Fact or Fiction – Microsoft for Manufacturers

I was recently interviewed, along with Joe Piombino, on a Sikich Live regarding Microsoft in manufacturing. You can likely attest to the myriad of Microsoft technology solutions available for manufacturers. In this constantly evolving digital world, here is why Microsoft should be a top pick for your manufacturing company.

From this Sikich Live, we covered a few fact-or-fiction topics regarding Microsoft’s technology options for manufacturers.

Microsoft is the world’s most commonly used manufacturing site.

Fact. This is a fact, not because of the reasons you might think! It’s largely because a massive proportion of the global manufacturers in this world use Excel to manage their business.

Manufacturers may not necessarily manage their bills of materials (BOMs), their production orders, or their scheduling in Excel, but they often do. I’m going to put my stake in the ground and say that with Excel, Microsoft is the world’s most used manufacturing software. Joe also chimed in that this additionally makes Microsoft (Excel) the most commonly used financial system as well.

Microsoft knows nothing about manufacturing.

Fiction. Joe said that he thinks quite a bit about manufacturing from his experience in plants. He used Dynamics tools in many factories and shared that the core capabilities reflect best practices in manufacturing.

Many people at Microsoft do know what a bill of materials is, as well as a production schedule. They have to because they’re developing one of the fastest growing solutions out there.

Microsoft is a distributor and part of the supply chain industry.

Fact. Many people don’t realize that Microsoft is a massive distributor thanks to its Xbox business, which means that Microsoft itself has to buy parts. It needs to schedule and plan in order to make and distribute Xboxes. Essentially, Microsoft is its own user in terms of its business applications software.

Microsoft is a leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Fact. Joe said this is definitely true. He spent many years at Motorola, which was a very centralized organization. The company was a large user of Oracle, PeopleSoft, and applications like that. When he went to work at ITW, he quickly learned and was surprised by the amount of Microsoft applications and the footprint that Microsoft had in the ERP space.

Microsoft spends $5 billion on research and development annually.

Fiction. This statement really put me on the spot, but I know it’s a lot more than $5 billion, a whole lot more. The figure is actually closer to $20 billion. Admittedly, it’s not all going into business applications, as obviously other areas like Xbox get a share of that. What’s fun, though, is that we’re starting to see the spending in areas of the Microsoft overall products portfolio that are impacting business applications.

I hope you enjoyed this Fact or Fiction article regarding Microsoft technology for manufacturers. If you’d like to watch the whole Live, you can right here:

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