Five Tips to Improve Productivity Using ERP Software for Manufacturing

erp software for manufacturingERP software for manufacturing can help your company become more productive. It improves employee efficiency and provides rapid insight into every aspect of your company from operations to finances. These five tips can help you utilize your system better to improve productivity.

Tip #1: Analyze Your Current Situation

You can’t make changes unless you know how effective things are today. To enhance productivity, you’ve got to understand whether the people, processes, equipment, and technology you have in place today are achieving your goals.

Analyze your current situation with an emphasis on the following:

  • People– Do you have people with the right skills in the right places? Is the leadership team filled with people who can lead by example?
  • Processes– What processes do you have in place to keep work streamlined? When was the last time you examined processes and ensured that they were up to date? Do the current processes map to the company’s objectives?
  • Equipment and technology– Does your current equipment need refurbishing? Is it in good repair? When was the last time you updated the technology?

Some areas will be fine, while others will show clear gaps or need for improvement. That’s to be expected. You can’t fix what you haven’t identified, however, so now is the time to review all areas and map out any gaps.

Tip #2: Use ERP Software for Manufacturing to Update Processes

You can use your ERP software for manufacturing to update current processes. The current workflow, once mapped, can help you identify areas where processes and technology could stand improvement. Be especially careful about processes that have remained unchanged for more than one to two years. These may be riddled with workarounds, especially if new equipment was added or production methods changed.

You can use automation and ERP software for manufacturing to:

  • Increase efficiency and reducing error.
  • Improve scheduling, inventory, and monitoring workflow.
  • Enhance production speed and quality.

If it is time to upgrade your ERP system or other new technology, look at the total cost of ownership and how the bottom line will be affected. A high initial expense may be worth it if the total cost of ownership is lower than the technology or process you are replacing, and if it solves a problem such as a clearing a production bottleneck or reducing scrap.

Tips #3: Schedule Maintenance Now

Routine maintenance on your equipment can prevent costly breakdowns later. Use your ERP system to monitor aging equipment and to help schedule downtime for maintenance. Other tips to enhance your company’s ability to keep on a maintenance schedule include:

  • Train all operators in regular maintenance and troubleshooting procedures.
  • Schedule preventive maintenance at regular intervals.
  • Identify the best time for maintenance by using information from the floor and your workflow processes.

Don’t delay maintenance. Preventive maintenance ensures that your equipment continues to run smoothly without unexpected downtime or work stoppage.

Tips #4: Reorganize the Workplace to Improve Efficiency

How efficient is your workspace? How many steps does it take the average warehouse worker from picking to packing and shipping? These are just a few considerations when looking at workspace efficiencies. Warehouses and shipping areas are notoriously inefficient places, and any changes you can make to reduce the time to order fulfillment are changes for the better.

A few additional tips:

  • Map and change the manufacturing floor layout to enhance efficiency
  • Reconsider where tools and equipment are located if people are taking a long time to find what they need
  • Remove infrequently used tools from the workspace
  • Create organized storage to reduce time to find materials, documents, and equipment.

Tip #5: Maintain Optimal Inventory Levels

Inventory planning remains a tricky yet critical aspect of any manufacturing business. The ability to maintain optimal inventory levels, neither too high nor too low, is essential to fulfilling orders in a timely fashion. This is where your ERP software for manufacturing comes in handy. With the right ERP software and warehousing solution, you can:

  • Track inventory and create automatic notifications of shortages.
  • Build favored vendor relationships to gain accountability for the quality of parts and timeliness of deliveries.
  • Predict the impact of shortages and put processes in place to mitigate production delays.
  • Alert customers to any potential delays to enhance and improve communications and service.
  • Update inventory levels in real time so all communications with customers and manufacturing plants are in sync.

You can also use your ERP system to track rejection rates, defects, and other workmanship issues that may point towards inefficiencies, poor quality raw materials, or problems with the workflow.

These are just a few tips to help you improve your company’s efficiency. With the right ERP system, you’ll have the data that you need to monitor, track, and measure your successful efforts to boost efficiency.

Emerald TC is an Atlanta-area ERP consultant offering Sage, Acumatica, and other products to help small and mid-sized businesses improve their productivity and efficiency. Please contact us or call 678-456-6919 for more information.

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