Walk onto any shop floor in America and ask an Operator to tell you about all of the ways their job has changed since their first day in manufacturing.
Whether they’ve spent their entire life on a shop floor or it’s their first week on the job, a common theme will emerge: manufacturing is all about change.
Change is everywhere. It’s in the machines you use, the processes you implement, the people you hire and the software that ties it all together. However, the manufacturers who fight against change and hold onto outdated processes lose their competitive edge and are often left struggling to maintain once loyal customers.
Today we explore the difficulties faced by manufacturers that resist change and the simple (and inexpensive) solutions that can bring them into the 21st century.
“It’s always worked this way, why should we change now?”
Look around. Manufacturing has evolved. Your customers have more rigid demands, qualified workers are harder to find and your competition has never been steeper.
The processes that brought your business success in the past have been replaced by a new breed of technology. The biggest reason to change isn’t because you want to, it’s because your competition already has. We no longer live in an era of localized business feuds. Your competitors are global. Don’t let your team get left behind. Embrace the tech that has fueled growth for manufacturers around the globe.
TIP: Join local manufacturing groups to connect with other businesses in similar industries. They are likely experiencing the same struggles, have already tried approaches you’re just now considering and can connect you with resources (and potential customers) you would never have found alone.
“Manufacturing is about people, not technology.”
This is 100% true. Your people are the most valuable resource you have and technology should never be a tool to replace an employee. Technology is meant to drive every member of your team to do better.
ERP systems are designed to run your business, but they simply can’t manage the complexities of real-time workflow. Add the fact that the average shop is still using paper and dry-erase boards to relay instructions to their Operators and you can start to understand how easy it is to get stuck in outdated processes. These reliances waste time, generate scrap and create hours of unnecessary (and error-prone) data entry.
TIP: Manufacturing Execution Systems were once only available to the highest earning companies in the world. However, technology has advanced to the stage that the exact same functionality can be delivered in a browser-based system for a fraction of the investment. It’s time to rethink your shop floor control options and run a pilot of an MES created with your industry in mind.
“My customers are perfectly happy with how we do things.”
If your shop’s technology isn’t competitive you risk being left behind.
Customers select the vendors that they can trust to do the job right. Without the right systems in place to back up your claims, you simply can’t win the new contracts your business needs to scale. Handshake agreements are a thing of the past. Today’s manufacturers live and die by their numbers.
TIP: Connect every order, person and process from engineering through execution with an MES designed for your industry. Quantum shops increase production rates by receiving Orders from your existing ERP, managing your workflow and eliminating the wasted time and resources that negatively impact production.