How Manufacturers Zero-In On the Challenges with Legacy IT Investments

Sep 24, 2020

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Volodymyr Rudyi

For many manufacturing companies, you’ll often find companies locked into long-term, multi-year contracts for systems they decided years ago were not useful anymore.

So aside from this being a drag financially, this sunk cost commitment often makes company executives very leery of making significant investments in more modern technologies, as executives feel like they’re still paying for their legacy technology.

Legacy Hardware Integrations?

When it comes to legacy hardware still found today in the manufacturing industry, many times there will be closed, proprietary systems that can be integrated with other systems. 

So, you end up forcing employees into some really silly, long-obsolete routines. For example, when you’re dealing with proprietary, closed mainframe or client-server systems, moving data from your legacy systems into your ERP or MRP platform requires an employee to:

  1. View that data in the legacy system
  2. Manually perform data entry in your ERP or MRP system

Automating with API

Consider a manufacturing company that uses a welding system. As part of its QA process, the company needs to take a photo at the end of the process to prove that the process was done correctly. 

Without a possibility for data integration, you may need an employee to physically take a picture of the end of the welding process on their phone, and then manually upload that photo into your MRP platform.

How would your speed, cost structure, and reliability of the data improve if an API integration from your welding system automatically extracted and sent the photo of the completed welding process to your MRP system?

No matter how much your employees love your welding system, without data integration, your team will experience internal friction that impacts speed, accuracy, profitability, and even employee morale.

Is your manufacturing company still paying for legacy technology? Share your comments below.

And if you’d like to learn how to stay competitive in a digital world, download our eBook, “How Manufacturing Leaders Reduce Organizational Friction.”

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