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5 reasons to use simple manufacturing software and avoid complaints in B2C daily practice

5 reasons to use simple manufacturing software and avoid complaints in B2C daily practice

5 reasons to use simple manufacturing software and avoid complaints in B2C daily practice

simple manufacturing softwareWhether your business is fully manufacturing-focused or it represents a strand within your operations, producing enough goods at the right time without straining your team or finances is an ever-present battle. What’s more, if a product is faulty or not of satisfactory quality, then your customers can ask for a full refund, a repair, or a replacement within a reasonable time.  

That’s all very well, and it’s obvious that mistakes do happen, and some complaints are legitimate and reasonable, but you cannot be too careful, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

One of the reasons for mistakes is miscommunication caused by troubled information flow between the customer and the supplier. It won’t hurt if you do a bit of self-examination:

  • Is your customer and supplier relationship management information scattered in different systems and people’s heads across the business?
  • Are you drowning in spreadsheets as you try to manage increasing production in your small manufacturing business?

  • Do you happen to make last-minute changes on your paper production orders,  alter measurements, add side comments, cross things out or update projects?
  • Do you often miss deadlines or feel unable to forecast accurately due dates, as you are not sure how long it would take to deliver finished goods?
  • Do you have troubles with monitoring work progress and time spent by each worker on their tasks?

If you answered “YES” to some of the above questions, it looks like you could benefit from using simple manufacturing software in your company. 

But what it’s got to do with complaints and B2C practice, you might ask — actually quite a lot.

1. Simple manufacturing software offers convenience

Many of your customers reach out to you because your company is a convenient choice. It is a major part of your branding, and branding isn’t just about logos, tagline, and image; it’s about what you promise the customer. This is a touch and buy factor. 

Let’s say that you picked a new order, and it doesn’t have to be a large one, just a standard job for your business. When you use simple manufacturing software, straight away, you can check this order into the system with a few swipes on your phone or tablet. You might be on location, in your customer’s office, in their house, settling the order over a cup of coffee – it doesn’t matter. The point is that the order is in the system, and your employees can proceed as soon as you enter it while you are still away from the workshop. 

 simple manufacturing software

What’s more, you can attach photos (ex. the color sample), technical drawings with measurements (ex. the exact size of the door or cupboard), your comments (ex. urgent).

simple manufacturing software must 

2.  Personalized orders – tailor your products with simple manufacturing software

 

The competition on the market is harsh these days, and many of your customers are attracted to tailored goods or services, lured by the individual approach your company offers.

 

Bespoke cabinets, intricate metalwork, printed brochures to name just a few; they all require precision, and even a small mistake, misunderstanding, or a lapse in communication can prove detrimental for your manufacturing business. 

It is much easier to organize production with the support of simple manufacturing software. Access additional functionality by capturing individual contacts, locations, inquiries, orders, service requests. Upload files and documents, track emails, and interactions for a full record of activity. Monitor order patterns and set tasks for following-up. Make sure your customers are treated as individuals with great care and offered the best quality of service. 

simple manufacturing software must have

3.  Time is money – avoid costly bottlenecks and delays.

 

The mistakes and complaints caused by delays can cost you a lot. Follow all your manufacturing orders and workstation schedules with the main production schedule.

 

  • Follow color-coded warnings that indicate when operations or work orders are late, and take the necessary action in response.

simple manufacturing software good

simple manufacturing software superb

  • Use accurate automatic planning and a realistic production schedule. Reschedule dynamically by dragging and dropping manufacturing orders and operations. 

simple manufacturing software free trial

4. Ups, we did it again…

 

The prospect of accepting a complaint doing things once again seems costly and daunting.

It’s not rocket science to calculate that double job means cut margins and zero, or below acceptable profit (Check out this case study to find out more).

 

In most cases, it turns out that the problem isn’t in poor quality or efficiency but mainly in huge losses made due to chaos in communication.

 simple manufacturing software color coded

Trying to fix the botched job can be extremely demotivating for employees, also financially when their monthly bonus is gone or when the animosity arises once you want to pinpoint who is responsible for the mistake. 

 

Simple manufacturing software such as Prodio can prove helpful and prevent such problems.

 

5. You want to make a local name for your business

 

It would be great to become a household name straight after launching your manufacturing business. Still, the ability to earn trust and a good reputation locally is like life insurance for a small business. 

Surely you want to get recognized as a reliable company, get positive reviews, and more business, as word of mouth does wonders for your marketing as well as having a well-established position on the local market. 

Smart manufacturing software can help you retain precious company know-how built over time. Mistakes do happen, but even though you will learn from them, avoiding repeating the same ones in the future because the management of production scheduling will not solely rely on someone’s experience or skills. 

simple manufacturing software o

Remarks and comments will be visible to everybody, and warnings will appear each time you decide so, special requirements will be noted.

 simple manufacturing software ok

 

Start now!
Try Prodio without any commitments - you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don't hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !
Start a trialCall us: +48 32 746 61 62

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help ?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 5 pm

5 myths about cloud based manufacturing software.

5 myths about cloud based manufacturing software.

5 myths about cloud based manufacturing software – why is it worth to plan your production online

Dilemmas of cloud-based manufacturing scheduling software

Selecting the right production manufacturing system for small manufacture can be challenging. Precision, flexibility, and being technologically advanced are becoming the main factors to consider. Potential Clients very often ask us about the advantages and disadvantages of using cloud-based manufacturing scheduling software. Many of them feel anxious about the idea of not using an on-premise system….but once they try it, it seems for them impossible to go back to the old ways of production planning and management. They come to learn how vital the cloud and online planning can be.

 

 

Dispelling myths

It seems that the majority of drawbacks of cloud-based manufacturing software is far fetched and has little to do with reality. Hopefully, in this article, we will be able to clear your doubts regarding not only Prodio but cloud computing in general. 

Proving wrong 5 popular myths on cloud-based manufacturing software.

cloud-based-manufacturing-software

1. Security of online cloud-based manufacturing scheduling software is often much higher than the internal network infrastructure used in small manufacturing. 

Security and confidentiality risks are among the top concerns about cloud-based manufacturing execution system, especially in mind data protection. Suppose you have a large company with an extended IT department, customized intranet, encrypted connection, etc. I will not argue – in such a case, the cloud won’t be as secure as your own network.

However, if you have small manufacture, I would like you to answer these few basic questions honestly: 

1) Are hard drives in your laptop encrypted in any way? I don’t mean here a password to your Windows account, but an encrypting equipment module such as BitLocker. If you don’t have it, it is easy enough for somebody to break into your office, steal the laptop, then take the drive out, and put it inside a different device and voila! All your data is in plain sight, ready to access by anybody. 

cloud_based_manufacturing_software

2) If you use a free email account such as Thunderbird or Outlook, you should have checked the option of sending your password to the server by an encrypted protocol; otherwise, if you use an open Wi-Fi network, ex. At the airport, your password is saved as normal data. It means that anybody connected to the same Wi-Fi network can log into your email account and steal your data.

cloud_based_manufacturing_software

3) How many times, during the last few months, have you changed your Wi-Fi network password? Which encryption protocol do you use? Remember not to use the password saved on your router, as there are programs that can easily break it and access your network.

cloud_based_manufacturing_software

4) How are your data from the internal server backed up  – how often – a few times a day, do you use each time a different location? 

cloud_based_manufacturing_software

I think that if you answered honestly, you have a clear picture in mind that your network might not be the safest place, or at least might not be as secure as you thought.

 

I could continue to ask you questions, but my point is to show you that storing your data in a professional server centre makes more sense and is much more secure because many people make sure your data is protected. 

The connection is encrypted a few times a day, and an automatic backup is carried out to a computer in a completely different location.

Two interesting tidbits here: if you use Gmail or any other free email account, remember that you agreed to make your personal data and emails available to third parties by accepting the rules. Gmail is a typical SAAS service, such as Prodio, with one important difference: when you use Prodio, there is no need to worry about third party access to your data. 

 

2. Availability of cloud-based manufacturing scheduling software 

The second biggest concern regarding SAAS software is the accessibility and the fact that you must rely on your internet provider’s connection to access your data. Nowadays, if there is a problem with the wifi connection, almost anybody using tethering mode can change their mobile phone into a hotspot, so there is a way to get back online quickly. 

Please note that if your external server fails, it is up to you to fix this problem and hire an IT specialist to deal with the failure. Once you use online software, you have many people working on it, and it’s their job to solve this problem quickly and efficiently. 

I would also like to dispel the myth regarding sharing the internet at the production hall. The general concern is that such an arrangement will result in a lower quality of tasks performed.  It seems that this criticism is a bit far fetched, especially now, when we all have internet access from our mobile phones.  

3. What happens if we decide to “close up the shop”?

This is another issue of great concern because it requires placing a large amount of trust in your vendor. Potential Clients consider a negative scenario and worry that they might be left with nothing if we decide to “close up the shop”? It is a great argument, but it applies more to companies creating on-premise software systems, requiring a physical on-site central installation. You purchase a licence for a few hundred thousands and might be left with nothing when the vendor decides to shut down. 

The argument favouring Prodio is that we get a constant profit compared to companies earning a commission on each implementation. It wouldn’t make sense for us to close the business as it generates a steady income. 

4. Automatic update of cloud-based manufacturing scheduling software

It is important to mention that Prodio updates automatically. Many on-premise manufacturing execution systems aren’t supported by their creators and require additional payments for almost any customization. That’s why each time you need to adjust your software to changes in your manufacture, you are forced to hire a company to help you with the integration or find a different one to solve this problem. 

In cloud-based software systems, updates are faster. More features are implemented with every update; therefore, the system is enhanced frequently, and its functionality increased daily, so you always have an updated version.  

5. Access to your data 

At the end of this article, I would like to talk about the accessibility of data – because some of you prefer on-premise software with all infrastructure in place and data housed at their manufacture. 

This is not uncommon that many software producers create databases in difficult to access technology which might prove hard to move to other environments – simply for the fact that they don’t want to lose the customer.

Having on-site software isn’t the same as being the owner of your own data, and it might turn out that the only thing you own is a large file of a completely useless database. 

Prodio works differently because, with one click, you can export the working history and the list of orders to an Excel file. In this way, you will keep track of what is currently happening in production with live reports and dashboards and get alerts about any anomalies and safety hazards. No critical information will ever slip through the cracks, so it will be much easier to secure your data. 

Companies are consistently looking for ways to make their business operations run more smoothly, perform more efficiently, and require less day-to-day management. The software should be easy to use and quick to deploy. Considering the above, we haven’t mentioned other advantages: lower upfront and operating costs, rapid implementation, flexibility, backup routines, and user-friendliness. It is no point in boasting about amazing features cause the best way is to try Prodio for yourself and see its benefits. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start now!
Try Prodio without any commitments - you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don't hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !
Start a trialSchedule a free DEMO

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5 pm

MS EXCEL for production analyses and calculation (ready spreadsheet for advanced calculation of working history)

MS EXCEL for production analyses and calculation (ready spreadsheet for advanced calculation of working history)

MS EXCEL analysis and production calculation (download ready to use spreadsheet).

This year a “bunny rabbit” got you a special Easter treat in a form of calculation spreadsheet, thanks to which data collected with PRODIO, will help you to reach conclusions and make better decisions.

MS EXCEL analyses and calculation of production – why use a spreadsheet not Prodio ?

Prodio allows you to check (and probably some of the users even don’t know it) the real cost of labour of each detail (resulting from the cost of man-hours), compare planned time with lead time, sum things up using filters, compare any given data in hundreds of ways and many more…

Each of the tens of companies that use Prodio, analyse data in a unique way—  that’s why while creating the software we wanted to give the opportunity to export information to Excel in an easy way.

MS Excel spreadsheets were created to analyse data — giving great possibilities to visualize and accounting, so contrary to registration and managing production, using spreadsheets for calculating makes more sense.

You don’t have to be an “Excel mastermind” because to make data analysis easier (which can be a very lengthy and complicated process) we prepared some ready files (like this one), even when you are familiar with only basic Excel function thanks to them you will be able to handle quite sophisticated calculations.

 

 

What are you waiting for ?!

We know- you have virtually no time to spare, chaos at the production is ypur constant worry, but don't put your decission off- it's a vicious circle. Start today, not tomorrow and make your work take less work. We promise, together we can get your production to the next level!

Start 14-day trial

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS REGARDING PRODUCTION ANALYSE IN MS EXCEL

1.OUR TARGET IS TO MOVE MAJORITY OF ANALYSES TO PRODIO, SO LET US KNOW WHICH ANALYSES SHOULD BE DIRECTLY IN THE SYSTEM.

Apart from helping you, we would like to use the present form of spreadsheet to collect opinions and ideas, which reports should go to Prodio itself.

This is very important for us to have your insight on how it should look. If any comments repeat we will try to implement them. So far we considered adding many new parameters (including OEE, shifts division or machines occupancy forecast).

2. THE SPREADSHEET IS UPDATED CONSTANTLY

The current spreadsheet is a tested and developing version, so it can contain some mistakes / or some elements that might be missing. We will make it better and work on real-time updates on receiving your comments – the newest version can be found when you click on the link below  

3. Equipment requirements

We intentionally used MS Office 2007 to create a spreadsheet (this is the oldest version possible to use) –  and to assure compatibility with older versions of spreadsheets. To make analyses an older computer model is also sufficient.

Analyse and production calculation in MS Excel

Available analyses:

1. Machine and operation – graph:

A single machine/operation occupation history (with efficiency and graphs).

    Analiza obłożenia i wydajności maszyny MS Excel

In this bookmark you can learn:

  •  how much worked a SINGLE machine/operation weekly/monthly (ex. to check occupancy and see if all working stations are used well)
  •  how long would it take if the machine/operation was doing the same job, but accordingly to norms set in products technology  (to see which machines/operations are the weakest or underestimated in your technological processes)
  • compare in percentages planned times with lead times from the point of the improvement process. 

2. Machines and operations occupancy

The total summary of all machines/operations occupancy.

Maszyny łaczne oblozenia - analiza

In this bookmark you can learn how to:

  • easily sum and compare how much worked machines /operations in a particular month (ex. to check occupancy and see if all working stations are used well);
  • easily sum and compare how much worked machines /operations in a particular week (ex. to check occupancy and see if all working stations are used well);
  • this summary is used mainly to see whether there are any discrepancies in particular processes

 3. Employee’s efficiency:

Work occupational history for the particular employee (with efficiency and graphs).

Analiza pracownika MS ExcelIn this bookmark you can learn:

  • how much an employee worked monthly / weekly
  • how long would it take if an employee was doing the same job, but accordingly to norms set in products technology  (to see which employees  are the weakest);
  • compare in percentages planned times with lead times from the point of the improvement process.

4. EXTERNAL CALCULATIONS, ORDERS: 

A comprehensive analyses of multi-position orders (by external order number), very useful, when you need quickly summarize a whole ex. 20 position order, without dividing it into single items. 

In this bookmark you can learn:

  • how long it took, in total, to complete the whole (multi-position) order
  • what was the total time conditioned by the production technology and norms
  • compare planned timed with lead times
  • see which machines/operations had  the biggest discrepancies
  • see which employees contributed the most to appearing of those discrepancies while completing the order
  • how many pieces were completed and how many shortages were in the process

5.PRODUCT ANALYSES:
A comprehensive analyses of production for a given assortment regarding the whole product making – the best knowledge compendium on your products.

Analiza i rozlczenie produkcji produktu MS Excel

In this bookmark you can learn:

  • how long on average it takes to make a product by particular machines/operations;
  • which operations are underestimated, and which can cut from the calculations;
  • compare planned times and lead times for each product;
  • which processes generate the most shortages
  • which employees are the best at completing a given product (in total);
  • how efficiently particular employees work on given product/operation;
  • how many pieces were made and when (in which months) the production was the biggest;

How to use it – Spreadsheet preparation:

  1. Download and open an updated version of the spreadsheet by clicking here
  2. Go to a bookmark Working history in Prodio, then click „Export the history of operations”.Data analyses
  3. Open the downloaded file with a working history, mark columns A to T and press “Copy”.
  4. In the analyses file go to bookmark “Pasting”, position mouse in A1 cell and then click “Paste”. The software will ask if you want to change content, to which we mark “YES”, as an answer.
  5. It’s ready 🙂

 

Update 1.08.2019 🙂

A BONUS: WORKING TIME AND WORK CHECK INS / CHECK OUTS ANALYSES SPEADSHEET.

We added the present file to analyses and calculation of working time (RCP) based on Prodio’s data, where there are among others 

  • working time division on Saturdays, Sundays and weekdays 
  • overtime and basic working time division
  • clear list of working hours by days 

Click (HERE) to download or click the graphic below:

Rozliczenie czasu pracy (RCP) Ms Excel plik

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday from 9.00 am to 5 pm.

What are you waiting for ?!

We know- you have virtually no time to spare, chaos at the production is ypur constant worry, but don't put your decission off- it's a vicious circle. Start today, not tomorrow and make your work take less work. We promise, together we can get your production to the next level!

Start 14-day trial
Production Management Software or ERP for Small Manufacturers

Production Management Software or ERP for Small Manufacturers

Production Management Software or ERP - which is best for a small manufacturer?

Practical guide to help you choose the best production planning and production accounting software, and which will protect you from bad investments.

 

 

Production management software – this is a phrase you probably typed in Google searching for a solution to your production problems,  but soon were surprised to find thousands of search results, each company offering you their great product, so now you are none of wiser and still have a dilemma what’s best for your business.

 

 

 

 

That’s why here, we are going to help you to choose the best tool for your production planning. Calculate work, get rid of paper orders, and last but not least, improve efficiency and gain control over processes at the production hall.

  

This guide will tell you:

 

  

PLEASE NOTE: This guide is addressed to MICRO and SMALL PRODUCTION MANUFACTURERS (5-40 people at the production hall), which intend to achieve positive effects quickly, without involving a complicated, hundred of thousands of dollars pricey system. 

 

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Try Prodio without any commitments - you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client.

 

 

 

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This is the summary which sets out the main points of the whole article:

1. Which production management software is best to choose (graph)?

 

 

2. Which production management software is best to choose (table)?

The size of your company

When you offer: 
simple products/production services

When you offer:
complex products with a big share of purchased parts 

Large
( +50  people)
  • Corporate MES with automated scheduling and connection to machines, ex. Queris or Żbik
  • Complete production system ERP + MES + WMS, ex. SAP Business One
    with extensions
Medium 
(25-50 people)
  • Advanced production system with MES and accounting integration,  ex. Qcadoo
  • Simple ERP class system, ex. Modus

Small
(10-25)

  • Advanced production management software with accounting integration, ex. Qcadoo
  • Simple ERP class system, ex. Modus
Micro company
(up to 10)
  • Using completion in accounting software
  • Extended spreadsheet / free Google Docs
  • Simple production addition for calculation and accounting systems such as ex. MRPeasy

A short explanation of the basic terms used:

  • Accounting and inventory software probably you’ve already got it. For production, it only offers a completion outlook (it shows what consists of which elements).
  • Production management software (MES) – apart from production planning, we access a production hall, where employees register their work.
    • simple (MES) – enables easy production planning, registration of working time, calculating efficiency and finally abandoning paper production orders;
    • advanced (MES) – advanced production planning (including semi-automatic), extended registration, services, full materials cycle  – however less flexible. It is very often integrated with accounting and replaces an advanced planning system;
    • corporate (MES) – it usually requires co-operation with the ERP system. Automatic planning is very often connected to machines with artificial intelligence elements.
  • ERP system  – a wide array from a few hundred to a few million dollars; practically speaking, the difference between enterprise resource planning and a good accounting and inventory system is that the first one plans what and when should be purchased based on orders. Please note: it doesn’t reach a production hall, so it requires the addition of MES or another module.
  •  RWT system – registration of working time (clock-ins and clock-outs). It is usually a production management software component, or you can buy it separately, ex. with the clock-ins/clock-outs tracking system. 
  • WMS system  – for advanced inventory management, usually works together with bar codes and high stockpiling.

Why ERP systems are not suitable for small manufactures:

  • It will not work well if it doesn’t get lots of (even sometimes obvious) information. Hence you will have to spend long hours adjusting this system to your needs;
  • You have to run everything perfectly, or your stocks will show such great discrepancies that you will need to prepare separate documentation;
  • Forget flexibility – in the advanced system, and everything must be prim and proper, with accompanying document;
  • They usually don’t have a production extended module, so you need to buy an external module to measure production efficiency or rely on a manufacturing solution recommended by the software producer;
  • Be prepared for high cost at the start, and multiply the offer you got by two.

Potential traps for small manufacturers: 

  • Free production management app is usually a cheap marketing gimmick. Only the licences for basic modules are free, and companies make a fortune on implementation services, and you get a product without any technical support.
  • Production management tool integrated with the accounting and inventory system  – as it happens, due to imprecise technologies, systems will not integrate, and you may waste lots of time on detailed technology descriptions.
  • Lack of online access –  in practice, the smaller a company is, the more SECURE, futuristically thinking, data storage in the cloud should be.

Which production management software, ERP do you need?

The idea to have an enterprise resource planning production system, which is an “all in one” solution, in practice doesn’t work so well for small manufacturers as it seems at first glance. Although many production managers dream of such production environment. Look at the graph and choose your situation to find the best solution (the vertical line indicates the number of employees. The horizontal line describes how complex the average product is).

 

 

1. For simple products, produced mostly in-house:
(ex. machining / CNC, plastic/injection moulding industry, rubber products, cardboard packaging, simple woodwork and carpentry, printing shops/printing, steel constructions)

Challenges to deal with: better production management, work planning: the employees must know what to do, how and when, real-time production registration – you know what’s completed, how efficiently, in which time frame and at which cost.

Suggested solutions Micro company (<10 people):  

Suggested solutions Small company (10-25 people): 

Suggested solutions Average size company (25-50 people):

  • If you intend to keep it simple and you don’t need a connection with warehouse and accounting:
  • getprodio.com/ optimal packageRFID reader (Read more: simple production management software).
  • If you wish to have an accounting module and a connection between warehouse and materials used: advanced production management software – simple MES, ex:
    • metal industry, plastic ex. Plan de Campagne,
    • other industries ex. Qcadoo, MES.

2. For more complex products, where there is a need for externally purchased elements/ operations:
(ex. robots production, exhibition stands)

Challenges to deal with: better inventory-purchase procedures, especially if the product consists of tens of elements, often purchased externally.

Suggested solutions for a Micro size company (<10 people):  

  • Extended Google Docs sheet shared with the office staff;
  • Using completion module in accounting and inventory software, ex. Sybiekt GT or Optima XL.
  • Suggested solutions for a Small size company (10-25 people):
  • Production addition to accounting and inventory system targeting inventory planning, ex. MRPeasy.
  • Suggested solutions for an Average size company (25-50 people):
  • If you wish to keep your present accounting system: advanced production planning and registration system integrated with Optima / Subject, ex. Qcadoo.com (from about 367 $ per month + implementation).
  • If you wish to implement an accounting system from the beginning: a simple integrated system with enterprise resource planning or RHO Modus functionality.
  • If you estimate that your company will grow fast: wit’s worth considering investing in complex tools offering cloud storage such as ERP-s.

Take a shortcut and start planning your production online.

What is what exactly and how it can be used
(production management software – MES, ERP systems and so on)

We have to make an exception here, because there were numerous situations, when a company spent 50 – 200 thousand dollars on enterprise resource planning system, only to discover later, that it doesn’t reach a production hall!

1. Accounting and inventory software with additions

Perhaps you already use it in your company. The Polish market’s best known is Comarch Optima, which gradually had been more and more expensive, and suddenly became an ERP Optima (it’s an enterprise resource planning only by name 😉 ) and Inserted Subiekt GT, which is a good value for money. Both programs can be recommended, although neither of them is a masterpiece nor is a flop. What’s important they are going to move to a cloud and become cloud ERP production management software– which might generate future problems.

The basic functions of accounting and inventory software are:

  • Sales (which is everything connected with issuing invoices);
  • Orders (which means accepting the Client’s order and making a product reservation in the warehouse);
  • Stock  (states, WZ / PZ, also very often orders from providers);
  • Completions  (based on completed order and product parameters, the stock updates automatically);
  • Simple CRM (which functionality leaves a lot to desire).

If you wish to have access to production, you buy a simple but separate (or integrated with accounting program) production software.

Simple production additions to accounting software

Example software:  Apator Mozart

Apotor Mozzart - Widok ze strony producenta

The price is based on the offer presented on the producer’s website:  licence from 512 $ per working station + implementation.

The principles are to expand your accounting and inventory for easy planning of purchase and production to make complex products to fulfil your orders.

 Main target: 
  • to facilitate the production of sophisticated, multi-element products/complex products, where managing the inventory is of key importance,
  • to create work schedules connected with ordering parts (usually those schedules are for the manager, not for a shop floor).
Functions:
  1. Materials planning/products balancing.
  2. BOM-s (products “tree” – which parts it consists of).
  3. Inventory and calculation of semi-products / products.
  4. Advanced cost calculations.
  5. Work schedule, according to BOM-s.
It’s recommended for:
  • the size of a company:  practically speaking form 2-3 employees at the production hall up to about 10 people (when number exceed, it might prove uncomfortable to register production),
  • industries: complex products, were more important is purchase planning and monitoring of semi-products then production management at the production hall ex. If you produce sophisticated farming machines on a small scale.

2. Production planning software (MES-es)

Acronyms and abbreviations tend to be quite fashionable, so most companies with an independent production management system at the production hall boast to be an MES (which stands for a “Manufacturing Execution System”). The role of MES-es is much bigger and includes complete production service, planning and accounting.

For example, even the simplest monthly subscription to Prodio software (97 $ USD per month) can be called MES: it reaches production, employees can see the working plan, and a real-time registration of work.

 2.1 Simple MES-es – production planning, registration and accounting software dedicated for small manufacturers

The principles are simple – you leave behind your accounting and inventory system and start to monitor production comfortably with a new production management software. This tool is great if you want to abandon paper production orders and have full control over your production from any place in the world.

The example software: getprodio.com

The prices based on an offer from the producer’s website: monthly subscription from 97$ USD net per company

  • Implementation costs / set up: 0 $ USD. The Client can set up the software themselves using the configuration tool,
  • Update costs: 0 $ USD (it is always updated),
  • Equipment needed: simple laptop / computer with Internet access, RFID readers + key-fobs.
Target:  

To monitor and better organize production at the production hall, your employees know what to do, order (they have a schedule at the production hall), and know lead times and efficiency.

Functions:
  1. Creating a production plan where orders are displayed on the production floor
  2. The production employees can register operations (and clock-ins / clock-outs).
  3. Registration of clock-ins and clock-outs to help work order management.
  4. Working history display and order’s calculation.
  5. Managing orders and monitoring progress (not including warehouse).
It’s recommended for:
  • industries with simple products: metalworking, CNC, injection moulding, elastomers, carpentry, cardboard packaging, printing shops, tooling departments, other simple production and production-support processes (ex. plating process),
  • from 2-3 people at the production hall up to about 30 people.

 The example software: getprodio.com  (click here to get a free trial)

 production planning trial

2.2 Advanced MES-es with a possibility of accounting and inventory integration

This narrow group is dedicated to larger companies, which prefer to keep their accounting and inventory system or even a simple ERP (which doesn’t have as interesting production as ex. Comarch CDN XL).

Integration isn’t often as comfortable and lacking daily problems, as in case of unified ERP, but it’s possible to make some great savings. We get a good production management software, without a necessity of buying a whole accounting system.

The example software:
  • Online version of production management software Qcadoo MES
    Qcadoo MES - screen ze strony producenta
  • Advanced online version of MES OptiMES
Typical pricing – how much costs advanced production management software:
  • For SaaS as paid monthly subscription: from 315 $ USD + about 1600 – 2600 $ USD implementation;
  • For offline systems from about 5200 to 10400 $ USD for implementation + 10 – 20% of this amount for annual licence;
  • Equipment: it requires a sophisticated network infrastructure.
Target:

Advanced calculations of product making, production scheduling with accounting for inventory and integration with accounting.

Functions:

  1. Everything, what a simple production management software has PLUS:
  2. Advanced planning, including machine calendar, employees competencies matrix, Gantt’s graphs, etc.;
  3. Advanced monitoring, including bottlenecks, downtime, and OEE factor;
  4. Calculations and offering (including margines and provision / mark-ups on department costs);
  5. Warehouse management (inventory documentation, disbursement methods and attributes in documentation);
  6. Integration with accounting and inventory systems.
It is recommended for:
  • companies, which would like to have a complete functionality of advanced planning software, but wish to keep their present accounting and inventory software,
  • planners, who wish to use advanced planning functions, including automatic scheduling,
  • companies aware of the number of data necessary to provide for the system,
  • companies, which products are divided into small elements, where each of them needs a separate management.

2.3 Corporate MES systems (mainly as an addition to advanced ERP)

Are you surprised? It would be best if you weren’t, as it was mentioned earlier, that most advanced software systems don’t reach a production hall and need additional extensions. That’s why MES additions were originally invented.

Machine integrated MES

The truly extended MES usually has a connection to machines to register their work and all working parameters in real-time (the example of simple and accessible for small companies solution can be a Polish production system – Żbik). A graphic below is from the producer’s website, which shows a production hall with several dozen machines and their updated status.

This is probably a dream of many owners of production companies. However, it’s worth considering, especially at the beginning, if the level of complexity and the cost of implementation will pay off. Those systems also prove to be the most useful in unified production processes – ex if you have several dozen similar machines and alike products.

Planning systems with automatic scheduling and the basics of artificial intelligence

The truly “all in one”. From independent production planning to connect to machines, service works scheduling and complete registration of all processes at the production hall. Once combined with an ERP system (preferably with an automatic system based on robots), you have a complete factory 4.0 🙂

These marvels and wonders of technology can be introduced to small manufacture. When there’s a will, there’s a way, and it’s not even about the costs, but the number of data required to provide for the system to give tips and operate, is immense. However, the strength of this solution allows ex. Car factories work successfully without hold-ups, despite thousands of configurations and elements.

It takes just 15 minutes to start using Prodio manufacturing software and schedule the first production order

3. ERP systems – basic „processors.”

This is one of the best marketing products in the IT history – software which can do practically anything, but in standard version offers almost nothing, because the company, which is responsible for implementation, has to make money. The best example is the companies that decided to change from Comarchow’s Optima and go through a few thousand zlotys worth implementing Comarchow’s ERP CDN XL. It turned out that some functions or reports are available in simpler software, and for the advanced program, they have to be written on request.

Other examples of the most popular resource planning systems for smaller companies include SAP Business One and Insert Navireo. 

What is a PRACTICAL difference between operating of ERP system and an accounting program?

It isn’t the access to production or human resources (this module you can buy as an addition to simple accounting software). Still, a basic resource planning system usually doesn’t have any production module, and you have to buy it as an extra

The difference between accounting and inventory software and the advanced program is calculating material from the warehouse (which is called material demand). For example, if you produce a bed, which consists of a frame and a matterrace, the earlier mentioned CDN Optima, will show you the total number of frames booked, based on the number of beds ordered. However, it won’t use this information while making a purchase plan connected to the production process until CDN XL, from the same producer, will point it, but you have to spend tens of thousands before.

Please remember that practically none of the ERP-s reach the production hall, so it is not a standard feature.


The idea is that you buy a basic version of advanced software and next upgrade or modify it to suit your needs better. Usually, you end up buying additional modules to get your solution work somehow: 

  • The production module for ERP – enables creating of products technology and work planning;
  • MES registration module for production employees, where they can click completed works/operations to appear on the production plan;
  • CMMS  (managing maintenance, machine service, etc.);
  • WMS (warehouse managing system, operating on bar codes). 

To sum up, the newest advanced planning programs are sophisticated tools, where you buy a “foundation” and build on it a perfectly tailored system, adding as many “building blocks” as you need. If you wish to have an ERP for production, you have to search for ERP + MES.

The typical cost of ERP for a company with 35-50 people

  • Base and licenses: from 5300 $ USD – 13 200 $ USD + on average 400 – 1 200 $ USD for each working station;
  • Adjusting cost and production additions: on average twice as much as the cost of licence;
  • Maintenance and updates: about 20% of the cost of the licence;
  • Safe budgeting:
    • the simplest solutions such as Modus – 9200 – 10 500 $ USD,
    • market standard: 65 600 $ USD,
    • market leaders: 105000 – 157300 $ USD.

Production management software – be aware of traps 

Watch out for “free production management software” or “open source ERP.”

  • Free is usually only basic modules licences (such as ex. OpenOffice), any dedicated modules must be purchased at additional costs;
  • Independently installed systems usually don’t have any guarantee and technical support, and they might not be developed any further;
  • Imagine that possibly you managed to install some open-source planning program and there is another JPK, which you have no idea about;
  • Software implementation and adjusting it to your needs as well as maintenance are paid, and fees are very high – this is the “revenge” of free licence policy;
  • It turned out in total balance that “free” software is more expensive than the paid ones and involves higher uncertainty.

The smaller the company is, the faster it should move to a “cloud”, as sooner or later that’s the way all business will go 😉

  • Installing any software in your company, you have to realize, that in a few years time, you might have to start from scratch;
  • Practically speaking, for small companies, without an IT department and an advanced network, an online service is much safer than storage data at their premises.
  • The term “cloud” for production software shouldn’t scare you, because the data is on a particular server in a secure location (as it is in Prodio), it isn’t all over the Internet, as in other cloud services.

Integration with accounts and inventory module isn’t always worth doing.

As an entrepreneur, you strive to have work automated. You fight to eliminate dispensable procedures; you wish to pay once only and have everything in one place – this thinking is like a grist to the mill of companies, which want to sell you the idea of “integration”.

Integration is great, but it requires precision, and the system should be tailor-made for the company.

Each waste and what will happen with it (to go to the warehouse or the trash), each technological change or different raw material used by an employee MUST BE ACCOUNTED FOR in the system. Otherwise, just after 2 months, it will be impossible to count your stock automatically calculated and based on production. No products can be taken without being physically ordered, and all actions must be put in the system (it will be blocked otherwise).

You might now think it’s great and that finally your small manufacture will be organized – but when there are really many orders. The machines can’t work because you didn’t enter all the necessary data into the system. You may go back to old good paper orders and leave this new system behind, although you spent on it several dozen.

Automatic planning – won’t pay itself off!

Gantt’s graph and a dream of one magic button setting a production plan is a topic of many talks between company owners.

Meanwhile, although there appeared many different programs, which promise to plan everything themselves, so far it is still necessary for the software to know before it starts the planning process:

  • calendar of availability of production employees, time off work, their work presence,
  • matrix of competencies, to know who and in which scope can perform an operation on which machine,
  • service and maintenance schedule,
  • perfectly prepared technology of the product, including changeovers, with exact lead times, possible replacement by other machines, types of tools used for a particular machine
  • properly run warehouse and inventory system and raw material- products allocation.

If you fail to provide any of the above parameters, you can forget about even the best of algorithms automating the production for you 🙂 The software is a small company that should tip you on your machines occupancy and estimated lead time of production. And this is exactly what we wish you 🙂

Manufacturing software implementation – typical mistakes. 

Failed manufacturing software implementations are a taboo topic in the manufacturing world, often swept under the rug. Why do manufacturers fail?

Do you want to avoid these implementation mistakes?

1) Perfect theory

You have an idea of your perfect manufacturing scheduling software and a list of potential problems and difficulties. Regardless of tips, we give you – reality will put all of them to the test the most effectively. So no more theory, start practising!

2) Let’s start after the season ends 

How much time and money must be wasted to find a few hours for constructive optimization finally? 

3) All in one package

There are small manufactures, which wish to invest in advanced production, inventory and accounting software. Ok, but remember that your flexibility will also be limited and your daily tasks hindered.   

4) I don’t have my data because it’s in “the cloud”.

It is a much better solution for small manufacturers to store all software data at the external server with an encrypted connection, simpler, cheaper, and more convenient than internal infrastructure.   

5)  I can’t afford it…

Is 5% a lot for you? Let’s say you employ 15 people and spend about 30 000 euros each month on their salaries. If you increase productivity by 5%, you are plus 15 636 euros in a year. You are right – you can’t afford to buy Prodio.

Proving wrong 5 popular myths about cloud-based manufacturing software.

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