Project Management Solution for Manufacturers

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 12/12/2022
cloud project management software

In today’s article, we urge you to take a good look at your project management tool. If it is not cloud-based, we strongly recommend you you begin the search for a more innovative approach. Whether you’re a project manager or the managing director, this read will explain why the change is needed. 

The manufacturing industry is built upon project management. Your company’s success will always depend on how well laid out and carried out the projects are. The failures aren’t just costly, they can ruin the reputation you’ve been building for years overnight - and they are often caused by the software your company has outgrown. Similarly to how they invest in on-site equipment upgrades, manufacturing companies should also innovate the digital tools they use.

Now some may argue that the older software does the job, and therefore there’s no need to blow money on a new tool. This is precisely the mindset that gets in a way of industry digitisation and needs to be dumped. To be very short and frank, you need a more up-to-date solution - and one of the telling signs you’ve found such is that it is based on the cloud. Cloud-based software is also built to scale and develop with time, so you won’t be needing to replace it anytime soon either. 

Project Management Software for Manufacturing

Similarly to any industry that employs the project-based approach, manufacturing cannot function without the right software in place. Even despite its lack of digitisation, this is one area businesses in the manufacturing industry would always invest in, all for the right reasons. That said, however, the software they might have adopted as recently as a few years back and the one on the market today are very different. And, chances are, your older project management solution is outdated. 

For starters, older software is often device-bound which is not ideal for an environment such as manufacturing. It means it won’t be collecting data as effectively, will have less flexibility for employee use, and is generally less effective. Not to mention, such tools are often costlier than modern solutions. In other words, by using it you subject yourself to underperformance at a higher cost. Can you really afford that? 

Traditional Approach to Project Management

Project management is one of the most important disciplines in ensuring not only do things get done in a timely manner but also that the resources are used wisely. In the modern quick-paced environment, the traditional methods of the industry are steadily becoming less and less effective. Let’s dig deeper into why innovation is crucial. 

Multi-tasking Leads to Failure

Project management naturally entails working on several things simultaneously as they are normally at different stages of completion. However, the greater is the volume, the bigger is the challenge and risks of errors. Simply put, when you’re dispersing your attention to multiple tasks, different in their nature, you will naturally lose your focus every time you switch. To most people, it also takes some time to recalibrate their brain and this results in lost momentum. It’s still doable if you’re staying within the same project scope; alas most project managers need to continuously jump from project to project. 

While multi-tasking is meant to be a way to drive productivity by spreading your efforts across multiple processes, in reality, it’s counter-productive. No matter how skilled the project manager is, they are human at the end of the day - and continuous jumping from one task to the next with no completion eventually leads to failure. There’s even a psychological factor to that, let alone decreased performance. Our brains are wired to produce the hormone of happiness known as dopamine upon completing tasks. It’s therefore little wonder many project managers end up burnt out quickly - they work constantly, but achieving full completion is a much longer process when the efforts are spread across multiple areas. 

Flawed Workflows

Traditional project management solutions are not designed to be used by the entire team and are usually only utilised by the project manager. This makes them siloed, and therefore the workflows are not always smooth and rely heavily on the attentiveness of the primary software user. As pointed out a few times already, human error is a frequent accuracy and therefore even the most detail-attentive project manager can occasionally miss some key development, leading to disrupted workflows. 

The handover process itself is often rather tedious as it will mostly require manual chasing. We are pretty certain the project manager has more important tasks to shoulder than emailing or calling their team members to inform them the task is ready for them to take over. Needless to say, workflows that entail manual handovers are naturally slower and things are much easier to be lost in communication. What’s more, the mistakes often don’t become apparent until much later in the process. This means not only will you need to trace back to where the error has occurred, but to also re-do all the steps that came after. This is a formula for project disaster. 

Cloud-Based Software

There is a way to transform the project management process in manufacturing without spending large sums. An average cloud-based project management solution isn’t a big but a very wise investment that will serve you in achieving long-term goals. Available on either a monthly or annual subscription model, these browser-based tools scale together with you.

Centralised Collaboration Platform

Every project has many moving parts and people across different areas of expertise involved. Naturally, one of the key tasks for a project manager is to ensure they all work as a progress-driving mechanism instead of being independent cogs. As we have mentioned before, for ultimate success you need seamless workflows. One of the most valued attributes of cloud-based solutions is that they become a centralised platform for your projects. Using them enables not just you but all parties working on the project to have visibility of what the others are doing, and how far along they are and to quickly identify who may need additional help. 

Unlike traditional solutions, cloud tools are accessible via an internet browser and can therefore be used from anywhere in the world, across different devices. This is a huge advantage if you have staff in different locations. What’s more, there is no limitation (other than software packages, but that depends on the vendor) for how many users can be utilising the tool simultaneously. What it means is that not only do your teams have a centralised location to collaborate but also do it in real-time. Changes are also attributed to the people who have implemented them, which makes it easy to backtrack to where things went wrong. Additionally, they are easy to reverse with just a couple of clicks. 

Easy In-depth Reporting

Since your cloud-based project management solution will be recording tons of data, it would all go to waste unless you weren’t able to analyse it. More traditional practices normally entail having a report template created in a PowerPoint format that is then manually populated with the data collected from different tools you use. Depending on the size of the report, this can be very time-consuming and by the time you’re done - there’s a new load of data to go through. Not to mention it is also very prone to human error. One single typo can skew up your entire report and the conclusion drawn from it. 

Solutions based on the cloud always come with a reporting tool. There are two kinds: the dashboard that highlights the key metrics you track and more granular reports that take a deeper look at the overall performance. Normally both are customisable. You can choose what metrics you’re interested in, in what format they are displayed, when the report is created and to who is it distributed. Since the platform collects the data, your input isn’t required - all you need is to click the button to receive your report in seconds. There is a way of deepening your insights even further. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools have a great perk to them that widens your data horizons further. But that deserves a section of its own.

SaaS is the Way Forward  

Project management innovation is something you need to embrace now, and cloud-based SaaS solutions are there to help you. The reality is, you more than likely will need a couple of tools to succeed. But this isn’t something to be worried about. On the contrary - SaaS technology is designed to be stacked and help you create unique systems by linking different solutions.

Integrations for a Tech Stack

The way SaaS solutions link up to one another is through integrations. Most solutions proudly list the available integrations on their websites, and some are willing to create a custom software link for their customers also known as API. Having a centralised tech stack allows your tools to share the data they collect independently, making it less siloed and therefore easy to analyse in different contexts. Such an approach gives you access to many opportunities you would otherwise be missing on. 

Specifically in manufacturing, a project management solution would work wonders integrated with a time and attendance system. This would give you valuable insights into the time the workers spend handling different tasks, which can then contribute to more accurate forecasting and resource allocation. Some solutions, like Timesheet Portal, also allow you to automate client invoicing as well as the approval of expense claim forms. Throw the accounting package into your digital toolbox, and you will have a platform for smooth, productivity-driving workflows involving every department of your company. In other words, through integrations, you can centralise the efforts of everyone across the business instead of running the teams siloed. 


While using project management software is a big plus for the manufacturing industry, most companies are still sticking to traditional, hence outdated practices. We are still going through the spur of technological advance and the solutions that were enough 5 years ago no longer make the cut. You need to move to the cloud-based platform or else you won’t be able to keep up with your competitors. The demand is growing and project managers are only human - they stand no chance against machines. 

This does not mean you need to compete against them. Instead, you should let them aid you and help you achieve new heights. With SaaS technology, you don’t have to worry about having to replace your tools again anytime soon - they are designed to grow and scale with you. They are also made to be stackable, and you can therefore fully align your teams by choosing the right solutions for your tech stack. It’s time you fix your workflows - you, your team and your business deserve that. 

Eager to try some cloud-based solutions out? Start with Timesheet Portal.

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