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App Development is the Key to Manufacturing Sustainability and Success. Here's Why.

Team Kissflow

Updated on 17 Apr 2024 4 min read

Manufacturing operations have come a long way since the early days of the industrial revolution. Today, the conversation has moved from manual human-dependent assembly lines to completely digitized operations powered by smart automation systems and data-backed innovative solutions.  

According to Mordor Intelligence, the digital transformation market in the manufacturing industry is expected to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate of 19.4 percent between 2023 to 2028. This growth will be driven by the adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing. 

Apps made specifically for manufacturing solutions will also take center stage in the ongoing industrial revolution. 

There is a critical need for low-code app development in the manufacturing industry to help companies move closer to achieving their digital transformation goals. 

The state of IT in the manufacturing industry 

From optimizing inventory management to monitoring production and managing employees, manufacturing industry operators need apps for many things. The increasing demand for greater efficiency and customization of services is also driving manufacturers to push for innovative solutions that can improve their overall operations and help them stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving market.

Despite the growing push towards digital growth, the manufacturing industry faces a shortage of IT professionals trained to develop solutions specifically for the industry. This has made it difficult to build IT departments equipped to fully support the IT infrastructure and application needs of manufacturing companies.

Even in organizations investing heavily in IT solutions, keeping up with new technologies that are constantly emerging can be difficult. Building digital solutions takes time, and the chain of command in many manufacturing industries is simply not flexible enough to keep up. 

Most companies work with outdated systems that cannot keep up with current demands and are difficult to scale up or integrate with new systems. This leads to performance issues, compliance problems, and even security vulnerabilities. 

Low-code app development to the rescue

Low-code platforms are changing the way manufacturing organizations approach app development. Many of the apps needed to improve performance, streamline operations and boost production can be built without writing line after line of complex code. Low-code platforms allow manufacturers to build apps with greater agility and innovate rapidly. 

Low-code platforms are often compatible with legacy systems and new technologies. Manufacturers can use low-code tools to bring older systems up to speed with the rest of the industry.

Low-code application development also helps relieve the pressure faced by traditional IT departments to build applications that address manufacturing problems. With low-code development, business users can get actively involved in building digital apps, and experienced developers can focus on the more complex aspects of digital innovation while also overseeing the app development process. 

How can manufacturing companies achieve greater efficiency and lower costs with low-code development?

Manufacturing companies are embracing low-code development because it allows non-technical staff to collaborate with traditional IT departments to bring innovative app ideas to life. Apps built with low-code solutions can help manufacturers improve factory automation and digitize workflows to achieve greater efficiency and lower costs. 

The Ramco group is a prime example demonstrating how app development and automation can help manufacturing companies achieve greater efficiency and lower cost. 

The company, headquartered in Kenya, has over 4000 employees across 40 facilities. This created complex silos that were proving difficult to unify. Ramco struggled to standardize processes across the different facilities, and there needed to be more visibility. 

The Ramco Group adopted Kissflow to streamline its processes and workflows. Now the company uses Kissflow to build apps, workflows, and integrations for HR, Finance, HSE, and IT operations. 

It also uses Kissflow to automate key processes and track daily output efficiently. So far, the company has processed more than 2,500 items using solutions built with Kissflow. These solutions help the company save more than 30 hours per week and reduce the cycle time for each process by as much as 45 percent. 

Other benefits of low-code app development in manufacturing

Low-code development has numerous benefits for the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers can easily build and deploy low-code applications to enhance inventory management, logistics, supply chain management, and other aspects of their day-to-day operations.

In addition to the efficiency and cost benefits of building digital solutions, here are a few additional benefits of taking the low-code route with app development. 

  • Innovate faster 

Low-code development helps manufacturers shorten their development cycle and automate virtually all processes while expending minimal effort. 

  • Embrace new technology and integrate with legacy systems

Redundant legacy systems can stifle digital transformation. Low-code platforms can effectively integrate older legacy systems and new ones. 

  • Get citizen developers on board 

From business analysts to industrial engineers, non-IT employees are the closest to the problems manufacturers seek to solve with technology. Low-code development allows anyone with rudimentary IT knowledge to build apps that can solve their everyday problems.

Is app development using low-code platforms the future of manufacturing?

Gartner predicts that low-code application development will account for up to 65% of apps built in enterprises by 2024. This means most business solutions will be built without relying on traditional coding. This isn’t surprising, given the current trajectory of low-code development and the overall push for smart manufacturing practices across the industry. 

According to a recent survey, 80 percent of companies believe smart manufacturing will contribute considerably to their future success. Low-code is an essential part of that move towards smart manufacturing, and more companies will prioritize this approach to app development in the coming years. 

Low-code development is a relatively new technology, especially for the manufacturing industry. However, the benefits that it offers, such as a faster development cycle, lower costs, and less dependence on traditional IT, all fit the needs of modern manufacturing operators seeking to improve their responsiveness to changing customer demands. This will bode well for the future of low-code technology in addressing the challenges of the manufacturing industry. 

Manufacturers looking to stay ahead of the curve and thrive in today’s rapidly evolving market must pay attention to low-code development.

Transform with ease: Kissflow's low-code powers Industry 4.0 in manufacturing.