The shop floor determines the success or failure of a manufacturer, but it is one of the most difficult areas to bring about sustainable long-term improvements. Unexpected errors and delays, resistance to change amongst workers and lack of visibility can hold your shop floor back. In this blog, we will cover the ways an ERP system can improve your shop floor no matter what challenges you face.
When decision-makers think about increasing turnaround time on the shop floor, it can feel like a dangerous game. Some think that the only way to increase production to hit tight deadlines is to tell managers to “just get it done, no excuses.” This pressures managers to overwork and push their shift workers to the limit. Not only does this system strain relationships throughout the organization, it is likely to lead to expensive production errors, equipment failure and employee turnover. Instead, try a sustainable approach to increasing turnaround time on the shop floor with your ERP. An ERP system allows you to:
- Replace manual production processes with automated ones to save your employees time and energy
- Set up production workflows that are linked to your inventory, finance and distribution process so that your shop floor (and your business) always has the resources they need
- Coordinate your job, work, equipment and labor management so that you can run your shop floor at production capacity
A lot of manufacturers get trapped in a cycle of falling behind and having their employees work overtime to complete projects. A well-organized production line that uses ERP analytics is faster and more economical than this approach. If you set up your ERP so that it automatically tracks production information, then you can use it to coordinate the most efficient plan to meet deadlines and maximize your resources. At Datix, we have worked with manufacturers who spent hours every week attempting to manually coordinate labor and job schedules. Allowing an ERP to handle this complex process saved them time, money and was a huge weight off their team. If you want to make sure your ERP is set up correctly to coordinate job, work, equipment and labor management, contact Datix today.
We already established that production errors are more likely when workers are rushed, but there are other ways that mistakes can creep into your line. The simplest way to decrease errors is to remove human input from tasks that don’t require it. With an ERP, many production tasks can be automated or partially automated, including:
- Recording direct and indirect labor
- Reporting operation quantity
- Issuing materials to jobs
- Reporting finished goods to inventory
- Collecting machine hours
- Sending out notifications and scheduling equipment maintenance
Automation allows your workers to spend their time on the tasks that require their specific skillset. This increases focus and improves morale amongst employees because they are not expected to complete dull, uninteresting work. Automating your production line increases efficiency and reduces errors, but it must be executed correctly if you want it to succeed. As a one-stop-shop with 25 years of experience, our team at Datix has the skills you need to take your shop floor to the next level.
Resolve Issues Quickly
One of the greatest advantages of a modern ERP is how it creates widespread visibility throughout your organization. Employees (with the right permissions) can see real-time shop floor data from everything from inventory levels to job completion. Because much of this real-time data comes from automated processes, you can trust that the timestamps in the ERP about task completion are accurate, unlike in a manual system. This overarching visibility means that managers can spot anomalies faster and fix them before they cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
An ERP can improve your shop floor, but not all ERPs are equal. Legacy ERP systems typically lack many of the visibility, automation, and other functionalities that can give you a competitive advantage.
With over two decades in the industry, Datix is the ERP consultant of choice for manufacturers and distributors. We believe in “being the best with the best” and look for partners who match our commitment to solving real issues and doing what it takes. Our in-depth analysis of our clients and their business needs allows us to maximize their software investments to the fullest.