating data capture to support a more resilient and agile business.

A logical next step is to push efficiencies further to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). In the past, OEE relied upon manual capture of Return Material Authorizations (RMA), Non-Compliance/Corrective Action (NC/CA) and supplier’s inbound quality levels, for example. In a digital environment, quality data can be captured real-time on a per machine basis. Manufacturers with better and more timely data have more predictable production lines, more on time delivery, and higher sales.


So why isn’t every manufacturer taking full advantage of digitizing the production line and doing advanced analytics? For one, IT expertise can be a big hurdle. Capital expenditures associated with building out storage infrastructure can also impact adoption. And then there are security concerns—businesses need to provide ready access to users while meeting security compliance requirements.

AWS gives manufacturers of all sizes big advantages

The pandemic provided the catalyst for many manufacturers to revisit how they achieve business goals. With more remote workers, an unpredictable supply chain, and a dynamic end market, traditional methods of running the business fell short. But how can you transform a manufacturing business given all the challenges?

As a cloud pioneer, AWS has considerable experience managing logistics using the cloud. The lessons learned are built into every aspect of AWS, making it possible to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with access to the most advanced solutions

Two executives walking the plant floor in a manufacturing facility

Cloud infrastructure is purpose-built to support the performance and security needs of manufacturing businesses, and it scales to ensure you get exactly what you need. Powerful cloud-based applications and specialized solutions are available for every facet of your business, from engineering and design to operations, supply chain, sales, service, and business operations. Data throughout manufacturing environments—upstream and downstream―can be gathered, integrated, and made useful. The insights gleaned from BI tools for small business can help operations leaders better understand the variables impacting OEE to take action and drive continuous improvement.

Consider how the following manufacturing-centric cloud services could impact your ability to improve OEE:

  • Amazon Monitron: Help save on costly repairs and prevent factory downtime with an end-to-end system that uses machine learning (ML) to identify possible issues.
  • AWS IoT SiteWise: Discover and act upon opportunities to improve assembly line robots. AWS IoT SiteWise simplifies collecting, organizing, and analyzing industrial equipment data.

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Start getting results and beating benchmarks, faster

One of the biggest advantages of the cloud is flexibility. You can work at your own pace and focus on the priorities that are most meaningful to your business. If you’re not sure where to start, AWS has experts and support to ensure your cloud journey meets your goals. AWS offers:

  • Faster time to results: AWS is continually expanding its services and support network to enable the quick migration of virtually any cloud workload. When you collaborate with AWS, you continuously gain access to new, simple, trusted, and accessible solutions without having to make your own investments in capital and talent.
  • Purpose built solutions to help you improve OEE: AWS has tools specifically designed to improve manufacturing operations by capturing, analyzing, visualizing, and gleaning new insights from plant floor data.
  • Automation for intelligent supply chains: In the AWS cloud, our customers take advantage of intelligent automation for demand planning and warehouse management backed by machine learning-based forecasting.

Importantly, AWS provides a clear ROI that you can see and measure year after year. Free tools and calculators assess your workloads—taking the guesswork out of honing operational costs and identifying new opportunities to save.

Gain insights into plant operations

AWS offers essential tools for manufacturers looking to make their business more resilient and agile through better OEE. Getting your business where it needs to be, faster, is smart business. See how AWS is preparing manufacturing businesses for a data-intensive future.