Streamline Your Production Process

I believed that production is the core function around which the entire business revolved, and I am embarrassed, that it took me so long to realize that this is not true. I always believed that production is just a necessary part of the business and the functionalities revolving around it will define my business. However, I was very wrong.

I work in a MNC which is the world's leading provider of seating products. We cater to the needs of theaters, convention centers, and auditoriums. The company operates globally in America and Asia.

My role, Production Manager, is that of a traffic controller. Production managers are the primary supervisors. They determine the allocation of resources, track production schedules, track the costs involved and make the necessary adjustments according to the situation. A production manager should be able to juggle many different jobs at the same time and be proactive to situations.

Production process activities involve planning, scheduling, purchasing, inventory control, technology and methods etc.



 

Intricacy in Production Management:


1. Complexity:
In our production plant we produce all types of seating products. Different manufacturing lines manufacture different types of products. Synchronization of a large number of activities and resources over time is a complex process. Also, resources have to be optimally distributed and complex time restraints must be taken into consideration in accordance with the organizational goals.


2. Constraints:
Production has to deal with diverse set of constraints. Production management has to work under these imposed constraints and generally involves negotiations and compromises.


3. Dynamic Environment:
The manufacturing environment is uncertain, dynamic and continuously changing. The production process is often started with incomplete or uncertain knowledge. These decisions then have to be constantly adjusted according to the situations.


4. Responsiveness:
As the environment is uncertain, decisions may have to be changed. This requires timely access to relevant and accurate information. Accurate and errorless data are crucial during decision making. Monitoring and analysis of data in the optimal way is necessary.


Due to such complexities it is very difficult to manage the production process. The current system we are using is complex and not at all user friendly. It does not allow us to manage data. We cannot track the inventory efficiently and the cost of maintenance is very high. The investment in the system has not produced the ROI we had anticipated.


Key Pain Points:
1. Difficult to control continuous manufacturing processes.
2. Maintaining compliance and quality in a dynamic environment with many constraints.
3. Complexity in tracking of raw material and finished goods.
4. Inability to effectively measure, monitor and control cost.
5. Delays and bottlenecks in operations due to lack of information, knowledge, and administration.
6. Maintaining production speed and efficiency.
7. Lack of inter-organization collaboration and business intelligence.
8. Inability to effectively capture, access, and manage data.
9. Achieving optimum utilization of all the resources and effective plant and operations optimization.


The system has these pain points because production is not a single working unit. It is linked to the entire organizations functions. It had many dependencies and inter-connectivity.

Some Major Dependencies and Interconnectivities to Which Production is Linked are:

The production function is connected to procurement, inventory and warehouse, sales, finance, and human resources management. The 5 M's of production: men, machines, methods, material, and money all need to be integrated and managed for reaching operational excellence.

I as a production manager learnt the hard way of the integration and interdependence of these units. A best practice like lean, not only considers production as a single unit, but the entire operation as a whole, taking into consideration all the aspects of production.


Solution:
The solution that helped us was from Business Pointers. The technology connects a broad range of business technologies to enable companies to access and use important information, whenever and wherever it is needed. It has a maintainable and extensible system that is able to meet the strict quality needs in any manufacturing organization. It supports implementation of best practices in production and allows each user to be involved in the continuous improvement process by customizing their environment.

Solution Features:


Warehouse Management.
The solution is integrated with the warehouse management functionality which allows you to know and keep track of every single item in your entire plant with just a click of a button. The solution understands the importance of accurate, trackable and controllable inventory. It provides features for quick tracking of raw material, finished goods, and semi-finished goods. It also helps in reducing physical inventory time while providing transactions accurately in real time.

The solution drastically improves inventory and warehouse management processes and lowers the costs involved. It handles all inventory transactions like receiving, adjustment, stock, etc. It provides maximum accountability and improved shipping and order fulfillment rates along with real time integration with scheduling, manufacturing, sales, and operations while providing accurate and up to date information every time. It has customized layouts for comprehensive inventory tracking, staging, and storage.

Process Control:
The solution provides quick analysis of inputs. It gathers variables from different modules and brings it together as a single input for accurate analysis. It helps tracking processes and determines the inspection plans to ensure operational consistency. It provides real time control and trend charts, widgets, and dashboards giving a quick view of process performance.


 


Shop Floor Management:
It has real time production monitoring of operations taking place on the shop floor. It provides quality measures and quick inspection processes. Activities that take place on shop floor quickly update to interdependent units like inventory so you do not need to enter information twice.
This helps in keeping track of operations and enables continuous production. The downtime for the running job can also be measured which helps in reducing bottlenecks and finding the cause of downtime so you can prevent it in the future.


Quality Management:
Business Pointer's solution is flexible and helps production organizations to comply with quality standards. It helps in increasing quality and reducing waste; therefore, it enables cost and quality management while streamlining production process. The quality management is directly linked with RMAs, inventory, BOMs, etc.
It tracks the overall quality of units. This is done by features like monitoring business activities, inventory inspections, waste management, and complete audit trails.
It facilitates tracking of all the information required for processing documents and definitions. Control plans can be created and it can map any required corrective actions for deviations from quality standards.


Project Management:
The solution is integrated with project based production. It can keep track of projects by capturing and providing detailed information on projects. It helps in the resource allocation of materials and subject matter experts involved in the project. It can easily maintain multi-tasking in projects. Costs, quality, inventory reports, etc all can be run per project and help in project control.


 


Reports:
The solution generates a number of reports. Some of them are overall equipment effectiveness, production history reports, inventory level reports, and production activity report.


 


Forecasting:
The solution has real time integration with manufacturing, sales and inventory. Therefore, collaborative forecasting on actual data is possible. The solution supports multiple forecasts. Some of the forecasts include capacity based production forecasts, sales forecasts, inventory and materials forecasts, and time based MRP forecasts.


Multi-plant Solution:
Using centralized data storage for managing multiple sites is a key feature. Data management is very easy and reduces the costs of information. Also, the data is more accurately accessible and maintainable, reducing redundancy.


MRP:
The solution accurately and effectively manages all resources. It manages not only production items but also assembly and sub-assembly processes. The cohesive architecture of the solution allows MRP to span the complete supply chain to quickly and correctly match the requirements.


Production Schedule and Plan:
The system allows the user to view real time events occurring throughout the supply chain. It helps to incorporate all requirements and objectives of the plan. This in turn leads to on time delivery, accurate and timely planning, and optimal use of resources, reducing cycle time. Today production planning and scheduling are one of the most important parts of production management because they influence all three critical factors of competitiveness: time, quality, and price. The solution is integrated with finance, order management, CRM, purchasing, inventory, transportation, and HRMS.


General Features:
Business Pointers has created a very good solution to address all the needs of a production and manufacturing industry. Its key attributes are its simplified layouts, flexible controls, personalized user screens and collaborative environment. Production planning, resource allocation, material requirement planning, and prevention and maintenance are all in a single solution.
We are using an information system to cut the cost, reduce the cycle time, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. We have a maintainable and flexible system that meets our data quality needs. We have a strong planning algorithm of information systems which supports production planning and control.
It has helped us to plan production with optimum utilization of all the resources. Material requirement planning is done on the production planning analysis and forecasting. Feasibility of production is evaluated using details like raw material availability, procurement time, machine availability, time scheduling, and plant capacity. Production schedules are generated according to the priorities of production. It has given us more control of the shop floor activities.

Key Solution Points:

1. Stronger financial control.
2. Consistent and accurate data that provides an overall view of the organization.
3. Streamlines processes to match efficient response time to demand.
4. Customer and vendor management for faster cycles.
5. Closes loop between sales and inventory to achieve organizational goals.
6. Ability to automate business workflow and processes.
7. Helps in project management and determining cost and profitability at each stage.

The solution has very efficiently helped us overcome the issues faced previously and has made our life easier. It provides the accuracy and confidentiality of information required and allows business decisions to be made with confidence, ultimately enabling operational excellence.

 
Business Pointers, Incorporated
Address: 12020 Sunrise Valley Drive Suite 104 Reston, VA 20191, Tel: 1-(703)-723-9979