Streamlining your manufacturing process management software may sound a bit daunting, but in fact, there are many different ways of doing it without starting from scratch, feeling overwhelmed, or getting in completely over your head.
Here are more than 10 ways that you can update your process, completely upgrading your (and your suppliers’ and customers’) manufacturing experience.
1 – Define Your Projects in Terms of Scope, Leadership and Progress Milestones
Before you begin work on any project, do the following three things in order to get it off on the right foot:
- Define the scope of a project by documenting exactly what work will be done, the desired outcome that is to be achieved, and when it is to be completed.
- Assign an individual to take on a leadership role and be responsible for the management of the project.
- Set goals that mark the completion of critical phases of the project.
2 – Create a Project Plan and a Contingency Plan
The planning phase of a project tends to have a great impact on the results. The better the plan, the more likely it will go off without a hitch. However, always have a contingency plan.
You never know when, how, or what exactly will go wrong, but you can be proactive in trying to mitigate potential upsets.
3 – Computerize Your Documents
As digital as our world is these days, paper documents still abound. Unfortunately, whatever information and data is on all of those papers tends to stay there, rather than make its way into your computerized manufacturing process.
What you should do in this scenario is digitally scan your hard copy documents.
4 – Use Intelligent Data Capture
Once your paper documents, files, and images are scanned, they must be parsed so the data can be intelligently captured.
The benefits of data extraction include removing the need for hand keying data, improving the accuracy of the data and the speed by which it’s entered, and making the data more searchable and usable.
Data can be extracted from PDFs, Excel & CSV files, Word documents, raw text files, and images.
5 – Store Your Data Securely
Stop storing physical files and using manual organization methods. Doing so is just asking for lost or stolen information. Instead, store your data on secure servers where you can download it on-demand or access it via a web service.
6 – Get Your Systems Talking to Each Other
With all the various manufacturing process management software programs and systems used by a company (inventory, online ordering, etc.), streamlining simply can’t happen without integrating all the pieces together into one cohesive solution.
ERP integration is key to bridging and closing the gaps between applications so that efficiency and profitability can take place.
7- Make and See Changes in Real Time
Lag times and “refreshes” aren’t acceptable. If you really want to stay on top of everything that’s happening anywhere in your manufacturing process, at any time, then you need it all showcased in real time.
ERP system dashboards are great for visualizing what’s going on at any point so you can stay in the know.
8 – Automate Repeatable Processes
If you want to eliminate errors and free up labor hours, automate.
By getting rid of manual processes..
You’re able to complete more work in less time. This free time can then be reinvested into higher-return activities, such as customer engagement and supplier support.
9 – Optimize Your Materials Management and Inventory
Making sure you have the appropriate materials at the right time, as well as correct product levels to satisfy orders, is pertinent in this industry. Automating and optimizing insures your organization against human error and false estimations.
With an optimized inventory, you’ll also be better at accurately predicting and preparing for customer demand. If you’re using a manufacturing ERP system, you will be automatically alerted to changes in customer demand, both big and small. This is done from previous data as well as real-time data.
10 – Improve Response Times to Suppliers
Collaborating closely with your suppliers can mean that specific orders are met on time and that when issues arise, they can be solved quickly and confidently. Each quick response translates into drastically improved communication and completion times down the entire line of a project.
11 – Boost Your Customer Relationships
All of these improvements to your manufacturing process have a tendency to trickle down to your customers. If your productivity is increased, more deadlines will be met on time. If your processes are more efficient, your staff has more time to dedicate to customer needs and concerns. No matter which way you look at it, boosting your own efficiency will boost customer satisfaction.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that keeping your old manufacturing process management system is not going to keep your business competitive. If you want to compete with others at the top level, you must define your projects, create a plan, and streamline and integrate your manufacturing process management software.
Do these things and you’ll be pleasantly shocked at how smoothly your processes and projects run and how much profit you’re able to make.