Manufacturers need the powerful tools available in ERP systems. When ERP systems first appeared on the market, manufacturers were among the first businesses of any kind to use them. Now, the ERP market is thriving, with software constantly being updated and upgraded. There are many possible manufacturing ERP modules to choose from in systems today. The overload of choice can leave some businesses confused about which features are the best fit for their business, that’s why requirements gathering is so crucial. While it’s important to remember that each business will have unique ERP requirements, manufacturers of all kinds should find the four requirements listed below to be of use in the…Read More
Manufacturers and companies that have supplied to the A&D Electronics market have long had to settle for substandard, generic ERP business solutions that did not meet their specific requirements and business practices in their industry. This resulted in the added expense, inefficiencies of manual processes, bolt on software solutions, and customizations to augment their old ERP systems.
Infor, with the release of…Read More
IIoT or "Industry 4.0" is one of the hottest and most highly rated technologies for manufacturers today. Picking the right partner and solutions provider is paramount to success.
As a manufacturer, there’s no doubt you have seen the high levels of information, stories and hype surrounding the Industrial Internet of Things market and the large number of providers that make claims to their expertise in the market. Recent numbers including IDC and their December 2017 forecast $772 billion for IoT spending, and Gartner’s March 2016 claims of 43% of companies using IoT would indeed indicate a market that is growing rapidly. Indeed, if you were to perform a simple Internet search on IoT, or more specifically Industrial IoT which is what industrial manufacturers should be looking at, you will find hundreds . . .Read More
This time of year brings us office parties, holiday parades, family traditions and lots of food. It is the time of year when some of us throw up our hands and just accept that we will start again in January with healthier eating and exercise. There will be new diet books, diet offers, and specially priced gym memberships available for anyone who is ready to hit the reset button. So we look at our budgets and make a plan. It isn’t just our financial budget that we consider, it is how much time we can afford to budget toward our plan.
So, all this personal planning and budgeting ironically coincides with the planning and budgeting that has become a year-end business tradition. January isn’t just a personal reset button for individuals; it is often a reset button for manufacturers.
By December, manufacturers know what kind of year they have had. The question is...
A key factor inERP project success is the strength of the team who help to implement it. It’s a common mistake, when implementing a new ERP system or upgrading an old one, to frame the project as the sole responsibility of the IT or accounting departments, forgetting that it will impact people enterprise-wide.
Here are three steps to help you structure your efforts and avoid common mistakes when thinking aboutputting together your ERP project team . . .Read More
Manufacturing processes typically are in place for quite some period of time, often months if not years. During this time changes in process can occur and the use of IoT collected data can be highly valuable to determining the impact of the change. Let’s consider our stamping operation again. We have been producing a specific part on the line for months and have collected significant data. We can use analytics and trend charting and reporting to see if. . .Read More
Just knowing an alert has occurred and sending it to a human user may not be the ideal outcome. Again, just like in the previous sections, depending on humans to handle tasks introduces variability and more important, excess cost. Let’s look at an example of a machine that is experiencing abnormally high hydraulic temperature. We have determined this is abnormal based on the specific machine, the in context item / part specific parameters and perhaps external sensors such as ambient temperature. An alert gets raised . . .Read More
Home renovations can be challenging. As a “do-it yourself” kind of person, it was even more of a challenge to bring in a project manager and other assistance for a large renovation project. If I am only relying on myself, then there is no one to blame if I am behind schedule or if the project isn’t turning out exactly the way I planned. Relying on others to show up, care about the project, and your budget is a lot to ask. That is why the project manager could potentially be the most important piece of the puzzle.
It is the same concept when selecting an ERP professional services provider. There is a lot of information available about how to choose ERP software, but what about the real challenge of implementation? Implementation is definitely more costly and time consuming than the actual software purchase . . .Read More
ERP and other Industrial / Manufacturing Software Implementation projects can be (and usually are) complicated endeavors with many facets that need to be managed and executed effectively. The simple definition of a “Project” is that it is a temporary activity with a Start date and a Completion date and milestone dates in between. The purpose is to create a unique result (i.e. implementing a new ERP system). If you’ve been involved with a project that seems to keep on going, maybe even well past the original “Completion Date”, then chances are it is being poorly managed, even though it may seem successful and some objectives have been achieved.
Key Factors for Project Success:
This “open-ended”, never-ending project syndrome is most likely due to several (missing) factors. These factors should have been set in the earliest stages of project definition and typically include:
Project Objectives are usually set by the Management team. It defines the purpose of the project; what are the benefits to the company, department, or individual in qualitative and/or quantitative terms. Without aRead More
Over 600 million apps are downloaded worldwide each day. Moore’s law observes that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. With computing moving into nanotechnology, this continues to be true. I recently read that knowledge is doubled at least every year (soon to be measured in hours?). Just a few years ago it was unheard of for a mid-sized manufacturing company to have a terabyte of data. But, now I have a quarter of a terabyte of storage on my iPhone. How do you keep up? How do you keep your business systems up-to-date? How much of your competitive advantage is based on this ever changing technology? How much better are you than your competitors? It’s such a blessing to have all this incredible technology and data storage available. What’s hard is sifting through all the noise and settling on what’s right for your business. You want to upgrade, but is your upgraded business system going to result in “Better, Faster & Cheaper”?Read More
It’s become standard operating procedure to offer maintenance contracts on a variety of electronics that we purchase. Maintenance and warranty offers extend far beyond cars, televisions, and appliances.
You have already committed to . . .Read More
Selecting a new ERP software often requires more than just research, demos, and budgets. Often, it is the team that we assemble for a project that determines its success.
Team sports are a prime example of how this works. If you have a basketball, baseball, or football team that doesn’t recognize and utilize the strengths of each player then you typically end up with dysfunction. Every member of a team has a role to play in reaching the goal of a winning season. An ERP selection committee is much like a sports team with the goal of a winning season.
Assembling a winning team does not necessarily mean you focus solely on power users or department managers. In fact, itRead More
I just returned from the 2016 IBEX boat show in Tampa, getting out right before the hurricane, and the winds outside could not compare to the energy and invigoration of the marine suppliers and buyers on the exhibit floor. The industry is definitely alive and well which is going to push the limits of the boat industry supply chain if the upward trends continue. We all keenly remember the near death of the industry just a few years ago and during that time it was a survival mode operation only. Little investment was made in business systems technology, supply chain optimization and systematic efficiency improvement.
Turning to today where the industry has been seeing near 20% annual growth in many segments, this...
With the economy on a continued recovery the demand for boats, especially small to mid-sized styles is increasing dramatically according to the recent NMMA U.S. RECREATIONAL BOATING STATISTICAL ABSTRACT. While not yet back to pre-2007 numbers, it’s still significant growth. This level of growth has opened up the need for boat builders to become more efficient and streamlining of production. Prior to 2006, many builders just made capital investments in plants and equipment which during the downturn put many of them out of business. Cash flow dried up and the capital equipment became a major liability.
Learning from the missteps of the past during those pre-2006 growth years, how can the smart boat builder gain production levels to meet today’s demand without breaking the bank with capital investment? Other industries have faced similar issues such as the automotive markets. Suppliers to the automotive industries have felt the same pain and been in the same scenario. So what did they do to avoid the problems of the past?
Production efficiency in boat assembly can be increased and optimized thorough the use of ...Read More
If you took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to spend some time on the water, chances are you saw a lot of boaters. The number of boats on lakes, waterways, and oceans during holiday weekend is incredible. It makes you wonder how many people own the boat they are driving or are they renting it for the weekend. Regardless, of the number of boats on the water and who owns them, boating is a huge industry with many possibilities.
If you are in the market for a boat, and looking to join the ranks of other boaters, how do you know what you want? If you look...Read More
The FAA estimates that nearly 100,000 aircraft will need to equip with ADS-B Out between now and 2020, but does the U.S. aviation industry have the time and resources to get them done in time? (As reported in Avionics Today)
Companies that supply advanced navigation and electronics systems for private, commercial and military are facing ever increasing challenges to meeting regulatory requirements such as the new requirements for ADS-B. Requirements such as this not only affect the ability for companies to ramp up to the production demand but also the engineering, ERP and business systems that are used to design and build these products. Extending from . . .Read More
We all know that to be ahead of our competition we need to get there fast. The question I would pose, “Is it necessary for ALL things”? We realize that technology has driven the universe to run at a much faster pace. We think we need it now - not later. So does that mean that we should all be doing things exactly the same way? Should everything have a cookie cutter approach? Does one size fit all?Read More
ERP Software isn’t just for big companies anymore. There has often been the perception that investing in ERP Software is impossible for smaller companies. However, an examination of the current ERP Software landscape would probably surprise small businesses that have shied away from investing in ERP software in the past.
There are two substantial concerns for small businesses when it comes to ERP Software.
The first concern focuses on . . .Read More
Companies that supply components and complete systems for military and defense electronics are facing ever increasing challenges with meeting regulatory requirements such as the ones referenced above from May 12. Regulations such as this not only affect the design and packaging of components and systems but the engineering, ERP, and business systems that are used to design and build these products.
Companies that do not have in place proper. . .Read More
To achieve a successful ERP Project implementation, you must begin with the end in mind. The end in mind should be that the new ERP system supports your business processes and is aligned to meet your organizational objectives/goals. This is nearly an impossible undertaking without creating the proper Project Teams up front. Regardless of project size, it is highly recommended that three distinct Project Teams be created:Read More