When it comes to production processes, companies like yours face a lot of challenges right now. They are mainly related to supply chain disruption, skilled labor shortage, new technological advances and quality control.
Thankfully, there are resources and solutions you can consider to overcome most of these challenges. Some involve considerable investments and lengthy processes, while others are more straightforward. Let’s see together what you can do right now to address the main pressure points in your manufacturing processes.
1. Demand Forecasting and Inventory Management
Production planning is no easy task and many factories struggle to anticipate future demand. Paired with handling inventories manually or in a bunch of scattered Excel files, this is a recipe for disaster. This is where an inventory management system would come in handy to avoid running out of stock or ending up with excess inventory.
Take digital manufacturing solutions from SAP, for instance. They help your company plan and schedule production, centralize operations and enhance performance. While the possibilities of a versatile ERP are endless, you should focus on the most helpful modules for your current business situation.
2. New Technologies and Digital Paperless Production
Technology is the biggest ally you can possibly have in your business. However, having too many options can be overwhelming and new tech advances tend to scare off traditional workers. What you need to keep in mind at all times is that resisting change is more costly than adopting new tech.
To make the right choices, you must first identify the areas where your employees face difficulties. This is where they would benefit most from new technologies. A simple tech solution that can significantly improve your production processes from top to bottom is to go paperless. By switching to digital paperless production, your manufacturing processes become safer, faster and stay up-to-date.
Take a moment and think about the speed with which printed information becomes outdated — almost as soon as it hits the paper. All subsequent instructions for your workers will generate new papers, confusion and the risk of getting things wrong. If you invest in paperless production for SAP, you optimize this information flow. You also ensure high data quality and benefit from much higher transparency over the manufacturing process.
Replace your stack of papers and deliver the latest information via smartphones and tablets throughout your company. Include instructional videos for complicated production processes, 3D models and updated order data. This not only saves paper but most importantly time and money.
3. Industry Regulations and Product Consistency
Nobody wants to waste materials, fail to meet industry regulations or deliver inconsistent products to consumers. While waste is inevitable, it can be mostly handled through efficient planning as part of a more complex inventory management solution. The other two aspects fall in the quality control arena, and they too can be addressed via modern software.
Opt for a process manufacturing ERP that makes it easy to identify and fix quality issues as early as possible. Take into account that standards apply to more than just the finished product. Raw materials, equipment and processes must also pass quality tests.
The demands of the free market are always changing, which means that manufacturers need to be able to change with them. This is where flexible manufacturing comes into play. It’s a term used to describe a manufacturing process that can quickly and easily be adapted to new situations.
Flexible manufacturing requires two main things: modular systems and intelligent software. A modular system is when you can take apart something, like a building. This helps because you can make the building small and put it in a truck or ship it to someone else to finish it.
An intelligent software can help you make an informed business decision that will help you with smooth operations. It can also predict demand, so you can manufacture the right number of products. These work together to give you the agility to respond quickly to new market demands.
For example, imagine that your company suddenly needs to produce a new product. You can quickly reconfigure your production line with modular systems to accommodate the new item. And with intelligent software, you can automate tasks and keep track of all the moving parts.
Flexible manufacturing is vital for any manufacturer that wants to stay ahead of the competition. It’s also important for manufacturers that want to maintain a good relationship with their customers.
Easy Steps for Significant Improvements
Ask your employees what they find difficult in their daily tasks and choose reputable technology to help them out. A good ERP system, digital production solutions and quality control checks will go a long way.
Now that the road to improved production processes has been laid out, make the most out of these new tech advances. Keep in mind that acquiring tech is not the same as adopting it, so make sure to also invest in constant training.