In the past if you were labeled a clock-watcher that typically came with a negative connotation and would lead to a career limiting activity. You would have been the one that was just waiting for it to be 5-O’clock somewhere and you were just counting the minutes for the day and week to be over. In today’s business that activity of watching the clock may not be that bad, that is if you are doing it for the right reasons.
Business today has become much more time sensitive. No longer is a customer satisfied with a delivery date that is based on fixed lead times, they want it much more accurate as they are dependent on your timely delivery. No longer is just quoting a delivery day acceptable in many cases. Delivery hour or even minutes are required. To meet these challenges we all must be watching the clock for the work we do. ERP systems, including CRM, planning, scheduling and shipping all must be timely and accurate and be able to handle ‘down to the minute’ accuracy in activities.
Let’s take a look at critical processes that are highly time sensitive in today’s business climate:
- Customer estimates and orders require accurate promise dates that cannot be missed if good customer service and repeat business is to be maintained. For this process, the ability to accurately provide a promise date and even hour required planning and scheduling based on accurate material, machine and labor capacities. For ERP this means finite capacity planning and scheduling such as what is possible using Infor CloudSuite Industrial ATP/CTP (Available to Promise/Capable to Promise). At estimate and order time the customer service representative can provide the customer with an accurate due date for their order. Change the order size and the date may change based on workload. All in real time.
- Purchasing demand must be timely and may even need to include time of date receiving times. With the move to reduce manpower on the receiving dock, reduce warehouse footprint and even move to directed receiving to the production line, receipt times are mandatory. Just knowing a truckload of materials is due on Tuesday is not good enough. The receivers must be ready to handle the truckload and get it unloaded quickly and to its point of need quickly. Idle stock is not useful and has costs. The use of real time scanners to accurately record inbound materials and to track warehouse put away efficiency is required. Infor’s Factory Track Warehouse Mobility to complement the CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) ERP receiving can give you up to the minute materials visibility.
- Production planning and scheduling – with the need to better utilize all production assets and minimize downtime, the ability to schedule down to the minute and properly sequence production to minimize changeovers or downtime is required. CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine)’s planning and scheduling enables this.
- Production reporting via shop floor kiosks to capture real time material, labor and quality data to give up to the minute status of production is required to enable customer service to give accurate promise details to clients. Again, CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) ERP with its real time comprehensive shop floor data systems enables to the minute accuracy along with efficiency and OEE calculations.
- Operational reporting that can provide deep and to-the-minute analysis of every process and activity can lead to better process design and improvement without the need to have separate time studies done. Feedback in real time from employee activities, machine downtime, wait times, idle times and other variabilities are all logged and can be reported on from within CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) ERP. The result – continuous improvement of all operations.
There you have it. A view on the concept of clock-watching – by better paying attention to all the activities within your operations down to the minute, increase production, productivity and efficiency can be achieved. With tools such as CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) ERP, it is possible and easy to do.
And now as one famous entertainer says, Its 5 O’Clock Somewhere…