Increasing Production Throughput With Manufacturing Software


Every manufacturer understands the importance of increasing their manufacturing throughput. Success means the company has lowered its manufacturing cycle times, eliminated the high costs of material shortages, increased its production capacity and has been successful in reducing the costs of lost or idle time. However, can a company achieve these results through manual processes? In essence, can a manufacturer run production via excel spreadsheets and timesheets? Simply put, they can’t.

While some manufacturers claim to be able to manage production via manual processes, the reality is that these processes are never live and never updated in real-time. What is ultimately needed is a manufacturing software package that tracks production cycle times as they occur, while giving manufacturers advance warning of any part or raw material shortages. Only a manufacturing software can track data in real-time and provide the time critical data manufacturers need to better manage their production. So what are some of the advantages of having a software package as opposed to relying upon excel timesheets and spreadsheets?

Real-Time Cycle Time Review
Increasing a manufacturer’s production throughput relies upon the ability to assess cycle times across the entire shop floor. That means that production must be able to assess individual cycle times from each work cell, from one cell to the next and from one process to the next. A manufacturing software package can provide insight into cycle times, transit times and setup times in each and every work cell. Adjustments can then be made to reduce these times at the source.

Live Data Pertaining to Material Requirements
One of the biggest problems a manufacturer can face is to encounter a material shortage. While some material shortages are unavoidable, others are simply caused by a company’s manual processes, ones where the information emerging from spreadsheets is never accurate and rarely, if ever, representative of current needs. A software package seamlessly integrates the material requirements for all backlogs and confirmed orders, thereby allowing purchasing to protect against the high costs of inventory stock outs.

 Invaluable Insight into Production Capacity
A solid software platform provides the necessary information companies need to decide upon a go/no-go decision on a large capital expense. It provides invaluable insight into a manufacturer’s real production capacity. That information is essential to determining if and when a company should proceed with expanding its installed equipment base. Barcoding is an essential part of success in these instances as the software package tracks raw material, semi-finished and finished good inventory from each individual work cell.

Unfortunately, far too many of today’s manufacturers rationalize their decision to use timesheets and excel spreadsheets to manage their production volumes. For these companies, the decision to use a capital expenditure to increase production capacity is nothing more than a guess, one based on inaccurate information emerging from excel spreadsheets. However, there are other enterprises who continually raise the bar in manufacturing by eliminating downtime in all its forms. They use their software package to track work orders from each individual work station in order to eliminate idle time the moment it occurs. For these companies, it’s about increasing production throughput by lowering cycle times, eliminating the high costs of inventory stock outs and continually mitigating downtime.

This article was written by Business Innovation Technologies, offering professional business and software applications in the Greater Toronto Area.

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