Cloud Emerging as Innovation Platform for Manufacturing

Plex, the leader in cloud ERP for manufacturing, today announced the results of a survey examining the use of technology by more than 130 leading manufacturing organizations. The first-ever Plex State of Manufacturing Technology study finds a host of emerging technologies converging on the shop floor to transform how things are made, track products across a global supply chain, streamline materials handling, and improve shop safety and product quality.

Plex State of Manufacturing Technology Study Key Findings

Cloud technologies power innovation: Forty percent of respondents drew a direct correlation between cloud technologies and their ability to drive innovation in their own products over the next five years.

Cloud solutions improve manufacturing operations: Not only is the cloud proven for delivering enterprise software more efficiently and cost effectively, it is now demonstrating real improvements in manufacturing operations. After deploying cloud systems:

  • 66 percent of respondents saw improvements in plant productivity
  • 74 percent achieved operating process improvements
  • 61 percent achieved better quality in their own products

The modern shop floor runs on advanced technology: Manufacturers are continuously experimenting, adapting and leveraging new technologies to improve all aspects of their operations:

  • 80 percent use consumer mobile devices such as tablets and webcams to access, stream and share information across large production facilities and global supply chains
  • 55 percent use IP-enabled tools and machines, which automatically adjust to meet product specifications and capture rich, real-time data for traceability

The full report is available at

Comments on the News

“The ladder of continuous innovation starts at the shop floor, where new materials, processes and technology are put into production every day. This study illustrates that cloud software, once a low-cost path to plant automation, has become a crucial tool for manufacturers working to capitalize on new technologies, collaborate across the supply chain, gain operational insights, foster innovation and dramatically improve efficiencies throughout the supply chain,” said Jerry Foster, chief technology officer for Plex.

“The manufacturing environment is incredibly dynamic. To be successful, manufacturers must rapidly respond to fluctuating consumer demand while simultaneously innovating with new materials, processes, tools and technologies. At Plex, we have always believed that Manufacturing ERP should be an innovation platform; we designed the Plex manufacturing cloud to help companies push the limits of what is possible,” said Jason Prater, vice president of Development for Plex.

“The cloud is becoming the core platform for rapidly integrating new technologies and achieving competitive advantage, enabling manufacturers to drive plant connectivity, process efficiency and innovation in their operations and their finished products. The transition to cloud-based solutions is catalyzing a new technology adoption curve among manufacturers: companies are embracing tablets, webcams, scanners, IP enabled tools and sensors in their operations at a faster rate than any previous transition,” said Jim Shepherd, vice president of Strategy for Plex.

About Plex

Plex is the Manufacturing Cloud, delivering industry-leading ERP and manufacturing automation to more than 400 companies across process and discrete industries. Plex pioneered Cloud solutions for the shop floor, connecting suppliers, machines, people, systems and customers with capabilities that are easy to configure, deliver continuous innovation and reduce IT costs. With insight that starts on the production line, Plex helps companies see and understand every aspect of their business ecosystems, enabling them to lead in an ever-changing market. Learn more at

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