It may sound obvious, but every function in the supply chain is a specialist team with the sole focus of doing their own job. Designers like to design, manufacturers like to build, testers like to test.

Problems arise when these groups of people must interact. Each operating with their own constraints, limitations, agendas and aims. We already know the importance of connected collaboration, you can look up my previous article on that [link here], better communication is always an advantage, but manufacturing cloud takes it one step further, it really pushes the concept out from your organisation and encompasses your suppliers and customers.

Understanding at a high level how you all operate together and the constraints and timescales of your respective operations leads to a greater understanding of the risks to your project.

The key to manufacturing cloud is putting that visibility of important information I front of the right people in your organisation. For example, if a manufacturer can supply one component cheaper and faster over a similar specified component, that is the one you would want your engineer to use. Without this interconnected insight you would have no way of knowing this efficiency was even there, and at best, this would be revealed at a later stage through negotiation and review.

Through sharing the relevant portions of data everyone in the chain benefits and potential problems can be addressed before they become actual problems!

So what is manufacturing cloud and how does it fit in? Well simply put, organisations using true-cloud software with cloud interoperability will automatically reap the rewards bestowed by the technology.

To give an example, taking a photo on your phone and sharing it to people using any app you choose is a friction-less experience, attempting the same on your desktop PC is nightmarish. The same quantum leap in user experience is gained through the use of cloud based design and manufacturing tools. Especially when those tools not only allow interactivity within their own suites, but allow import / export / data exchange with 3rd party vendors.

Here at Cadonix we designed our award-winning cloud CAD suite Arcadia to bring visibility to everyone in the wire harness design space from design engineers through to manufacturers and procurement. Having the option of full end-to-end transparency allows your team to make the best decisions every time.