Streamlining your manufacturing process may not appear straightforward in the beginning. The process meant to make your manufacturing company more efficient, less wasteful and, ultimately, more profitable, tends initially to come with a lot of frontloaded time and money spent installing data storage programs, communication tools and even sales configuration software.
Any oversight in this updating process can send you back to the drawing board, costing you even more, and putting your capacity for growth on hold. However, with the proper attention to some key considerations, it will not be as daunting as it first seemed, and your efforts will pay off sooner than you might think.
Here's what you need to consider when streamlining your manufacturing process.
Three Simple Objectives
The successful streamlining of your manufacturing process should include:
- The highest possible quality of service from every department.
- Clear communication throughout your company.
- The targeting and reduction of wasted resources within each department.
The beauty of today's manufacturing world is that technology can play a major roll in helping you achieve these objectives. The right programs will bring usable, real-time data and team-to-team communication capabilities to your operation.
As a result, stronger communication will reducethe stress of "getting it right the first time", and that will positively impact your bottom line.
Connect All Manufacturing Teams Involved
Communication between every department, from sales to final delivery, should be more than just phone calls, emails and spreadsheet attachments. It should be coordinated in a way that keeps every team on the same page throughout each stage of production via one central data and communication platform.
Done properly, this will save your team time, thus alleviating concerns about falling behind schedule.
When your sales team makes modification requests to an existing product design, they may need to engage the engineering team to analyze and make adjustments. The production team must communicate with the purchasing team if additional parts or raw materials are needed to fulfill an order.
If there is an issue with a production tool, the maintenance team needs to be informed immediately so shut down time is minimized or avoided. Even the shipping team benefits from advanced communication with production so they can plan ahead for any special shipping requirements and final product inspections.
Distill Your Production History
Once all of these teams have contributed to the successful manufacture and shipping of the final product, the marketing team will want to know the resources that went into the sale; the time it took from sale to shipment, and where that time was spent per procedure; and how it fits into the overall marketing picture.
This level of sales data detail can be captured by an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program and can be shared between departments, so that everybody can see how each team contributes to the sales process, as well as areas where the process can be improved.
You may already be using a platform such as Netsuite, but not getting the full value from it. Integrations including CPQ for Netsuite can revolutionize the way you use your ERP and CRM by helping you sell more and reduce your overhead.
Utilize Big Data
Just as production history data can alert you to opportunities for more efficient manufacturing, big data can be analyzed to help you find new avenues of production growth moving forward.
However, traditional data-processing software can no longer handle the sheer volume of available information. Advanced, cloud-based data collection systems have been designed specifically to help with big data storage, data sharing, and predictive analysis which opens up the benefits of big data toyour growing business.
If you aren't looking into big data solutions already, you're likely behind your competitors.
Enhance Your Bill of Materials (BOM)
Modern manufacturing rarely consists of one product, one way, every time. Whether you deal in clothing or car parts, manufacturing techniques have made production in a variety of styles and components the norm.
Therefore, a manufacturing BOM must be delivered to the production team with accuracy and clarity every time. 2D and 3D imagery with accompanying specification details bring real precision to order fulfillment.
It begins with a sales rep's ability to build a product order to their client's specifications, present their client with the right quote and complete the sale without lag time between the initial client inquiry and the final sales agreement.
From there, your production team can see the product illustrated exactly as the client has agreed to, combining graphics and the configurable BOM, so the production team knows exactly what to build. The production team, in turn, can clearly communicate design questions to the engineering team using this platform, as well as raw material questions to the inventory or purchasing team.
Optimize Your Sales Team's Capabilities
The successful streamlining of your manufacturing process really depends on simple objectives, executed with the proper software that can integrate your production history, big data, and communication system. By taking the time to implement these measures from the start, you can achieve manufacturing harmony in any industry.
Verenia's CPQ software for manufacturing allows your sales team to increase communication efficiency throughout your company, and that is a real boost to both service quality and waste reduction. Precise component configuration imagery helps eliminate production errors, while the instant price quote capability eliminates calculation errors and lag time caused by traditional calculating procedures.
Learn how Verenia can improve sales performance for manufacturers through CPQ software.