Manufacturing products is still a major part of the western economies; and, like other businesses, manufacturers are using information technology to fuel and manage their supply chains and business processes. We’ll take a short look at what IT manufacturers use, and how it helps them forge their business ahead.
The Production Labyrinth
The process of creating products can be quite the maze. If you make the right decisions, operations can go smoothly, but if you take the wrong turns, you could be facing a no-win situation.
For the modern manufacturer, IT begins as the supply chain starts, during the process of procurement. In order to produce the product, you plan to sell, you need to procure the resources needed to make that product. Since all these resources tend to come from separate places, and are often made by other manufacturers, getting the resources you need to keep production moving consistently is important for the effectiveness of the operation.
The most cost intensive part of running any manufacturer is the actual production end… largely because of the capital costs of purchasing the machinery needed to manufacture goods coupled with the operational costs (payroll and downtime caused by machinery malfunction and the subsequent maintenance required) add up. As a result, most manufacturers are looking to mitigate wasting capital by instituting some type of IT. With IT comes automation. Enhancements in automation make it possible for businesses to cut their production costs, making them more predictable, and creating a state of efficiency.
Distribution of the finished product is the final step for a manufacturer. If costs in this part of the business get too high, it can put a definite squeeze on the potential of the business and create major problems in its ability to offer products at a low-enough price point where retail businesses and other customers will continue to purchase their products.
Where IT Fits
Fortunately for the small to medium-sized manufacturers, there are now problem-solving technology solutions that can reduce downtime, enhance efficiency, and promote revenue growth. A few of these technologies include:
- Asset Tracking – Using sensors, every product and resource can be tracked to provide efficiency.
- Customer Relationship Management – This software helps a company streamline their customer service. It’s used to manage leads, opportunities, and customers.
- Inventory Management – Manages stock and standardizes and allows for automation in the act of replenishment.
- Supply Chain Management – This software helps a company control their entire supply chain from procurement to distribution.
Enterprise Resource Planning
Each of the processes can be implemented on its own and be of great benefit for the modern manufacturer. If you are looking for an all-in-one solution for your manufacturer’s management, there is a software called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). An ERP solution allows for each division of a manufacturer to be managed by one single piece of software that not only works to automate parts of the business, it also allows administrators from different departments to know exactly what to expect. Outfitting your organization with an ERP promotes overall business efficiency, getting your products to market faster, creating better revenue generation and enhancing customer satisfaction.
If you are searching for a way to make your manufacturing business more effective at getting products to market, Machado Consulting has some options for you. Call our professional consultants today at (508) 453-4700 to learn more about how an ERP solution can improve your business.