Technology’s Role in the Manufacturing Revolution

When you have money to improve operations, what is the best use of that budget? Do you hire more workers? Buy new equipment? Or do you invest in software technology?shutterstock_628146863 (1)

Because manufacturing executives are mechanically-minded, improving shop floor production through the purchase of new equipment, tools or dyes is the default way of creating improvements. But today, modern ERP technology can provide quantum leap improvements that can’t be realized any other way.

5 Reasons to Advocate for Modern ERP Software

There at least 5 solid reasons why you should invest in your manufacturing business transformation with modern ERP software. Solutions like Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations can help your organization:

1. Better understand production challenges by including the voice of the operator

When we work with manufacturers, we see that production floor personnel often know ‘the truth’ about delays and defects. This information is not always correctly relayed to the ERP business management system, which makes it difficult for other departments to understand your manufacturing challenges. Incorporating “the voice of the operator” into the ERP data helps to make better sense of the information, and to know the best way to respond so issues are solved at the root level.

2. Optimize maintenance schedules and reduce product defects through predictive analytics, machine learning and IoT devices

Rather than running your maintenance schedules by fixed intervals or hours of run time, machine learning can help you predict equipment failure and schedule a convenient time to take equipment offline for maintenance. Over time, you’ll be able to develop an optimized maintenance schedule.  As a safeguard, inexpensive Internet of Things (IoT) devices can alert the ERP system and production floor operators if equipment is overheating or has an abnormal pressure reading, so you can react appropriately.

Machine learning can also help reduce manufacturing defects by identifying the components most likely to fail and routing those units for additional testing. As defect testing information is relayed back to the ERP system, the organization can take proactive measures to increase the quality of the defective component parts. Higher quality control increases customer satisfaction.

3. Reduce risk by increasing supply chain visibility

Today most software and servers exist virtually in the cloud. Cloud computing has made it possible for people who can’t even speak the same language to connect through systems and create a global seamless global operation. Systems can connect to give you better insight into component production, delivery and shipping dates. Automated inventory replenishment processes help ensure you always have the right quantities of raw materials and finished goods in stock.

4. Predict accurately by improving demand forecasting

How much product should you manufacture? Manufacture too little and you have nothing to sell. Manufacture too much and cash flow is tied up, sitting on shelves, risking obsolescence.  Using historical data and recent trends, you can nail your demand forecasts, understand cash flow and improve overall profitability.

5. Add new revenue streams by better managing the complete product lifecycle

Increasingly, manufacturers are being required to service the products they manufacture. Dynamics 365 for Field Service can help you monetize your service delivery and keep you in compliance with your SLA’s. No more lost paperwork. No more calling back to the office to find out what the customer’s contract says. No more complicated scheduling. An all-in-one field service solution takes away the stress and logistical challenges of getting the right people with the right skills to the right place at the right time.

Having a modern ERP software solution is critical to today’s manufacturing success.

The current manufacturing buzz phrase is “digital transformation”. Companies who embrace modern technology have an opportunity to leap ahead transforming products, empowering employees and improving operational efficiency. Start with a modern ERP software that is flexible, easy to use and can be the foundation for business growth.

Contact us today for more information.

Written By: Doug Bulla, VP of Business Development, ERP

Other articles you might be interested in:
Production Scheduling – 7 Lean Principles
Production Scheduling – Schedule at One Point
The Difference Between Field Service & Connected Field Service