Technology Functions Manufacturing Companies Shouldn’t Live Without
The manufacturing industry has been historically known for being late technology adopters. This isn’t a surprise due to the nature of this industry and the work environment they keep. But long gone are the days of shuffling papers and relying on Managers making gut decisions. Technological advances by companies such as Epicor, who specialized in Manufacturing software, have really dug into these processes and figured out technologies that can only improve the supply chain and manufacturing operations.
If you are a small or even mid-size manufacturing company, you may still be lagging behind the early adopters, which typically are the larger companies, when it comes to adopting technologies. Whether you are still looking to eliminate the paper from your environment or if you want to empower your employees with easier access to information, there are plenty of technologies and solutions that can help you accomplish that. Most of these companies have already acknowledged the need for an ERP system in their environment, but most don’t understand the capabilities and aren’t maximizing their investment. In most cases, these organizations install the system but don’t take the time to understand what comes after the implementation phase and cut short the training and additional benefits.
Here is a look at some important functions of your technology you should be utilizing:
- Eliminate paperwork and go with user-based dashboards. Maybe your business is using watchdog reports that you can run daily. These reports are important to give you a snapshot of production, purchases, supply, etc…. But the issue with these reports is they are only run once a day and don’t give you real-time access to information. User-base exception dashboards are online and can give your business access to real-time information, so any decision you make is made using the most accurate information. You can configure your dashboard to display the information you need readily available and can continue to use that same setting over and over.
- Grid access. A lot of departments such as Finance rely heavily on excel spreadsheets to do their job. There is now accessibility options in grid entry allowing users to make sweeping changes across multiple records more easily. There is also now grid integration with Microsoft Excel to simplify importing information, eliminating the need for retyping. The Microsoft Excel integration includes bringing in a materials list on a bill of material, updating or entering a new schedule of shipments, and entering a series of closing journal entries received from your accountant.
- Lean production. Today’s technologies support Lean Production capabilities and are designed to manage a Work order-less Kanban manufacturing system with electronic replenishment queues-driven from demand. A Kanban monitor dashboard gives a visual and displays real-time information so production is always in the know.
- Increase product complexity. Requests for product complexity is increasing in parallel with many manufacturing companies deciding to decrease their supply network, which is putting pressure on well performing manufacturers to increase their multilevel assemblies. A single view for estimates, building, and review allows for mistake proofing the estimate process from costly mistakes. In the production stage, multilevel assembly can be scheduled and monitored as just one complete production job. This allows a company to move materials and components from one job to another, since it is actually one job. Multilevel capabilities can provide the accuracy of cost of sales and can help point out where a job went off cost schedule.
- Quality with reduced costs. Like in any business, quality is the key to a successful business. Quality issues can happen anywhere in the business, it can even happen with the suppliers you choose. Technology has matured to the point it can monitor quality in the process flow. As quality is recorded and entered at various stages in the production cycle, management will have access to that information and can make informed decisions.
There are several more business issues that technology can make easier for your business. If your current solution is not keeping pace with technology on your behalf, it is time to consider an upgrade or replacement. If your solution wasn’t designed with your industry in mind, it is time to switch your solution to one that was. The benefits you receive is worth every penny. 2W Tech specializes in Epicor ERP solutions, a solution that manufacturers can rely on.