September 26, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The Truth about Production Scheduling Software – 2018 Edition

The majority of manufacturers schedule their daily work one of two ways: color-coded spreadsheets or magnets on dry erase boards. It isn’t ideal, but it’s cheap and, more often than not, it gets the job done.

However, as shops grow and Orders become more numerous and complex, manual scheduling becomes more of a guessing game than a science. Our team of manufacturing system experts has examined the functionality you need to know about, and the marketing-speak to avoid, when researching the right Scheduler for your shop.

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September 13, 2018 at 10:25 AM

The Selling Power of a Great Manufacturing Audit

Industry standards and regulations are moving targets.

Maintaining your customer base is dependent on retaining your various certifications. Unfortunately, keeping up with these standards and regulations, regardless of your industry, is a time consuming and expensive process.

 

Preferred Vendor/Manufacturer Lists

In order to make the coveted preferred vendor lists of a customer, your facility will be put through a gauntlet of vigorous audits and comprehensive reporting . However, it is never enough to simply manufacture to specification. You must be able to prove every step was executed to perfection. It’s like being back in your high school math class with a teacher that makes you show your work.

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August 17, 2018 at 9:50 AM

The Margin Wars

How to Succeed in Global Manufacturing

Let’s be frank, most of your customers can’t tell the difference between your plant and the next job shop on their vendor list. You may have the best machinery, the most skilled operators and a spotless reputation, but all they really care about are the big three: quality, turnaround-time and price.

It’s frustrating, illogical and unfair; but it’s the world we sell in.

To stay competitive in manufacturing your shop needs to become the go-to supplier for every run. This means guaranteeing delivery dates, eliminating turnbacks and producing the same work with fewer resources than your competitors.

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August 9, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Turning Manufacturing Audits into Profit

 Audits can either cost you money or make you money. The choice is yours.

In the manufacturing industry, audits are the key factor in determining a company’s continued growth or imminent decline. Audits quantify the success of your team’s efforts by ensuring your shop is up to snuff in every stage of production.

However, the stress and time invested into filing frequent audits can weigh on your team, slowing down production and negatively impacting your bottom line.

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July 13, 2018 at 11:15 AM

3 Manufacturing Slow Downs that are Impacting Your Bottom Line

Production and profit had plateaued at a Midwest Composites manufacturer. Orders were consistent enough to turn a small profit, but margins were paper-thin and the workforce was aging out of their roles.

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April 20, 2018 at 10:45 AM

5 More Easy Shop Floor Quality Improvements

Production Control Systems and Quality Improvement

We are all in the quality business. Wasted time, scrapped materials and customer turnbacks reduce margins and damage our reputations. It’s only by putting the proper systems in place that our shops can achieve maximum efficiency and profitability.

With your existing production control system (PCS) and these five easy steps, your business can eliminate scrap and accelerate production in a matter of weeks.

  1. Review Non-Conformance Issues Daily
    Evaluate your previous day’s non-conformances in your morning production meeting. One competitive advantage your PCS provides is access to real-time production data. Don’t let your team revert back to weekly updates. Keep your processes as agile as your operators. You have all the data you need at your fingertips; use it.
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April 17, 2018 at 11:05 AM

How one midwest manufacturer increased production by 35% while reducing scrap by 80%

Case Study: Scrap Down. Production Up.

A midwest make-to-order manufacturer was experiencing both escalating levels of scrap and a consistently under-performing shop. After experimenting with a series of homegrown solutions, a production supervisor connected with CIMx to deliver a comprehensive, sustainable solution.

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March 27, 2018 at 11:50 AM

Accelerate and Achieve your Production Goals with Analytics

Companies often set aggressive business goals at the beginning of each year, only to find those targets unachievable or untraceable by Q4. The initial excitement slowly fades as the day-to-day business needs take priority. This is especially true for manufacturers.

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March 22, 2018 at 11:51 AM

How to Turn Production Data into Actionable Manufacturing Intelligence

 There’s a critical difference between raw data and actionable manufacturing intelligence. Data is just information. Actionable manufacturing intelligence adds value. When provided to the right person at the right time, action can be taken and value added – that could mean higher throughput, lower costs, and more productivity.

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March 13, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Use Your Data for Accurate Production Costs

For manufacturers, accurate estimates are critical to managing costs and margins. If estimates are based on guesswork: bids can be lost, delivery times missed or costs can spiral out of control. Too often, operators will pencil-whip work times on their way out the door rather than accurately tracking and recording their work. This skews the limited data available causing misinformed directives from the top.  When both the historical data and the analytics at the foundation of estimates are suspect, problems quietly grow costing the company money that has to be made up in additional production.

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March 7, 2018 at 1:20 PM

How to Turn your KPIs into Profit and Production

There’s an old saying, “If you can measure it, you can manage it.”

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August 9, 2017 at 11:02 AM

The Key to Success with Data-Driven Manufacturing

Data-driven manufacturing – using facts and data rather than conjecture and guesswork to manage manufacturing processes – should be the goal of any forward-thinking manufacturer. Many companies struggle to realize the benefits of data-driven initiatives, even as the decline in cost of technology, software and hardware make it available to companies of any size or industry.

The problem isn’t the technology – it’s how it is being implemented.

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November 9, 2016 at 2:41 PM

5 Ways You Can Optimize Production Today with MES

The benefits of an MES go beyond just solving problems. You should also consider the increased production a system will bring for your investment. A Smart MES or Paperless Manufacturing system will improve shop floor production, letting you get more products out the door without adding people, machines or product lines. Many manufacturers don’t understand or appreciate how the software delivers these benefits. They focus solely on their list of requirements without considering the increased production a system can deliver relatively quickly. These companies end up waiting to install or upgrade, losing the increased production a system offers.

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August 9, 2016 at 9:36 AM

Getting to Zero in Manufacturing

For production, the goal shouldn’t be minimizing quality escapes, but eliminating them, and that requires the deep understanding of processes you only get with an MES.

A few months ago, I needed my furnace repaired. Winters in Ohio can be brutally cold, and we needed a solution fast. The repair company rushed the replacement part from a warehouse in Arizona (because the best place to keep furnace supplies is in the brutal heat of Arizona), only to have the part arrive broken.

I was furious (and still cold), the repair company apologetic, and the manufacturer defensive. After looking at potential solutions, we ended up going with another part supplier.

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August 2, 2016 at 9:07 AM

Implementing a Successful Strategic Plan for Manufacturing

Many manufacturers use aggressive strategic plans to improve production, but without a shop floor system the goals are unsustainable.

Do you have a strategic plan for manufacturing growth?

Every company should have one. They help guide and shape the daily decisions of the company, and provide a common goal and purpose. For manufacturing, a business that relies on repetition and predictability more than others, a strategic plan is a critical tool in stimulating business growth.

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