In today's rapidly evolving manufacturing industry, selecting the right solutions to meet your organization's needs is a critical decision that can significantly impact your operations. The traditional approach to implementing on-premises software often involves a substantial investment of time, resources, and money. However, there is a notable change in the form of software as a service (SaaS), which offers a plethora of advantages that can simplify decision-making processes and streamline operations.    

What is SaaS software?

According to Gartner, “SaaS is software that is owned, delivered, and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at anytime [sic] on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.” Based on this definition, it is easy to understand why a SaaS manufacturing model is appealing especially to innovative start-ups and high-tech emergent companies.  

Why manufacturers are switching to SaaS solutions

A recent research study, commissioned by Adaptive Planning and conducted by Hurwitz & Associates, highlights a substantial 77% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for SaaS corporate performance management (CPM) solutions compared to on-premises alternatives. While the research focuses on CPM solutions, a significantly reduced TCO is equally true for manufacturing SaaS.

“Via the SaaS model, companies of all sizes can gain access to enterprise-class solutions without incurring large upfront costs, [sic] or having to hire expensive IT staff for initial implementation and ongoing management. SaaS is fundamentally changing the software equation in profound ways," commented on the study’s findings Hurwitz & Associates partner Sanjeev Aggarwal.

Apart from the TCO analysis, the study uncovered additional insights. SaaS application costs are roughly 62% of the total solution costs, while on-premises software costs make up about 17% of the overall expenses—meaning that 83% of the costs of getting a solution up and running on premises is not directly applied to the solution. One notable advantage of SaaS solutions—including SaaS manufacturing software—is the absence of infrastructure expenses, while on-premises infrastructure costs can generate tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the number of users and years in use. 

Rapid deployment for immediate impact

Thanks to cloud and SaaS for manufacturing models, gone are the days of year-long evaluations with an added year-long implementation that was traditionally associated when selecting most production systems. Speed is at the heart of the manufacturing SaaS, enabling swift operational starts. Manufacturo's approach cuts traditional deployment times significantly, allowing businesses to move from inception to being up and running in days/week, not months.  This capability for rapid deployment ensures that companies can swiftly adapt to changing market demands.   

  • Immediate access: Bypass the complexities of on-premises installations and quickly access a comprehensive suite of tools to optimize your manufacturing operations.   
  • Streamlined onboarding: From day one, focus on using the software's capabilities, thanks to our simplified setup process.  

Starting small, planning for growth 

Manufacturo's SaaS solutions are designed to accommodate businesses of any size, allowing for an initial small-scale implementation that can grow as your business does. Additionally, our emphasis on gradual implementation over big-bang go-lives enables businesses to integrate innovative solutions smoothly and systematically, mitigating risk—a methodology we will detail further, highlighting how manufacturing organizations can transition confidently and securely.  

  • Low-barrier entry: Begin with as few as 10 users and expand as your enterprise grows, without incurring unnecessary initial costs.  
  • Use one module, all modules, or anything in between: Use as many Manufacturo capabilities as you need, only when you are ready to. Avoid the big-bang, large-scale rollout to make sure the company is ready, processes are defined, teams are trained, and support is available.   

Flexible scaling and user control 

Flexibility is the hallmark of Manufacturo's SaaS manufacturing software. It ensures that businesses can scale their software use up or down as needed, providing a responsive solution that adapts to the ebb and flow of business demands.  

  • Adjustable licensing: Match your subscription to your actual usage, enabling you to scale up effectively and ramp up the number of licenses if you grow and need more.  
  • Empowerment to pivot: Try before you buy and cancel at any time to always maintain control over your software commitments. 
  • No hidden future costs  
    • No server upgrades  

    • No maintenance fees   

    • No upgrades that take months and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars 

Seamless continuous improvement and faster digital transformation

SaaS transcends the need for manual updates with a model built for continuous, automatic enhancement. Manufacturo’s system delivers the latest updates many times a week, ensuring that your business benefits from constant innovation without any operational interruption. In our upcoming content, we will delve deeper into how App Insights, using Microsoft Azure, can act like a nervous system for your company, detecting issues and perfecting performance in real time to prevent small problems from escalating.  

  • Automated updates: Manufacturo keeps getting better over time with no added charges for updates. 
  • No downtime deployments Eliminate downtime with updates that roll out silently and efficiently in the background. It aligns closely with our ability in continuous deployment and integration (CICD), where new functionalities are released without downtime and are ready for use as needed—a transformative advantage in MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and manufacturing software.  
  • Perpetual advancement: Keep your business at the forefront with software that is perpetually evolving, offering the latest in functionality and security.  

A partnership approach to software selection 

Choosing a manufacturing SaaS provider like Manufacturo means engaging in a partnership that extends beyond mere transactions. It is a relationship built on trust, support, and a commitment to mutual growth, like those we have proven with Sierra Space and Mynaric. “We chose Manufacturo because it offered us the chance to be part of the development process, guiding and customizing the tool while using a fresh, adaptable system tailored to our needs,” said the Head of Production and Test at Mynaric Peter Dachs about choosing to work with Manufacturo. 

  • Risk reduction: The partnership approach mitigates the traditional risks associated with software procurement, making the decision process more comfortable.  
  • Supportive collaboration: Benefit from continuous support that aligns with your goals, ensuring that your software solution grows with your business. (Examples—feature requests, roadmap reviews—because you do not have to wait for an upgrade—features can be delivered rapidly and significantly easier)  

Economic advantages and operational efficiency 

The economic benefits of SaaS for manufacturing are clear: there is no need for large capital expenditures on hardware, licenses, and maintenance. Manufacturo's model aligns operational costs with actual usage, resulting in a predictable and manageable expense structure.

  • Predictable operating expenses: With subscription-based pricing, costs are aligned with usage, avoiding large upfront investments.  
  • Zero hardware dependency: The cloud-based nature of SaaS means there is no need for physical infrastructure investment, freeing resources for strategic initiatives.  
  • Reduced IT footprint and (shadow) IT demand: Having it in the cloud and in a phased approach means that there is a lower Bill of IT (things you must manage like servers, software, security, patching, databases etc.) and the reduced need to have local IT presence.   
  • Instant ROI (return on investment) and instantly reduced opportunity lost cost: Start getting value from your solution almost at once and not being multiple months or years in the hole before the gains and benefits are realized.  
  • Remove the need for customization and internal development: Address the unique needs of your manufacturing model and production processes without the reliance on in-house development efforts, freeing your engineering team to focus on smooth product development.  

The better decisions, the greater the competitive advantage

The power of SaaS for manufacturing lies in the ability of cloud-based applications to simplify critical business decisions, minimize risk, and enhance productivity. By offering flexibility, scalability, and rapid implementation, SaaS manufacturing software empowers you to seamlessly adapt to the ever-changing dynamic within your industry.

As the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve, embracing the power of SaaS is not just a smart decision—it is an inevitable step. Gartner estimates that “by 2026, 75% of organizations will adopt a digital transformation model predicated on cloud as the fundamental underlying platform.” 

Continue the journey with Manufacturo

We completely understand that SaaS solutions are not for everyone for a multitude of reasons such as compliance, resiliency, and IT Policy. We also see that for many manufacturers it is a transformational decision that propels them into a future of streamlined operations, sustained success, and manufacturing excellence.

We encourage you to book a demo and see how Manufacturo can help you capitalize on SaaS from day one. Also, follow our series for insightful discussions on the expansive impact of SaaS manufacturing software across various sides of complex industries. Browse our website for in-depth articles, success stories, and innovative solutions that are driving the industry forward.  

Are you ready for SaaS?

What are your biggest fears or blockers about switching to SaaS manufacturing software?