We have been working on adding an advanced Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) module to our solution. Partnering closely with some of our key customers on their processes and how we would integrate MRP with Accounting, Inventory, Raw Materials, Sales Processes, etc has allowed us to create a closed loop process for the same.
Managing variants at all levels of the product definition is a key to simplify all the possibilities for creating configurable products. We have created various wizards to help with the data entry as well. This allows our customers to quickly enter complex products in our systems with ease.
Managing bill of materials (BOM) with variants can be a cumbersome process – we have enhanced this experience where all the variants of a given product(s) are automatically added to the bill of materials. This prevents an error-prone data entry process as we provide an initial template of the same. This is just one of many enhancements we have created to help with the process.
Integrating BOM with the Sales Order process can be a daunting task. Imagine trying to configure a new car on the manufacturer’s website with an open-ended description field where you have to type all the options manually? How will that work out? Not very well – you will take days if not weeks to place an order. This has been validated by our customers – we spend way too much time validating the Sales Order with our product development and manufacturing teams before confirming its receipt. This process can be very frustrating for the end customer who is ready to place an order and now must wait to see if their needs can be manufactured or not. To streamline this process, we have integrated the BOM with Sales Orders in a wizard format where the New Product Development team defines all the possible ways a product can be configured and now the Sales Team uses this information to place the order. At the end of the order entry, the system creates a valid product variant that can be manufactured and can immediately start the process. This allows significant improvement in the MRP system as compared to doing this manually. By deploying this, we can also get new Sales teams onboard quickly as they have guard rails on how to configure a product in the system.
Tracking inventory and manufacturing process routes are another part of the MRP system which has traditionally discouraged manufacturers to digitize their processes. We have enabled bar code scanning for all raw goods and extended this capability where the scanning of a raw material (at any step of the process), can trigger a manufacturing process step if needed and can advance the workorders for processing. This allows various folks in the MRP system to get notified on process steps, etc. for any manufacturing order.
Along with manufacturing new products, we have also provided the capability of refinishing / re-purposing existing finished inventory items for resell, remarketing, etc. For example, if we had a table that was being manufactured, we would have some of the components – legs, table base assembly, table top, finishing of the table legs and finishing of the table top. Along with this we will have service / processes for assembly, shipping, etc. Now, if we were to re-finish this table top, we would have to de-construct this table, refinish the table top via a serviceable item and then assemble and do quality control on the new finished product. While this is happening, our solution keeps track of the Cost of Goods along the processes, so at the end of the day we would have traceability of the finished product so that the sales team can price the item appropriately. Moreover, if we wanted to replace an inventory item for example a new style of table legs, the system allows us to add the old table legs back to stock and procure / manufacture new table legs for the re-finished table.
Another use case our customers have struggled with is status reporting of manufacturing processes. Now, it’s easy to track a few orders at a time. What happens when we have over 100 items that are in the process at a given time? We rely on our manufacturing teams to start tracking these orders in Excel or some manual tool with a variety of project management milestones. What we have done is developed a framework where we can provide the definition of these milestones in the system in the Project Management module. For each manufacturing order flowing through the system, we automatically track the various milestones daily and automatically update the milestones. These milestones can also be assigned to the sales team for communication to the customers.
We strongly believe that these capabilities provide significant differentiation in operations to a manufacturer and allows them to focus on creating quality products for their customers.
Get in touch with us to see how our system can differentiate your business from the competition. Contact us at email@example.com or @ (972) 853-1805.