I am constantly looking for those Unique Selling Points (USP) to help the adaptation of Linux by the small manufacturing shops.
After establishing the Corporate DNS Cluster I mentioned in my other post, there is one another component every tiny shop needs: a big Directory Service such as ApacheDS - or at least access to one, with practically unlimited Trees (called partitions) without additional cost.
If you do this on Windows - watch out. Microsoft going to sell you a Primary Domain Controller, a Backup Domain Controller, a DNS server - the Licenses alone going to cost more than a pretty penny. With the way I build them - they still cost you the same, about 160 USD a year, which is your cost for your three or four VPS and a domain name.
So, why you need ApacheDS when you have one small production floor with 2 employees?
If you are not planning to grow - you do not need it. But if you are planning to grow and planning to invest in automation - the first thing the vendor going to ask is if you have a Directory Server. Its not you who need it - its the vendor of the automation, because that is how they authenticate their service gateway at your location.
Always plan and build everything from ground-up, own as much as you can - forgo leasing, renting when you may actually able to own something which is a better value. I call these USP because oftentimes these are what you buy at a premium - while you could have them free of cost, if you know what you are doing :D