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By Adrianna Noton
Production processes are becoming increasingly complex and multi-tasking is the order of the day. Manufacturers are being challenged to seek ways and means to not only simplify but also streamline the manufacturing activities to stay ahead of competition. The manufacturers require tools that will help them to effectively bring down production costs and share the savings with their customers. It is because of these reasons that businesses are turning to manufacturing software solutions that are designed to arm them with the tools to minimize overhead costs and optimize efficiency.
These software packages consist of tools that help businesses bring about an end-to-end improvement of the processes starting from designing to product building through planning and engineering to production and quality control. The five key functions of such software packages are as follows:
– Streamlining of product design as well as configuration
– Tracking and management of product components
– Automation of the production scheduling activity
– Speeding up of the manufacturing process
– Bringing about improvement in the quality of the product
One of the greatest benefits of implementing manufacturing software suites is that they incorporate time-tested production best practices. For instance, it becomes easier to anticipate demand and enhance the bill of material’s accuracy with the help of software applications. Further, businesses can schedule the availability of the components according to requirement, deriving savings in inventory carrying costs. Some of the other benefits offered by software applications include:
– Optimization of resources utilization
– Higher throughput because of lower downtime and minimized production delays due to automatic reorder facility
– Reduction in cost overrun due to product defects, variations, etc.
– Easy tracking of a large number of finished products and components in many locations
– Enables management of complex jobs by creating manufacture orders
– Aids implementation of an effective supply chain management system
– Makes it easy to maintain the competitive edge of business by streamlining operations
Typically, manufacturing software packages must provide a wide range of features that are capable of addressing the requirements of manufacturing processes. The software packages must have different modules including engineering, inventory control, production planning and control, quality control, cost management, etc.
It is, therefore, important to make a comparative study as regards the modules that the software applications developers have included in the packages that they are offering to businesses. Businesses must also choose software solutions keeping in mind the usability aspect as well. This is because those who work on the shop floor may not be as savvy as those who work in an office environment. Further, the manufacturing processes vary widely depending on the product type. The manufacturing software that is selected by companies must, therefore, be configurable and flexible so that it can be customized to suit their needs. Most importantly, it is to be ensured that the software package can be easily integrated with the core business processes of the company implementing the solution.
Summarizing, any business involved in a manufacturing activity, whether it is auto spare parts, home appliances, clothing or large machinery, can realize tangible benefits through the implementation of software solutions that streamline their business processes.
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