Most companies make huge investments in capital equipment, with an aim of either increasing their production capacity or replacing worn out equipment. However, many of these companies are reluctant to spend money in software that will allow them to get the best from the expensive equipment they have purchased. Consequently, they fail to get the maximum benefits of their investments. It is almost synonymous to purchasing a marvelous racing car then trying to go around the need to fit a proper engine.
Manual Methods Always Disappoints
Managing manufacturing operations by use of manual methods, including pen and paper, QuickBooks, and Excel Spreadsheets has proven to be inefficient. The amount of information that should be handled in a serious manufacturing process can sometimes not only be overwhelming, but can also result into a lot of errors, duplicate entries, and loss of valuable time spent on tasks that could have been easily handled by software. What’s more, the costs that can be incurred in remedying such errors are more than the cost of implementing the software. Even if they seem to be more expensive, these applications are valuable in the long run.
The Benefits of implementing manufacturing software
Manufacturing software provides control over the production process. Other benefits of manufacturing software include:
- Easier material bill clearing
- Easier provision of operation instructions through the use of interactive visual aids
- Reduced human-related errors and simplified methods of re-coding defects
- Enhanced efficiency and productivity which translates to higher profits
- Full transparency in operation is ensure by real-time work progress monitoring
- Easier tracking of manufacturing data
- Real-time quality assessment, monitoring and analysis
Software options for an Efficient Manufacturing Process
An efficient manufacturing process requires software solutions that can facilitate planning around inventory labour, purchasing and production. Some of the resourceful software in the market include:
- Manufacturing Execution Systems (MESs): Primarily manages production and shop floor operations. Their typical applications include labour and production tracking and work-in-progress monitoring and reporting.
- Product Life Cycle Management (PLM): Allow employees to collaboratively make decisions about particular products at each stage of the production cycle. In others words, it provides employees with an opportunity to design, produce, support the products in the manufacturing pipeline.
- Business Intelligence Software: these include manufacturing-oriented ERP and CRM suits. They optimise manufacturing operations such as quality control and material and process traceability.
Integrated Suites versus Best-Of-Breed and Multiple Software Solutions
By definition, integrated suite refers to bundled package of software solutions. On the other hand, best-of-breed is the best stand-alone solutions with specific category or particular niche. Generally, an integrated suite is the most preferred solution because best-of-breed may not fit the dynamics of some companies’ needs and manufacturing processes. Put simply, while best-of-breed may suit certain types of companies, integrated suites provide broader functionalities which may be useful to a variety of businesses. Nonetheless, companies that are focused on flexibility and customisation can opt for best-of-breeds.
While some manufacturing companies are using manual methods, the frustration that they continue to experience has forced many to consider going for manufacturing-focused solutions. In fact, with the contemporary reshoring trends, these solutions will come in handy as the right software solution can go a long way in helping a business streamline its core processes and operate more effectively and efficiently. In a nutshell, it is simply going to be hard to operate a manufacturing business without these applications.
Berkeley Myles Solutions has 20 years’ experience in designing and implementing a manufacturing platform, ProgressPlus, that has and is continuing to revolutionise the way manufacturing businesses operate.
With over 3,000 users, ProgressPlus production control software will help you deliver on time, reduce stock levels and improve profitability easily. It is quick to install and very easy to use and is ideal for manufacturers small to medium scale production – bespoke, batch or short-run. ProgressPlus provides greater speed and efficiency of the production process and maintains greater control of orders, jobs, workload, materials, labour and quality.
To find out more download our guide are you ready for manufacturing software.