Custom programming, like most things, starts with an idea. At IQMS, our manufacturers come to us with a need to automate a process that will make an everyday operation faster and easier. Together, the IQMS Automation Group collaborates with our customers to help them solidify that idea to the point where it can become reality. Once that idea has formed, what are the steps you should expect during a custom programming project?
IQMS Blog for Manufacturing ERP Expertise
It seems like one of the recent trends in ERP software functionality is a renewed focus on shop floor control. This trend has prompted many ERP companies to begin selling third-party shop floor systems that are "integrated" with their ERP software.
What do you consider real-time information? For some manufacturers, accurate data can only be acquired when a shift ends and the production reports are logged or the data from the shop floor is uploaded, resulting in an unfortunate up to eight hour "real-time" reality. For others, the real-time information range is shorter, spanning between four to six hours, depending on the design and technology limitations of their reporting software.
What do you get when you combine an innovative manufacturer with a progressive ERP software automation team willing to push the boundaries of shop floor control? Competitive advantage, increased efficiency and a match made for the future.
2014 has flown by! I can hardly believe that it is the middle of April. The major league baseball season is underway, Easter egg hunts were enjoyed by many last weekend and the weather has been calling it in at a consistent 75 degrees. With the first four months of this year passing by so quickly, I know it will be November before I can blink an eye. Looking ahead, what does the rest of 2014 appear like for the greater manufacturing industry, the IQMS company as a whole and my manufacturing department? Let's begin with the global picture and work our way down to a more micro level:
Loosely defined, the Internet of Things (IoT, for short) is the concept of connecting everything imaginable to a network so that information can be quickly and easily shared through network connections with everything else. Today, there are more devices connected to the Internet than there are people in the world, resulting in a vast collection of data that can be analyzed, communicated and acted upon.
Several years ago, I said that automation and specialized systems were a requirement for companies seeking product differentiation and profitability. Today, that statement has grown and automated systems for manufacturing companies have become the required daily vitamin for both simple and complex companies to survive.
IQMS does not contract with third-party VARs or outside implementation consultants, but instead employs a large staff of in-house trainers, application specialists and sales team members. These IQMS "feet on the street" spend nearly every week of the year in manufacturing plants across the globe, listening and learning about developments in our industry. This constant pulse of what's happening in the market has revealed a few common trends that we can expect in 2014. So before the shine of a new year begins to fade, let's take a look at my predictions for the coming year:
I recently attended a marketing conference (That might not sound as exciting to some people as it was to me and that is OK, but don’t stop reading yet). What was interesting at this conference was not only the keynote speakers and the discussions about how customers make every industry, but most importantly, it was when I walked into a session titled, "Marketing to a Boring Industry," and realized the session was completely packed. Every seat was filled! All of the attendees looked around the room and collectively thought that if you aren't selling beer or clothes that athletes and celebrities wear, then you must be in a boring industry.
Now, more than ever, manufacturing companies are reviewing their budgets to identify areas where cuts can be made. All too often, employee training is among the expenses that fall "below the red line". However, those that consider training an investment, rather than an expense, realize that now is the time to develop employees and prepare for growth and better times to come. This is especially true when cuts have included personnel layoffs where remaining employees need the tools and knowledge necessary to efficiently do their job and take on new tasks as well.