It’s practically impossible for a modern manufacturing firm to maintain its competitive edge without having the right technology solutions. As the manufacturing industry starts to embrace the new age of workforce mobility and connected smart technology, factories are undergoing a period of profound transformation.
By ensuring you’re always one step ahead, you’ll be in a far better position to future-proof your organization and improve its growth potential. Here are five IT solutions that will help you achieve exactly that:
#1. Enterprise Resource Planning
A common problem in manufacturing companies is the serious disconnect between different departments and business partners. This leads to poor decision-making due to the lack of consistency of information exchanged and stored in different departments. For example, staff on the shop floor might be sending over far more orders than the manufacturing team can handle, thus leading to delays.
The solution to this is enterprise resource planning (ERP), a type of business software designed to connect every department within an organization by ensuring everyone sees the same information in real-time. It also automates repetitive tasks, thereby improving efficiency and greatly reducing problems caused by human error. For example, it can track the movement of resources in real-time and even send purchase orders.
#2. Production Scheduling Software
When manufacturing firms fail to meet deadlines, it’s not just unhappy customers you need to worry about, you also need to think about your business partners, such as wholesalers and retailers. Fail to meet your production quotas or quality standards, and they’ll start looking for other suppliers. That’s why you need to maximize throughput and on-time delivery.
Production scheduling software — which should be a component of any ERP solution designed for manufacturing firms — provides real-time visibility into supply chains and product orders while also enabling better interdepartmental collaboration. This allows you to quickly solve bottlenecks, reduce the need for manual data input, and reduce labor and inventory costs.
#3. Inventory Management Software
The ability to accurately keep track of your inventory is essential to optimizing costs and keeping your production targets on track. If you don’t have complete visibility of the entire supply chain, there’s virtually no chance of maintaining an efficient manufacturing process that doesn’t result in an enormous waste of materials.
Inventory management software is a component of your ERP system that serves as a platform for easily tracking things like raw materials, completed products, and orders in progress. Moreover, it can automate re-orders and greatly reduce the amount of wastage due to things like expiry dates and warranties.
#4. Customer Relationship Management
These days, customers expect instant gratification. Patience is at an all-time low when consumers and business customers alike are more spoiled for choice than ever before. This is why having a robust communications infrastructure is essential. That requires being consistently present through a wide range of media and having access to the right data.
Customer relationship management (CRM) goes far beyond the limitations of the humble spreadsheet to provide a complete platform for tracking customer journeys and providing a tailored experience. Sales reps, for example, will have access to real-time information about potential and existing customers, which will help them offer a better service while increasing profitability through cross-selling opportunities.
#5. Managed IT Services
It doesn’t take much to bring an entire production line to a grinding halt. Even a minor hardware failure or an outdated operating system is enough to cause chaos. Traditionally, organizations would deal with such problems per the break/fix support model, whereby they’d call in a technician and pay an hourly rate to fix the problem.
While break/fix support might not be entirely outdated yet, managed IT services provide a proactive solution that greatly reduces the risk of costly problems. Furthermore, they’ll also take care of the installation, hosting, and maintenance of your enterprise software so you no longer need to be constrained by the limits of your in-house IT resources.
Dyrand Systems works with firms in manufacturing, aviation, and construction, offering cutting-edge IT solutions that let business leaders shift their concerns back to their mission-critical operations instead of constantly worrying about technology. Give us a call today to learn more.