Manufacturing – Joining up the Planner, the Supervisor, the Operator and the Management Team
If you are involved in manufacturing have a quick scan of the following and think about HOW and WHEN you get the information below:
- What does the Planner/Scheduler need to know? - machine capacity, operator availability, job priority/delivery dates, material availability.
- What does a Supervisor want to know about an upcoming shift? - the job orders to be executed, that the right operators are on the shop-floor, the materials for the order are staged/available and the machines are available to produce against the orders.
- What does an Operator want to know for each job? - clear set-up and job instructions, access to the drawings, confirmed availability of raw/semi-finished materials and line-side stock, the ability to easily capture/record completion, clear instructions as to what the next step is – what they need to hand-off to whom.
- What does the Supervisor need to see during the shift? - job completion status – overall and individually, job issues cropping up – outages/degradations, delays scrap, quality.
- What do the Management Team want to see at the end of the day/month/year? - production trends, machine performance stats, performance against delivery date, margin/profitability by product/product line, production forecast.
If your answers tally with the feedback I get from manufacturers, then they will all too often include references to “Excel” and “a day/week/month late”.
Why is that the case?
On digging further, we often discover some aging “best of breed” departmental solutions (Sales, Production, Inventory, Dispatch/Logistics, Finance) which are held together by sticky-tape and Excel and are often headed towards IT obsolescence.
So, what’s the “holy grail” – well that would be a future-proofed, scalable, integrated single-system that records data in real-time, comes with out of the box analytics that can be displayed on screens on the shop-floor and the management suite and runs real-time exception reporting to traffic light/flag issues as and when they arise on the shop floor. “Simples”, as the meerkats might say.
The trouble is that up until recently the truly integrated, real-time systems like SAP have not been affordable for SME manufacturing companies. However, that picture has changed with the advent of pre-packaged solutions and the cloud. Pre-built, “out of the box” solutions which can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud have changed the game – making ERP affordable for SME manufacturing.
At Absoft, we offer the first and only SAP approved solution for SMEs in Manufacturing in the UK. The pre-packaged SME Manufacturing template - Absoft Adima.
Navigate through the helpful articles below written with companies like yours in mind and to help Manufacturing SMEs tackle business challenges: