IT Insight: Manufacturing industry and the MSP

With global supply chain challenges, shipping and logistics management, and human-intensive processes, manufacturing is a multi-faceted industry in great need of IT Managed Services.

As a manufacturer, you rely on technology for production processes and back-end operations. The right IT is critical to your business. When working correctly, your IT helps to streamline production, reduce costs, and improve customer service. But unfortunately, it doesn’t always play out that way. Lagging networks, data breaches, and unexpected breakdowns can slow down productivity, increase costs, and make it hard to meet your customers’ needs.

Some of your biggest challenges now are Labor Shortages, Supply Chain Issues, Financial Concerns, Cyber-Security, Mergers and Acquisitions, Remote Workforce, Sales, Marketing, Vendors, and having Disaster Recovery Plans to support all of those.

To stay profitable, manufacturers need stable, reliable networks that support your workflows and minimize or eliminate downtime. You also need secure backups and disaster recovery plans with known recovery time objectives, to safeguard business continuity and minimize the risk of data losses should an issue occur. Unfortunately, as the manufacturing industry’s reliance on IT grows, so too does its exposure to cybercrimes and data breaches. In the current climate, you face a heightened risk of cyber threats, and you need a strong, multi-faceted cybersecurity plan to mitigate these risks.

Beyond that, your business needs to be compliant with strict requirements so that it can work with clients such as the Department of Defense or other government agencies. This requires an in-depth understanding of different compliance frameworks. It typically also requires network and security upgrades and documentation to prove compliance.

Regardless of the size or scope of your business, you need Technology that is consistent and reliable. Unnecessary downtime costs money and threatens customer relationships. Manufacturers need to prioritize business continuity so that if you suffer a software malfunction, an equipment breakdown, a security breach, a natural disaster, or a power outage, the effects are minimal, and you can get back to work with as little disruption as possible.

You also need a network that supports all your manufacturing processes and administrative functions, and you need cybersecurity solutions that protect your network. This includes protecting sensitive data and financial information in office databases and on e-commerce sites, but manufacturing cybersecurity must also protect the systems that monitor and govern plant equipment.

Unlike many other businesses, manufacturing companies aren’t just accountable to their own standards. They must stay compliant with a maze of federal and industry standards to attract and retain lucrative clients. Failure to understand, implement, and maintain compliance standards can lead to countless dollars in lost revenue and missed opportunities.

Having a technology roadmap, budget, and timeframe in your industry is critical to plan out your cash flow for IT upgrades and how to budget for future growth. High-level IT planning can be challenging, but without it, businesses often end up suffering downtime, incurring unexpected IT/Technology expenses, and not being able to scale as desired.  One way to defray costs  is by utilizing solutions as a HAAS “Hardware as a Service”. This allows you to pay a monthly fee, like a lease, that will allow you to retain your capital to operate your business and have cash reserves to get the key manufacturing equipment to produce your goods when needed.

With so many day-to-day tasks to manage, most job shops are reluctant to update systems that already work. It is important to stay ahead of the growth curve though and not wait until your upgrades become an emergency.

As a manufacturer, you need experienced professionals who understand the most effective way to approach your technical challenges and issues. You need an IT partner who can help you plan and ensure that your IT supports your business goals.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to technology. Your manufacturing company needs customized solutions that support your manufacturing processes to address the challenges of this industry. A blend of established blueprint processes tailored around your specific needs, challenges and goals will result in a seamless integration of updated technology, training, and processes for your company.

At PCG, we’re committed to understanding our manufacturing client’s needs and shaping our offerings around these needs. With 27 years of experience with managed IT services and cybersecurity and extensive experience in the manufacturing industry, we understand the challenges within the manufacturing industry, and are dedicated to helping manufacturing organizations get past these hurdles and optimize their potential.

Since 1996, PCG has had a proven track record of success in the manufacturing industry, and we would like to support your success. We can help you strengthen your IT and Security and ensure that it aligns with your business goals and budget. Together, we can streamline your projects from production to suppliers and vendors and ultimately, to your customers. To get started we will give you a free Network Assessment and Security Risk score and review where your critical issues are and plan on how to resolve them. Call one of our Technology experts today to learn more about our services and see why PCG provides the best Value with predictable outcomes for your manufacturing business.

JoAnn Hodgdon is vice president and co-founder of Portsmouth Computer Group (PCGiT) with her husband David. PCG provides comprehensive managed IT services, business continuity, security, cloud computing and Virtual CIO services to their clients.  You may reach her at or at