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Solving Three Manufacturing Business Problems through Digital Transformation

In the manufacturing industry, its very common to see reports and paper-documented processes kept on file and shuffled around to different people, and often times things will be tracked in Excel, but important real-time information is very rarely digitally housed in a single place at any given time.

By digitizing the production processes you use, you will be able to run a much more efficient business.

Digital transformation is not just about trying the next new trendy technology to keep up the appearance that your company is innovative; it’s about reaping the benefits that come from this transformative technology and being able to run a more efficient business.

Lack of Control or Visibility on the Shop Floor

You always need to have shop floor control, which includes having access to information about products, quality data, and inventory, as well as having the ability to adjust quickly to machine status throughout an enterprise. This can be extremely difficult when information isn’t transmitted and housed digitally and when documentation and processes are conducted manually.

For example, let’s say that SafeNet consultants, who advise businesses in the application and execution of emerging technologies, introduced a manufacturing client to an integrated ERP and job tracking system to replace their paper-based, Microsoft and Excel founded processes. Because ERP software integrates various functions into a shared, holistic system, and can, therefore, streamline processes and information across an organization’s different units, the goal of SafeNet in increasing floor visibility and control will first require evaluation of the optimal ERP package; one that mirrors the needs of both the business and shop floor operations. Ultimately, by managing the implementation and data migrations regarding the new system, eliminating paper processes on the shop floor, and integrating a single source of truth for manufacturing data, SafeNet will assist the client in adapting new systems that increase their floor efficiency and business transparency.

Disconnected Processes, People, and Machines

The manufacturing shop floor needs to be connected to the rest of an enterprise in order to make key data accessible and also promote accurate and rapid decision making. A business should also go past the shop floor and provide connectivity to both its customers and suppliers.

Employees need to have instant access to the data that they need when they need it. By automating any manual, paper-based processes you have, and identifying the sources of truth for different data sets, users will have access to just a single set of accurate data as they need it.

Using a cloud ERP system will provide the ability to consolidate different capabilities onto one connected platform while also providing the control and production visibility which is required to run a viable and competitive business through the use of both MES and ERP functionality.

Bogged Down Resources and People

A modern cloud ERP system allows a company to automate production processes and communication, which frees up resources so that people are then better able to focus on solving more urgent problems, rather than simply maintaining legacy baggage. For example, if you have a lot of technical employees who are spending the majority of their time managing software systems and IT infrastructure, they can become able to pivot to something like business analysis, which will yield far more benefit than their previous assignments.

Your production workers will gain instantaneous access to the production details of any device you have in use, rather than trying to hunt down all the information and then piece it together. Your managers can also, at any time they want, view analytics that are related to the specific roles they play within a company. They can additionally access these analytics anywhere and over any kind of device, in order to keep a better handle on their business obligations.

Using a cloud ERP is a critical step in the digital transformation journey to solving manufacturing problems. By going paperless and automating processes, as well as adding granular visibility, you are offered a huge shift in the way you conduct business.

In Conclusion

If you are like many manufacturers, you probably have problems with bringing visibility into your operations. There is most likely a huge amount of manual work that has to go into the collection and sharing of information throughout your plant or network of plants. As a result, it probably takes a lot of effort to give the right people in your business the data that they need.

This is most likely because the systems you use for multiple different things are disjointed. You might be using an accounting system or a finance system that doesn’t have any connection or connectivity to your shop floor production systems. This problem gets even bigger when you factor in multiple different plants, causing people to be running around as collectors rather than making better use of themselves as strategic problem solvers.

By digitally transforming your business, you can achieve much higher levels of visibility on your shop floor or floors. This makes it possible to attain better shop floor control, which in turn provides for the ability to adjust to machine status on the fly throughout an enterprise. This will also bring all your disjointed systems and people under one comprehensive “roof” that will provide much better access to the data that is needed for employees to achieve a maximum level of efficiency and effectiveness.