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
Currently, you cannot avoid the deluge of hype and pitches around the ‘Internet of Things’ – IoT and how this is going to revolutionize the world in which we live. As a manufacturer you may be asking yourself how IoT can benefit your organization by making you more profitable, reduce risk and grow your business. Indeed IoT can play a major role in doing this and helping you achieve your goals, but you need to take a careful look - and not get caught up in the hype that providers of IoT with no manufacturing experience are pitching.
For IoT to work properly in manufacturing, the supplier of the tools and systems needs to have a deep understanding of how manufacturing works. Let’s face it, we can have appliances in our homes connected and talking but this is not the same as manufacturing production equipment providing real time production operation data and as well since IoT is bi-directional in nature, having costly and potentially dangerous machines being controlled via IoT. Let’s take a few minutes to put IoT into the context of manufacturing and see how it can be deployed properly for companies in the manufacturing and assembly environments.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
If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
- Lawrence J. Peter 1977
Sounds simple enough. If you use GPS, you have turn by turn directions that will take you from point A to point B. But if you don’t plan well enough or your GPS is out of date, even when think you’re sure of where you’re headed, you don’t always end up where you expected.
I see a lot of businesses that know that they need to improve “where they are”. They’re pretty sure they know “where they should be” but lack experience driving the bus. What they need is a business GPS! Let’s simplify the examples. If you don’t have . . .Read More
Having accurate inventory is VERY important for the success of any ERP system. An accurate inventory will improve the efficiency of Customer Service, Purchasing, Manufacturing, and Shipping. Improving efficiency means reducing cost and waste in almost all of your processes.
We suggest that you measure inventory accuracy as part of your monthly “Dashboard”. This can be done by setting “accuracy standards” for your items. Not every item needs to be exactly correct in order to be “accurate”. For low cost, easily obtained items +/- 10% might be OK. For high cost, long lead time items, +/- 0% might be appropriate. They typical process for obtaining these numbers is through cycle count records, so if you are not already doing that, we highly recommend that you start.
First of all, there are two levels of inventory “accuracy” . . .
We are all called on to trim the fat and become more efficient. You understand the basics but putting thoughts/goals into action is all too often an overwhelming effort. But, an effort worth tackling.
In a recent training class with a number of quality professionals we were given a test assignment to simulate a manufacturing assembly process. We set up multiple work centers in our training room and took on multiple roles. Our team, which consisted of . . .Read More
There are many things that define a good business. Often times, the definition of a good business can be subjective. However, there are certainly some technical terms that can be used to measure what is considered a good business.
There seems to be a resurgence of a focus on customer service. The words, "customer service", are always being tossed around in the retail arena, but the manufacturing sector . . .Read More
Usually the word "custom" would be used in conjunction with the idea of something special. For instance, the concept of having suits customized and tailored specifically for you. Customizing a home to your tastes would be considered special and unique. The point behind customizing is having something that is specific and specialized for your taste.
The other side of customization is that it is typically expensive. That tailored suit or customized home is incredible, but it cost more than a suit off the rack or the home that was chosen from the builder's stock plans.
It used to be that in order to get an ERP system that would work for your company that it had to be highly customized, and that usually meant really expensive. Not only was it . . .Read More
Companies are going deeper into the massive amounts of data that are housed in their ERP systems, and they are using tools that are available within the ERP structure to do it. Data analysis used to require data dumps and separate analyzing tools to get information that was intuitive and suggestive of trends. Now, these tools are built into the architecture of the ERP framework, and according to . . .Read More
"We're goin' dewn Kep-Tin!"
Scotty was in a sheer state of alarm and panic when he shouted these words to Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. It was time for Captain Kirk to prove once again why he was the most famous of space rebels. His defiance of the traditional methods of keeping space safe from enemies made him admired and hated. So, it was no surprise when at the last minute the instructions that he shouted at the crew were the words that would save them from imminent death.
With the death of Windows Server 2003 support, are you going to be shouting orders to keep the ship from imploding at the last minute? Windows Server 2003 support is ending in July of 2015. This is less than twelve months away, and if you don't . . .Read More
The first Friday in October will celebrate the third annual manufacturing day across the U.S.
Manufacturing Day is an opportunity for manufacturers, educators and manufacturing associations to hold events celebrating and educating people on the current manufacturing environment.
The manufacturing sector used to be the largest sector and one of the most visible in the U.S. However, the Service sector has quickly become the largest sector in the U.S. and has also attracted a lot of the U.S. labor force. Manufacturing Day is another opportunity for the industry to draw potential workers back to the sector.
The lack of skilled manufacturing workers has become . . .Read More
Most people typically take a little bit of time during the Summer months and go to the beach. It goes along with the phrase, "As American, as apple pie". Going to the beach is just something that many of us look forward to during our vacations.
On one of these trips, it became clear that going to the beach is a lot of work. There are chairs, umbrellas, towels, boogie boards, snacks, and drinks that all need to be carried onto the beach for a day of sun, sand, and fun. So, you get everything set up. Before you know it, the tide has changed, and there is all your stuff getting knocked around by the waves that have been steadily rising until they reach your little settlement.
It is the same on a manufacturing floor. There is a natural ebb and flow, like a tide, that occurs . . .Read More
In the last few months there have been several articles referencing the new era of manufacturing. There seems to be a race to see who can aptly name this manufacturing renaissance, and there have been a couple of blogs that have unashamedly thrown their hats in the ring. But let's not focus on the name, let's focus on what it actually means.Read More
Up....Down.....Up.....Down.....NO..UP! This is the rhetoric that has been plaguing the manufacturing sector for years. Are media sources so desperate for something to say about American manufacturing that the roller coaster of negative and positive is created, or do we have a basic misunderstanding of how to measure manufacturing growth?Read More
Realizing that some of the perceived leading enterprise software in the marketplace is rigid and has experienced very little true innovation in the last decade, you probably have connected the dots on some of the high-profile implementation failures and the need for flexibility. Recent research from Panorama Consulting underscores the complexity and typical delta between expectations and actual results in modern ERP requirements.Read More
IDC Manufacturing Insights recently held a web conference featuring the top 10 predictions for the year ahead (2014) in manufacturing. Several senior industry analysts we featured and provided organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon.
Bob Parker, group VP of IDC Manufacturing Insights research, said, "Large manufacturing firms are enjoying a healthy recovery. Consumer confidence may be igniting a virtuous cycle for performance, but manufacturing firms must completely rethink their approaches to IT governance in order to create a line-of-business-centric 3D value chain."Read More
Infor EPAK gives forward moving organizations a single platform, with consistent formatting and messaging, for all of their process and software evaluation documents, as well as the tools they need to increase employee productivity.Read More
What would it mean if you could not only improve the efficiency of your business processes, but reinvent them?
"Five minutes after an event on the shop floor, we're able to make decisions based on the data.” -Kenneth Kemp, IT Manager, Brentwood Industries
You can't meet the particular needs of manufacturing companies by using generic software. At Infor, we understand that your requirements as an industrial manufacturer are unique, so, we've created software that's tailored to your needs. Businesses are not all equal. We believe that one size fits one.Read More
Become "easy to do business with".
Infor SyteLine Channel Sales is a comprehensive quoting and ordering system for selling both configured and standard products through all your channels, including dealers, distributors, and/or your direct sales force.Read More
Duncan Angove is president of products and support at Infor. Here he gives his views on the importance of speed in business.
Infor says speed is a competitive weapon. Why?
We believe that speed—not just scale—is the new basis for competition. It’s no longer about how big a company is; it’s about how fast you can execute. You may never be able to out-scale a competitor, but you can outrun them. Doing something faster than your competition is one of the most important things you can do to stay ahead of the game.Read More