There’s an old saying, popular among Boy Scouts and foot soldiers, which is “the map is not the terrain.” If confronted with a mountain or a river that “isn’t supposed to be there,” according to the map, well, that’s your bad luck. Because, the map is the map and the terrain is the terrain. So it goes in manufacturing. The computer may say one thing, but the shop floor is where reality is taking place. Your software could tell you that you have 100 boxes of a certain part, but if the shop floor only has 10 boxes, well, the map is the map…
Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) in Modern Cloud ERP
Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) offers a solution to the problem of tracking materials and processes across the shop floor. Acumatica Manufacturing Edition has a new, sophisticated MDC capability that works through their native mobile app using bar code scanning. It can capture shop floor data in real time.
How it Works
MDC in Acumatica is rooted in the broader functionality of Acumatica manufacturing management software. Admins can modify the software’s default settings based on their preferences and business processes. For example, it is possible set defaults for automated data capture transactions, such as setting the “Required Quantity of Materials” as always being defined by what is written on the production ticket’s bill of materials (BOM). Admins can similarly set up default warehouse locations for each transaction, default expiration dates, default auto-generated lot numbers and so forth.
As materials enter the manufacturing process, a shop floor worker can use Acumatica to generate a printed product ticket. The ticket consists of information written for humans as well as bar codes that a user can scan into Acumatica using the mobile app. The app’s bar code reader is smart enough to know automatically, for example, which job connects with a particular ticket. As the materials are used up in the manufacturing process, workers scan the appropriate bar codes and update the system. That way, if a manager wants to know the precise inventory of a certain part of raw material, he or she will know instantly how much of it is in the warehouse and how much is on the shop floor.
The ticket is also connected to the employee’s badge number. He or she can clock in and clock out using the app and the Product Ticket. The system automatically calculates the duration of the transaction. It can then post labor data to the production order and work in progress (WIP).
Key Benefits of MDC
MDC with Acumatica confers a range of benefits on manufacturers. The software’s real time inventory updates are valuable for staying on top of the manufacturing process and avoiding running out of inputs. Other benefits include:
- Eliminates data entry errors—The barcode scanning available through the app eliminates after-the-fact data entry for labor transactions and the movements of material movement.
- Enables supervisor review—Shop floor managers and other supervisors can review scanned transactions to facilitate data correction before details get posted to the database.
- Provides a versatile and device agnostic solution—Acumatica MDC is device agnostic. The software works with iPhone, iPad iOS, Android and other types of internet-compatible barcode scanners. This way, manufacturers can stick with their standard hardware, avoiding the necessity of buying hardware to fit the software.
We have worked with many manufacturers on the implementation of Acumatica MDC on the shop floor. It’s one area of our business consulting practice. To learn more, contact us for a demo and free consultation.