The digitalization of manufacturing is moving at a faster pace than ever. Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of your peers are dramatically increasing their level of digitization, spending more than $900 billion per year, according to a recent survey by PwC.
Moving forward with digitalization plans requires focus and resources, which may leave internal IT teams feeling stretched thin. In the face of these challenges, many manufacturers are making the decision to outsource IT managed services. A manufacturing managed services provider (MSP) can streamline operations and maintain networks, ensuring that internal IT teams can focus on broader business development goals.
Why are manufacturers turning to MSPs? What benefits are they getting from outsourcing IT services? There are five main benefits that manufacturers are seeing from working with an MSP experienced with manufacturers.
5 Benefits of Managed Services
Manufacturers need cost-effective technology solutions that are reliable. An MSP with manufacturing expertise can help you realize benefits to your bottom line and assist your internal IT staff in working more efficiently. The benefits of outsourced IT managed services include:
1. Improved Uptime
A Vanson Bourne Research Study found that 82 percent of companies surveyed had at least one unplanned outage over the past three years, with an average of two per year. They estimate this costs companies $250,000 per hour. In addition to lost manufacturing time, manufacturers also face overtime costs to compensate for the unplanned downtime.
Outsourcing network maintenance and monitoring to an MSP can dramatically improve uptime. A manufacturing MSP can evaluate and make recommendations for improving your network infrastructure, and then monitor your network 24/7, performing regular, proactive maintenance. Their proactive monitoring alerts them to any issues, which can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
2. Predictable Costs
Upgrading distributed control systems, improving network infrastructure, and troubleshooting IT issues are all time-consuming and unpredictable. Paying overtime or bringing in an external resource on short notice can eat into your budget. By working with a manufacturing MSP, you have predictable monthly costs along with peace of mind.
3. Proactive Maintenance
When IT teams are stretched thin, proactive maintenance can sometimes get pushed to the back burner. The Vanson Bourne Research Study found that 70 percent of companies lacked complete awareness of when equipment assets were due for maintenance or upgrade. An MSP can handle ongoing maintenance tasks, including:
- Assessment—An MSP will review your current network infrastructure and work with you to put a plan into place for any needed upgrades.
- Patching—Unpatched applications can lead to security vulnerabilities. An MSP will ensure your applications are up-to-date.
- Ongoing performance reviews—With their continuous monitoring, MSPs can quickly uncover areas of your network that need improvement.
- Upgrades—An experienced MSP will let you know when equipment needs to be upgraded so that you can plan in advance for those costs.
4. Focused Expertise
By working with an MSP experienced in the manufacturing industry, you have access to technicians with a specialized skill set in manufacturing-related technology and resources. Manufacturing MSPs typically have worked with numerous manufacturers, having given them in-depth experience and insights into improving manufacturing operations. You can balance out your own IT team by using their expertise to focus on various IT needs, such as:
- Security: An experienced MSP can offer suggestions on intrusion protection along with regular security audits and vulnerability scans. As they manage your network, they monitor for security threats to ensure your business’ data stays secure.
- Migration support: Migrating from a legacy system is a daunting task for even the best of IT teams. An MSP can help you plan and prepare for a migration, ensuring you have the needed infrastructure in place. A manufacturing MSP can assist you with deployment, ensuring it takes place around your already scheduled downtime.
- Virtualization: Virtualization is a powerful tool for improving efficiency and security. An MSP can help you expand or enhance current virtualization efforts or start the virtualization process.
- Automation: Automation is critical to your manufacturing environment, and an experienced manufacturing MSP can help you make the most of your automation platform, including assessing your current platform and helping you to upgrade, if needed.
- Business continuity: In coordination with monitoring services, many MSPs offer business continuity and disaster recovery planning. They can ensure you have viable back-ups to help you bounce back if a worst-case scenario occurs, minimizing lost production time.
By partnering with an experienced manufacturing MSP, you have an expert team at your disposal to help you with day-to-day maintenance tasks, ongoing projects, or a combination of the two.
5. Higher Efficiency
Without the burden of troubleshooting and performing ongoing maintenance, your internal IT staff can focus on initiatives that will move your business forward and give you a competitive edge. Managing your IT priorities no longer needs to be a juggling act. You can collaborate with your MSP to find a level of service and a relationship that works for you, and then rest easy that your network is being monitored and maintained by experts.
Your Manufacturing Experts
Manufacturers have unique technology needs, and they need an MSP with an in-depth understanding of those needs. At DC Plus, we’re deeply experienced in working with manufacturers. We provide proactive monitoring and support, and we tailor our offerings to your business needs and goals. We’ll provide you with the IT services and solutions you need to keep your plant running smoothly. Contact us today to find out how we can help you grow your business.