Global manufacturers are facing ever-increasing disruption and turbulence in the markets they serve. Automotive manufacturers, for example, are dealing with industry changes brought on by autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, electric vehicles and ride-sharing (known as ACES). In order to survive and thrive in this changing world of manufacturing, manufacturers must be able to innovate, adapt and change their business models at unprecedented rates of speed.
Along with the changes manufacturers face in the current environment, they must also deal with increasing challenges when it comes to extending their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Over time, manufacturers have been required to quickly change their business processes to adapt to new requirements. As an example, manufacturers may deliver products directly to a customer assembly line, and in the sequence of that assembly line, with the right ERP customizations in place to support this. However, ERP customizations can actually hinder manufacturer capabilities and business processes as they can take significant amounts of time to develop and even more time to fulfill new business processes. Not to mention customizations make ERP upgrades cumbersome as each customization needs to be transferred and tested in the upgraded ERP system.
What is a Low-Code / No-Code Platform?
By definition, a low-code development platform is software that provides a development environment used to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional hard-coded programming. No-code development platforms are similar to low-code development platforms but require no coding at all.
When it comes to the responsibilities of an ERP system, manufacturers in this case must be able to increase software productivity by simplifying the way they develop new business applications. Manufacturers often have to fulfill their new business processes quickly, and the ERP should be there to support by delivering an easy-to-use development platform.
How are Low-Code / No-Code Environments Disruptive?
The rising popularity of low-code / no-code platforms can be tied to the digital transformation happening across industries. With digital transformation, the pressure is on for software creation that can manage new and existing processes. Manufacturers are constantly looking to increase productivity, and a low code / no-code enterprise platform can help to combat disruptive events.
Low-code / no-code environments can also strengthen and even disrupt app development. A manufacturer’s ability to respond to business change, to adapt over time and continue to support new business processes, will determine enterprise effectiveness and remove barriers to digital transformation.
A Low-Code / No-Code Platform Creates Opportunities for Enterprises
So, how can manufacturers utilize a low-code / no-code development platform? There are a few options out there when considering these capabilities, but typically companies will want to either plug-in a low-code / no-code platform to their existing ERP or turn to an integrated solution. An integrated solution allows key end users from the company to develop and test new business applications.
In a disruptive world, app development is certainly headed in the direction of low-code / no-code. Within the QAD Enterprise Platform, for example, external extensibility provides robust REST APIs / microservices that support interoperability of all applications. The REST API approach also allows for easy integration with best-of-breed third-party applications, cloud-based applications and applications developed specifically for the business.
The QAD Enterprise Platform Further Enables Manufacturers
Disruptive events are shaping the new normal, so it’s imperative, especially during tougher times, that executive teams stay well-connected with their IT systems teams to increase enterprise productivity and quality. By extending the ERP in a low-code / no-code environment, no changes or modifications to the system are required to leverage the benefits delivered through extensibility while still respecting the company’s security model. The QAD Enterprise Platform enables manufacturers to adapt and maximize their return on investment while also enabling them to extend and create applications that are dependable and scalable.