I have worked in manufacturing technology for over 18 years building custom software and implementing ERP systems. Over those 18 years, I noticed something.
Almost every manufacturer that implemented a new ERP system struggled with the same core issues.
- On-Time Scheduling
- Inventory Accuracy
- Production Costing
Even after they implemented an ERP system they had the same problems. Why? They were not collecting accurate information from the factory floor. So how do these businesses actually get ahold of their manufacturing schedule and use it efficiently on the floor?
Inaccurate & Cumbersome Manual Systems
There are good reasons why they did not collect this data. Most ERP systems require manual entry which is error-prone. Operators will do the minimum required to keep the system up to date because they don’t see it as a core part of their job. Furthermore, data entry adds little to no value to the company in their view.
The data they record will be skewed based on who entered it because context is everything. Jim may enter downtime differently than Bob. So the data is inconsistent and wrong, managers won’t trust it and therefore won’t use it.
Get control of your schedule with SensrTrx Productivity Software.
Time Studies Set You Up For Failure
Because companies can’t use these manual systems to get accurate cycle times (how long it takes to make a part), they use time studies to calculate cycle times. Time studies are done when a part is getting ready for first production or on a somewhat regular basis (quarterly or yearly).
However, most time studies are done in optimal conditions which will give inaccurate cycle times.
These inaccurate cycle times wreak havoc on your schedule. For example, if it takes you 10% more time to make a part than what you assume in your schedule you will never deliver on time.
In SensrTrx, you set up your ideal cycle times, operators and supervisors can monitor in real-time how they are performing against the target cycle time, and address problems as they happen rather than once a quarter.
Just being able to import your schedule into an ERP is not enough; you need to be able to edit it as needed. SensrTrx accurately and consistently records data from your machines you can always have up-to-date realistic cycle times. You can then review the cycle times setup in your ERP system on a regular basis and update them with data from SensrTrx.
Optimal Production Path
In some manufacturing environments with general-purpose equipment like machine tools, products can be produced in different ways based on what equipment is available. SensrTrx records what actually happened on the factory floor so you can compare different production paths to find what is optimal for a specific part. This is a huge advantage over ERP systems that typically only allow users to record what should happen and any deviation from that requires a supervisor to change.
Accurate Schedule = Happy Customers
Now that you have good data to produce your production schedule you can deliver on time to your customers. You may also unlock the hidden capacity in your plant because you can fix issues causing you to produce slower than your cycle times calculated in your time study.
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SensrTrx Manufacturing Productivity Software
SensrTrx is manufacturing productivity and analytics software that provides real-time visibility on the factory floor to help reduce downtime, improve on-time delivery, and increase profitability of manufacturing companies
About the Author
Bryan Sapot is a lifelong entrepreneur, speaker, CEO, and founder of SensrTrx. With more than 24 years of experience in manufacturing technology, Bryan is known for his deep manufacturing industry insights.
Throughout his career, he’s built products and started companies that leveraged technology to solve problems to make the lives of manufacturers easier. Follow Bryan on LinkedIn here.