Why Manufacturing Software is the Key to Strengthening the Design-to-Manufacturing Ecosystem

Customers are demanding more from their manufacturing partners. To stay competitive, today’s mid-market manufacturers must be able to quickly design, produce and launch products to react and respond to ever-changing customer needs.

How can mid-market manufacturers rapidly scale the design-to-manufacturing process and meet customers’ demands for shorter lead times, zero defects and lower costs, while still ensuring profitability? With the right manufacturing software technology that digitally connects engineering, manufacturing, and business processes. By creating a closed loop design-to-manufacturing ecosystem, manufacturers can:

    • Shorten time to market
    • Gain greater visibility into manufacturing projects performance and costs
    • Prevent bottlenecks in the manufacturing process
    • Reduce the cost of poor quality
    • Maximize use of production resources
    • Deliver products on-time, every time
    • Tie production performance to financial results
    • Monitor profitability, by customer, by order, by product, or by production run

Visibility through connectivity of all phases of the design-to-manufacturing process

Consider this scenario: A personal promise was made to your customer that you would be able to complete their order tonight and ship it on an expedited truck for delivery by noon tomorrow. Then you get a call from maintenance that the only machine capable of running this job just went down due to a pressure valve.  The team leader for that department then says the valve has been operating intermittently causing pressure drops over the last couple of weeks.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to be warned of the performance problems caused by valve before it failed completely? Then there would have had time to replace the valve before it failed completely and production and customer delivery dates wouldn’t have been affected.

If you are on the plant floor, you can probably relate to issues like this. You probably have had a week that was sailing along smoothly only to be surprised by an equipment problem. It can be very challenging to recover from a failure in the middle of production. It can be especially frustrating if relevant information about the issue was known in advance, but slipped through the cracks.

With an end-to-end manufacturing software solution that provides real-time visibility and connectivity between all aspects of a manufacturing operation, nothing slips through the cracks.

Key Manufacturing Software Modules

Of the many functions in an integrated manufacturing system, the following features have proven to deliver the greatest value so that everyone is working from the same playbook and problems can be addressed before they impact customer deliveries.

Engineering Management

Engineering management modulestrack drawings, documentation, and part revisions throughout the lifecycle of the project.  These systems enable you to easily create bills of manufacturing directly from the engineering documents by pulling in all required current design, process and material requirements, so your current production is based on the most recent build specifications.

Customer Relationship Management

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite provides more than just sales and marketing interactions; it also provides drill-down information into costs, availability dates and potential constraints.  Quotes and promise dates are created with real-time data from the production schedule, material and labor availability and associated costs.

Production Scheduling

Production scheduling modules analyze all requirements, delivery demands, and resource availability to determine the optimal schedule that meets your customers’ requirements. Production schedules are updated in real time based on runs best performance data, labor, equipment and material availability.  In addition, scheduled downtime and qualified labor availability are factored into the schedule.

Manufacturing Operations

Manufacturing Execution System (MES) that measure and monitor production rates, quality and process variables deliver real-time information regarding jobs running on the factory floor,  alerting shop managers to potential issues before they trend out of control.

MES systems offer:

  •          Production monitoring – counting the rate that parts are being manufactured
  •          Quality monitoring – examining the condition of the parts that have been produced (dimensions, weight and appearance)
  •          Process monitoring – measuring the process variables at the time of manufacturing;  parameters like temperature, pressure, hold time

Financial Reporting

The best manufacturing software systems can track how the execution of production scheduling, planning, supply chains and production workflows impact financial performance. Many manufacturing operations depend on standard cost to predict the profitability of their manufacturing operations.  End-to-end manufacturing ERP solutions compare actual production costs to accounting standard costs to uncover inefficiencies and false senses of profitability.

Quality & Compliance

Quality Management modules close the loop on quality issues by systematically forcing resolution procedures to closure.  Problems are identified and recorded.  Action plans are created and remain visible until resolutions are complete and tested. Corrective and preventive actions (CAPAs) and Corrective action requests (CARs) are common examples of resolution strategies that are enabled and enforced by quality management systems.  They are the backbone of most compliance procedures.

By providing real-time visibility and control, improving communication, and enabling greater collaboration across production locations, manufacturing software is digitally transforming manufacturing today. Download the ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Manufacturing Software: Increase Efficiency & Profit Margins, to learn more about the many advantages that true manufacturing software has over manual, disconnected processes and procedures.

Steve Bieszczat

Chief Marketing Officer at DELMIAWORKS (IQMS)
Steve is responsible for the DELMIAWORKS/IQMS brand management, demand generation and product marketing. Prior to IQMS, Steve held senior marketing roles at ERP companies Epicor, Activant and Triad. In addition, he has engineering experience at manufacturing companies Automotive Controls (Echlin) and DIT-MCO International. Steve has extensive ERP experience in the retail, distribution and manufacturing sectors, in both organic growth and M&A oriented businesses. Steve holds an engineering degree from the University of Kansas and a Masters in Business Administration from Rockhurst University.