I have been in the manufacturing business for over 18 years. When I first started I was working in accounting and then moved over to operations. It was all about dollars and cents and what we could improve to be more profitable. The plant manager was a great teacher and focused on continuous improvement. He would have us look at the root cause of an issue and tell us to "fix it or else." We all knew that "or else" meant having a job the next day or not so we took this suggestion seriously.
IQMS Blog for Manufacturing ERP Expertise
If you can't measure it you can't improve it?! How many times have we heard that before? But when we go into manufacturing companies looking for ERP systems and ask some of the basic questions, like "what is your on-time shipment accuracy?" or "what is your machine efficiency?" or "what is your daily cost of scrap?" we get blank stares or answers like "it's over 90% I think" or "it's in the 70 to 80% range I think" or "we don't have that much scrap." That would be like an ERP software company responding to the question of "how many of your customers meet the target go live date" with the answer "most of them". "Most" can mean a lot of things - 95%, 75% or 51% which is a big difference in the bottom line.
We have all done it. We've all said something was "good enough." It isn't great, it isn't bad; it's just okay. Whether it is your house, your car, your job, etc.... we often find that settling for things is easier than pursuing another option. And we are right, it is often easier. But is it the best way to go about evaluation and decision making. No it isn't.
This is the year! You have decided you are going to evaluate your existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system or make the leap to buy a new one. Congratulations.
Wouldn't it be great if we could all take the time to be an undercover boss? It seems like such a great idea. Slip in unnoticed and walk in the other person's shoes, spending a few day's on the "front lines" with the employees. With a good manufacturing ERP system and real-time monitoring you can accomplish just that.