Recently, an ERP forum I was reading had an active conversation started by a new employee who was attempting to understand the ERP system utilized at his company. This new CFO wasn't part of the initial implementation, training or decision process. He was feeling frustrated because, he concluded, the ERP system wasn't providing the information he needed. He posted his concerns over the lack of seemingly common requirements that weren't being met and his frustration that all ERP systems are the same. The replies to him were unanimous and offered a resounding plea for this new CFO to get training and a reminder that just like all companies are not the same, all manufacturing ERP systems are not the same.
IQMS Blog for Manufacturing ERP Expertise
Recently, we’ve seen new barcode standards emerging. Almost everyone is familiar with UPC barcodes (found, for example, on the containers of grocery items), that have reduced the amount of manual data entry and increased the amount of data that can be accurately transferred between systems. We’re all familiar with how quickly a person can tally up an entire cart of food; it sometimes reminds me of a slot machine in Las Vegas.
Man-made and natural disasters are constantly occurring around us. Some we can control quite easily while others literally shake the foundations of our earth. As economies around the world continually become more tightly knit together with supply chains being forged, these events challenge the stability of businesses and ultimately individual lives. Without a good disaster preparedness and recovery plan, critical businesses can become the weak link in the chain and have far reaching effects.
We all understand how hard it is to keep every finished good, material, person and machine straight on a daily basis. But have you ever stopped to think about the true complexity of a manufacturing environment when you add (or multiply) it all together? The opportunities for error are incredible. If you think about a simple operation with 10 machines that may run 10 parts per machine with one raw material per part, you have 200 items to manage. Now what if some of those parts can run on other machines, share raw materials, need to be assembled together and have to be packaged a special way? While I am not doing the math here, we can all understand that the complexity just went up exponentially. This is just a very basic example. How many of your shops are this simple?