Digitization allows companies to accelerate the pace of innovation and turn speed and agility into a competitive advantage. This is the age where factories are connected smartly with high-tech solutions to better plan and manage resources and processes.
Nowadays, manufacturers are exceedingly embracing lean and agile manufacturing initiative in order to improve inventory management and operational capabilities.
What is agile manufacturing? It is basically a modern approach or strategy used by manufacturers to respond quickly to the changing customers’ needs and market demands. There are multiple factors that enable you to become an agile manufacturer – modular and customer-focused product design, Information Technology, corporate partners and knowledge culture.
Agile manufacturing enables the organization to respond to the market demands in a jiffy, and that too without compromising on the quality. Consumers appreciate the speed and so do your business! Without compromising on the quality of products, an agile manufacturing plan guarantees fast delivery services and promptness. There has to be an intuitive agile manufacturing plan which should focus on the rapid moment for creating and executing idea while gauging what is right for the business and what isn’t.
How is agile manufacturing different from other practices?
- Modular, customer-focused product design
Agile manufacturing plan encourages quicker modification and adaptability. When products are designed in the modular pattern, variations are done easily. It brings together different pieces of materials to simplify changing designs and deliver products with an unprecedented level of speed and personalization.
- Information technology
Organizations, whether large scale or SMBs aim to improve external and internal business communication. Proper IT infrastructure drives agile manufacturing and ensures that employees are updated with every managerial decision and technological advancement.
- Corporate partners
Not every business model aims to build good relationships with the partner companies. Agile manufacturing plans lay emphasis on maintaining short-term partnerships and co-operative projects. However, it is always suggested to examine your corporate relationships prior to implementing any new plan.
- Knowledge culture
Training is the key to agile manufacturing. It ensures that the right amount of knowledge is cascaded to the suitable person because everyone is the organization should seamlessly understand the rapid changes and adaptation through which the business is going. Appropriate training should be evenly provided to all the concerned people in order to succeed in agile manufacturing.
Agile manufacturing adds an extra dimension to lean manufacturing. Talking about lean manufacturing, it is a systematic approach of minimizing waste while maintaining the quality and production level within a manufacturing unit. On the other hand, agile manufacturing is more focused on fulfilling the customers’ demand in minimum time. This method is the best suitable for businesses that undergo drastic transformation and fluctuating customer needs. Considered as a precursor to agile, lean manufacturing has paved the road to modernization.
It aims to create a structured, well-organized and encouraging work culture while ensuring minimum wastage. The relationship between lean and agile manufacturing can be simply explained with a simple example – one is a lean or thin person and the second is a fit one. Both are obviously not the same. Here, the latter one is an agile manufacturer and the former one is a lean manufacturer.
Both are not the same, however, a company can be lean or an agile plan driven. And when the nuances of both lean and agile manufacturing are inculcated in an organization, it is known as leagile (lean + agile) manufacturing.
In a lean and agile process, emphasis is on not only quantitative inputs, but also qualitative comments, assumptions, risks, and opportunities associated with the plan. Audit trail capability is used for all the stakeholders’ inputs to add transparency and accountability to the process and encourage open and honest communication. This also increases participation and helps create a single version of the truth with no hedging, underestimating, or overestimating.
In lean and agile manufacturing, there is continuous horizontal reconciliation among stakeholders and vertical integration among strategic, tactical, and operational planning, which are interwoven harmoniously in order to create a cohesive fabric. In addition to being lean, this tactic accentuates inventory and capacity flexibility and cushions against market volatility and forecast inaccuracies, strengthening the organization. Capacity and inventory buffers act as the shock absorbers between strategic planning and operational planning in the event of unpredictable events. What-if scenarios for alternative courses of action and contingency plans help the organization mitigate risk and enable greater responsiveness to changing customer and market needs.
How can ERP drive agile manufacturing?
In today’s era, agility is not just a hallmark but also a requirement for surviving in this competitive marketplace. And to drive manufacturing agility, modern Enterprise Resource Planning solution encourages lean manufacturing capabilities and just-in-time production to handle growing demands or sudden market changes. Enterprise Resource Planning software is the key to agile manufacturing. OptiProERP with SAP Business is a reliable suite of business management tools that offer advantages such as effectiveness, accuracy, and scalability to meet your business requirement.
It inculcates a huge array of advanced features which promotes capacity planning, material planning, quality control, production, inventory management, purchase, sales, accounts, finance and more.
This is how OptiProERP can promote agile manufacturing plans in your business –
- It reshapes your technology advancements to accelerate the path from planning to successful execution
- Encourages productive product designs that can be appreciated and requested by the customers
- With its state-of-the-art functionalities, you can respond quickly to the emerging crisis
- OptiProERP is a suite of business management tools that help you define risks and mitigation plan, cutover strategies and TCO (total cost of ownership) calculations
- It monitors, identifies, resolves issues promptly and minimizes the production time
- Manages entire data on one platform and unifies operations together to promote agility and real-time access to the users
Designed by manufacturers, for manufacturers, this software is an extended version of SAP Business One which works suitably for business automation. Its powerful wizards and intuitive user interface with easy to understand drop-down menus, familiar toolbars, and search options are apt for fast and efficient working. To know more about how OptiProERP works and supports agile manufacturing, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.