Manufacturing presents an endless series of interlocking business and technological challenges. While making the product itself is likely a complex, intricate process, the work of profitably overseeing production can be even more arduous. Manufacturing production management software helps bring order (and income) to a potentially stressful workload.
Production management software is far from a new idea. It’s been around, in one form or another, for over half a century. However, recent innovations such as the integrated, cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite, can have a transformative effect on the extended manufacturing-business environment.
The new generation of production management software solutions, such as Acumatica Manufacturing Edition, brings a higher level of unity across the entire manufacturing business lifecycle. They provide end-to-end visibility and fine-grained control to other wise unruly areas of a manufacturing business. This matters because the manufacturing process itself, while critical for the success of a manufacturing business, is really just one element of a much bigger operational picture.
Manufacturing encompasses the sales process, estimating and order creation. Procurement teams must buy the needed raw materials—on time and at the right price—to become part of an orderly production workflow. Expensive manufacturing assets need to be utilized at peak efficiency and profitability. The customer needs to be aware of the status of the order at all times. The details of the order’s delivery similarly need to be available to all stakeholders. And, the entire interconnected process needs to run as efficiently as possible.
The modern manufacturing production management software solution keeps all these elements in order. It provides everyone involved with the information they need to move the process forward on a profitable basis. It enables a good customer experience and strong internal team coherence.
The Production Management Dashboard
Acumatica Manufacturing Edition provides a host of user-specific dashboards. Workers on the shop floor have their own unique view of production management. Salespeople, manufacturing managers, procurement teams and others each get their distinct data visualizations as well. On the shop floor, for example, managers can get an instant readout on labor and machine costs. This is extremely important, as a manufacturer can easily start to lose money if it does not accurately track its machine center and labor costs.
Further to this issue, the system also lets users allocate overhead to manufacturing processes and work centers. This way, no cost gets left behind… a situation that all too often results in an unhappy surprise at the close of a financial period when managers see that while the operation is profitable, the business is not. The estimating and budgeting processes have not adequately considered overheads as part of the cost structure.
The Bill of Materials (BOM)
The Bill of Materials (BOM) is at the heart of the production software solution. The BOM tells procurement teams how much of each input they need to have on hand for a given production order. The software provides details on vendors’ terms, minimum orders and so forth—all to get the right materials on the floor without having them sit in inventory for too long.
From there, the software enables detailed routing steps for each operation in the manufacturing process. Users can review or revise set up times for each work center, including run times, machine times, pieces produced per hour and so on. The system is integrated with the accounting and financial management solutions. From this connection, financial and business managers can have accurate, real time awareness of the financial condition of the manufacturing operation at any time.
These are just a few of the ways that a modern manufacturing production management software solution can help a manufacturing business run better and generate consistently strong earnings. We have worked with many manufacturers on the design and deployment of such systems. To learn how Acumatica Manufacturing Edition can transform your manufacturing operation, contact us for a free consultation and product demo.