To be a successful manufacturer, you need to consistently produce at equal to, or higher than, your targeted rates. This must be achieved while staying within rigid parameters for cost and quality. In order to reach optimal levels of productivity and profitability, manufacturing processes need to be carefully enforced and perpetually monitored.
Unsurprisingly then, running a high functioning production line can be quite a challenge. Businesses are constantly adjusting their manufacturing schedules to fulfill ambitious quality, cost, delivery and flexibility goals. The wrong move can result in major supply chain disruptions, so it’s essential to have the right support.
This support comes in the form of manufacturing process software. It offers a reliable method of handling orders for discrete applications in production-centered environments. The best products help with coordinating construction journeys, monitoring order information and making sure ERP systems get the insights they need to optimize.
When manufacturing process software is implemented correctly, there’s the potential for substantial increases in bottom line viability, on-time delivery and production quality overall. It enhances operational visibility, and makes it easier to spot weak areas before they become impactful. For all of these reasons, it should be considered a valuable tool.
This article will take a closer look at the key benefits of manufacturing process software.
Shorter Production Cycles
Firstly, manufacturing process software is a great way to get a clear view of production cycles in their entirety. It allows businesses to track and streamline the order journey from origination to the completion of the shipment. This is achieved via statistical snapshots of the warehouse and factory routines. Visibility, transparency and control are all increased.
Faster Data Entry Times
When software solutions are skilfully employed, they deliver graphical plant layouts that support the addition of new tools and equipment. This is very important, as manufacturers can alter material movements by changing their characteristics and dragging connectors.
Alleviate Work in Process
Digital displays, dashboards, and reviews make it easier to evaluate the order journey and keep a close eye on KPIs. They can be programmed to deliver live notifications on production errors, the rate of consumption and point of progress. Converting this information into automatic alerts is an effective way to reduce work in process inventory and boost decision making.
Reduced Lead Times
It’s common for manufacturing processes to be disrupted because different materials arrive at different times. In fact, some businesses experience weekly production delays because they’re waiting for essential deliveries. While manufacturing process software can’t force suppliers to move faster, it does make it easier to track the status of key parts and components.
More Customer Satisfaction
It’s not just production line staff who benefit from greater visibility and the power to track resources and activities. This information is also passed on to sales and marketing departments, where it’s used to build up complete product histories. They can use the data to keep customers informed about their orders. Visibility is a top priority for consumers, so being able to do this is a fast track to increased levels of satisfaction.
Accurate Sequence Planning
It’s possible to enhance sequence planning by using manufacturing process software to construct detailed build schedules. The degree of accuracy relates to the flow of production information. You need to create thorough build plans with a clear emphasis on which component, or collection of components, is allocated to which manufacturing line.
Better Quality Products
Automation is the key to greater productivity for manufacturing businesses. Every component should be constructed in conjunction with an optimized build plan. You’ll see fewer mistakes and find it easier to hit KPIs if each operation is directed by a series of demonstrable digital commands, which is what manufacturing process software does.
Fewer Admin Tasks
With these digital commands, there’s no need for convoluted shift adjustments. All activities associated with the build process are tracked and recorded. There’s no need to stop and start or create manual records of operational changes. As a result, handovers are smooth, disruption-free and as efficient as possible. It’s also worth mentioning that, with a fully digital system, records don’t get lost or misplaced.
The cumulative effect of all these benefits is to raise productivity levels and give power back to your key decision makers. With manufacturing process software, they can access pertinent information about any stage of production and supply lines. They can also alter workflows graphically at the relevant stations. Every move and action is recorded, so that each department has a full history on which to base their own decisions.
Picking the Right Manufacturing Process Software
There are plenty of options when it comes to picking manufacturing process software. However, it isn’t easy to find a system that delivers all of the benefits described above, in addition to a reasonable degree of scalability. The truth is that some businesses end up investing substantial amounts of money, only to struggle with getting that return on investment.
Unsurprisingly, half the battle is making the right selection. The rest is implementing it in the most cost-efficient way possible. So, first, you’ve got to find a product that’s a good fit for your business in terms of size and budget. Ask yourself if you could realistically get by with a basic ERP system. There’s nothing wrong with it, of course, just so long as your requirements are similarly basic.
Yes, going entry level will save you money in the short term. However, it won’t be long before your needs outpace the abilities of the software. It’s better to spend a little more for a good fit and, preferably, some breathing room for the future. Epicor, Sage and Microsoft are great for midmarket businesses, but the largest companies require an A Grade product.
SAP and Oracle are two of the most popular vendors of tier one ERP systems. This means manufacturing process software for intensive production lines. Although again, it’s worth remembering you don’t have to need it at full capacity right now. Many companies invest in scalable solutions so that they can expand the limits progressively.
It’s even better if you can find software that’s designed for your particular industry. Epicor ERP, for instance, caters to a number of sectors from a single code base. It offers deep discrete manufacturing functions, and provides a robust system for electronics, high technology, automotive, defense, metal fabrication and aerospace supply chains.