Many small and mid-size manufacturing businesses think of shop floor operations as an internal-facing process. As a result, the tendency is to view their shop floor planning software (SFES) as only a tool to drive internal value using its ability to control, monitor, and measure shop floor efficiency.
But the shop floor, at the heart of production, is now also central to customer experience. As small and mid-size manufacturing organizations adjust to customer expectations for product personalization, rapid response times, and visibility into processes from order to delivery, the shop floor is now a touchpoint for extraordinary customer service.
Browser-based and Mobile Access to SFES Enables Real-Time, Anytime, Anywhere Access
Shop floor managers and employees can access SFES with a web browser or a mobile device. Convenient browser-based touch screens make it easy for workers to log in to the Assembly Work Center to see their Task List. The shop floor manager can assign a person with a particular skill to a specific machine. The Task List in the SFES application can also include resource documents, instructions, even videos to show what “done right” looks like.
The SFES mobile app gives managers real-time visibility into shop floor operations. You can see when a task begins and ends. If it was interrupted, you can see the cause. And when a worker completes a task, you will know how many items were made, how long it took, and how many, if any, were faulty. Rejected parts are automatically moved to the Materials Review Board (MRB) and a Quality Control order for inspection would be ordered. Then, you can do a disposition on the materials, decide whether to scrap it, work it, return it to the vendor, or accept it as is.
SFES, as part of an end-to-end manufacturing ERP solution, enables workers to perform at their best with clear job specifications, detailed ‘how to’ instructions, and the ability to report machine downtime without leaving their work center.
SFES can be accessed anywhere, anytime using a smart device. Plant floor managers have a real-time view of work in progress (WIP) and work center capacity. Production managers can check the status of an order in real-time, or explore the downstream effect of changing the schedule to take care of a rush job. Here’s the point, the more visibility that businesses have into their manufacturing operations, the more transparency they can provide for their customers.
Three Ways Shop Floor Execution Software Automates the Shop Floor and Supports Happy Customers
1. Scheduling sets the pace for every moment on the shop floor. When you plan every activity sequentially, capacity is utilized and production downtimes are reduced.
Shop floor scheduling also helps prioritize, track, report, and manage real-time shop floor activities. SFES calculates work in progress and ensures that machines are up and running for seamless production.
Work in progress (WIP), historically blindsight for manufacturers without ERP, is easy to monitor with real-time insight into production. SFES tracks jobs that are not yet finished, providing insight into inventory usage and costs even for goods that require further work.
The enduring value of shop floor scheduling software is the ability to:
- Reduce lead time
- Lower setup costs
- Deliver on time
- Reduce on-hand inventory requirements
- Monitor work in progress
The tools that are needed to optimize shop floor execution are the same tools required for a customer-first service philosophy. With easy access to real-time information on the shop floor, the customer service team, sales rep, or the accounting department can be responsive, delivering customer-centric service.
2. Resource management, within SFES, eliminates poorly executed operations that occur because of poor visibility into available capacity, both for workers and machines. A shop floor execution system streamlines the production process and enables intelligent resource management, enhancing visibility into shop floor operations. SFES also adds value as follows:
- Provides visibility into the shop floor environment
- Lowers cycle times and streamlines operations
- Offers a 360-degree view of supply chains, even global
- Delivers real-time status updates of machines and resources
3. Product genealogy tracks raw materials and product consumption, manages risk mitigation, and addresses quality issues.
Product genealogy improves the output of finished goods. It facilitates regulatory compliance and ensures less time is consumed in the preparation of compliance documentation. The objective of product genealogy is to meet the industry standards to facilitate compliance and regulatory norms.
Product genealogy is also crucial information that directly affects the productivity and efficiency of shop floor resources. It captures valuable information, like date and time of consumption, the serial number of the product, material name, the quantity of consumption, lot number of the product, etc. Managers get complete visibility into the production of every part or sub-assembly, and this helps them identify quality issues before shipment.
SFES, as part of an industry-specific ERP, creates an automatic document trail. You have an audit trail of every change made to anything within the system and a timestamp of the change. Whether you need to fulfill compliance requirements or undergo an audit, you will save time and money as the documentation is easily available.
Why Manufacturers Need Shop Floor Software to Delight Their Customers
Manufacturing companies must be able to monitor and control the shop floor if they are to meet, even exceed, customer expectations in an increasingly competitive global market.
SFES connects production operations with business processes, reducing costs, increasing margins, and satisfying customers with the timely delivery of quality products.
For all of the operational improvements that SFES delivers, it is the transformation of the shop floor into a touchpoint for extraordinary customer service that is the greatest long-term value to the business.
If you want to know more about the benefits of SFES and how it can help manufacturers like you track resources, improve operations, and enhance customer satisfaction, please contact us here.