Why Manufacturing Companies Should Be Using DevOps

DevOps infinity sign symbol with industrial symbols drawn a blackboard

DevOps is one of the most popular methodologies for technology companies today. With so much discussion about it, it’s easy to assume DevOps is merely a buzzword and only applicable to the tech industry.

But what does the term really mean, and more importantly, how can manufacturing companies use DevOps to streamline their own success and ongoing development?

What is DevOps?

The term ‘DevOps,’ a combination of ‘development’ and ‘operations,’ represents long-term, agile collaboration between the two typically disparate teams. Although it traditionally refers to app and software development processes, DevOps tenets can also be applied to industrial processes and production methods.

How is DevOps Used in Manufacturing?

Like many tech companies, manufacturers are facing increased pressure to expand rapidly, produce more quickly, and innovate agilely. DevOps principles can help manufacturers accomplish those goals by streamlining communication and collaboration among teams throughout the company.

Industrial businesses can implement these DevOps concepts directly into their day-to-day operations by focusing on the following three areas:  

  1. Collaborate – Work more closely with all teams across the business, even those that don’t typically work together.
  2. Automation - Push for increased automation to enhance speed and accuracy.
  3. Innovate - Focus on constant, ongoing testing and optimization to continue learning and improving in different areas.

How Can Manufacturers Build a DevOps Culture? 

Collaborate

At its core, DevOps encourages the hand-in-hand collaboration between and among departments within a company. By working together as a team rather than as individual teams working separately in silo, all involved stakeholders have input earlier in the development or production process, can better collaborate and streamline creative project approaches, ensure quality throughout production, and even potentially solve problems before they arise.

Automate

While automation is already a big part of modern manufacturing, especially on the factory floor, there are many other ways to apply automation. Human resources, data entry, and even financial management are all areas that can benefit from increased automation.

By using the term automation, we mean adapting automated solutions for time-consuming tasks, not replacing humans with machines. While humans will always be a necessary part of the equation, they don’t have to be the entire equation; when employees have more time to focus on tasks that bring the company forward, everyone benefits.

Innovate

Finally, DevOps for manufacturing helps companies innovate. With such a tight focus on production speed and quality control, industrial businesses are the perfect fit for the DevOps approach. Additionally, by helping to assist in troubleshooting problems to improve runtime, DevOps supports all stages of your production process.

Incorporating DevOps Into Your Industrial Business

By incorporating DevOps principles into your industrial business, you help each team across your company better collaborate in an effort to innovate and optimize your production processes.  

It’s important to note that you don’t need to overhaul your entire organization to start thinking with a DevOps mindset; it’s not an easy process that you can just implement overnight. It’s a philosophical and cultural shift, which takes time.

You can start as small as you want and gradually scale up by automating one process or introducing members of your existing operations and tech teams to a DevOps collaboration group; from there, you can expand while also educating your employees about the importance of DevOps.

By taking an agile approach to getting more done, you’ll be able to handle more with less time and effort. It’s time to invite DevOps into your organization today to see just what you can accomplish.

Image Credit: Ashalatha / Shutterstock.com

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