As we have seen over the last four months, the impact of coronavirus has been a massive wake-up call for all industries and manufacturing is no exception, particularly as a sector still heavily dependent on manual processes and legacy technologies. Manufacturers are rapidly moving away from outdated pen-and-paper processes in favor of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, enabling plant staff to efficiently monitor and optimize their production processes in real time from anywhere. This is in stark contrast to our traditional notion of manufacturing, which is centered around being onsite, on the shop floor, or in close proximity to physical production processes. The research also shows the sheer urgency of those transformation projects over the last three months, evident in the very significant increase in our professional billing hours to support those initiatives.
As some plants restart and others adapt to a new normal, we are seeing a sharp rise in our customers seeking to expand their digital capabilities so they can improve agility, productivity, efficiency, and ensure the safety and quality of their products, as well as have access to process data while away from the shop floor to ensure social distancing, or when working from home. The increase in requests for our professional services shows manufacturers are taking advantage of the flexibility offered by the cloud and this has been further reflected in the increased demand for our online technical training programs.21 December 2020