The Growing Importance Of Manufacturing Software
With today’s increasingly connected culture, technology is playing a bigger role in our lives than ever before and has completely revolutionised the world of industry. Here, Stuart Dantzic, Managing Director of Caribbean Blinds UK shares his thoughts.
Many businesses face the challenge of increasing productivity while simultaneously reducing costs. For manufacturers, this challenge is even more pressing, as manufacturing processes must become faster and more efficient to meet production requirements.
Not only that, keeping track of everything going on in a modern manufacturing facility is incredibly difficult, and using Excel sheets and paper-based systems is highly inefficient and will undoubtedly lead to a multitude of issues down the line.
Fortunately, with modern technology, there are a variety of solutions, such as Enterprise Resource Planning [ERP] software, which is available to help manufacturers balance lots of moving parts in the manufacturing process, without impacting the business or sacrificing resources elsewhere.
As such, more manufacturers should be taking advantage of these systems and the benefits they offer to help businesses streamline their processes, keep pace with advanced technologies and get ahead of competitors.
Manual manufacturing processes can be tedious, time-consuming and prone to human error, not to mention they can create inconsistencies in a business’ customer experience.
Dedicated manufacturing software can improve a company’s efficiency by automating its processes, furnishing integrated applications that share data to give employees instant access to the information they need, and providing business intelligence and analytics to improve decisions and planning.
Automatic alerts can be set up to inform managers of any exceptions so issues can be addressed proactively, and businesses can automate processes across different departments, from accounting and finance to sales and customer service.
Automating processes is even more useful for companies operating in multiple locations or divisions, with global offices, or working with an extended supply chain. A modern solution can allow these businesses to streamline their operations and processes across multiple locations, making it easier for multi-site companies to consolidate and share information.
Improved Product Quality
Quality is critical to the growth and success of every manufacturing business. Without a high-quality product to consistently attract and maintain a solid customer base, a company will lack a competitive advantage and likely fall behind others at the forefront of its sector.
Manufacturing high-quality products consistently is impossible without accurate data and, typically, companies that are struggling to improve the quality of their products don’t have the data they need to troubleshoot complex production problems.
By using technology to capture and coordinate information accurately, even as new data is being added, businesses can ensure they continually meet quality and regulatory standards, whilst recognising what they need to improve in the production process.
When manufacturers have real-time data, it adds a sense of urgency to improving product quality by providing them with insights into how they can offer their customers the highest quality product. By accessing real-time data and feedback on the manufacturing process, firms can identify and address quality issues before they become significant problems.
Manufacturing software and its ability to help increase overall productivity can result in significant cost savings for companies. The need for overtime and related labour and payroll expenses is minimised, and enhanced precision in production floor processes also helps to reduce scrap and re-work that can drain a business’ financial resources.
In addition, improved tracking of components and the turnover of finished goods, combined with more accurate demand planning, can eliminate costly excess inventory, whilst improved visibility into all financial aspects of production can help identify potential areas for savings and reduce cost of goods sold.
Less Environmental Impact
With manufacturers under growing pressure to decrease their environmental impact, manufacturing sustainably has become a widespread issue.
In helping businesses optimise their supply chains, manufacturing software can reduce the need for transposition and logistics, lowering a company’s carbon footprint as a result. The real-time data and analytics provided by the software can also allow firms to make sustainable, waste-reducing decisions, reducing their environmental imprint and helping create a more sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing industry.
In concluding, with manufacturing gearing up for ‘Industry 4.0’ – the next phase in the digitisation of the sector - the pace of manufacturing has outgrown traditional techniques and procedures. By making the most of the powerful tools available and their wide range of features, manufacturers can stay competitive in today’s fast-paced market and position themselves well to achieve increased profitability and growth.