Make-to-order manufacturing shops are always on their toes. Jobs are constantly coming in and going out with different needs, order sizes, materials, and parts. On top of that, orders that are already in production can change in quantity or time frame. Then, you have last minute rush orders from big clients that need to make their way through the shop immediately, halting all other production in process.
Setting aside client controlled changes; you still have to deal with internal curveballs as well. A shift operator can’t make it today, so production is delayed until that position is temporarily filled. There was a miscalculation with the inventory, and now you’re out of the metal needed to complete today’s project. These are very real problems that shop owners face every day, and it’s often a challenge to overcome them.
The make-to-order manufacturing industry is very dynamic, and it’s important to manage your shop in a way that’s proactive and flexible to handle this environment. While many factors contribute to the flexibility, and ultimately success, of your shop, it all boils down to scheduling. Physical white boards are an outdated concept. There are too many changes that can pop up at any moment to have an accurate schedule up on the wall. In addition, it’s difficult to project timeliness or perform “what if” scenarios on the board. That takes a lot of erasing, a lot of calculation, and leaves a lot of potential for human error. Scheduling and adjusting to meet deadlines could be a job on its own, which is a big drain of time and resources.
So what’s the better solution? ERP software. ERP solutions are robust systems that can control multiple aspects of the shop, but it’s their scheduling features that often allure shop owners the most. Scheduling modules do all the heavy lifting for you. They can track all your orders, show you the effects of changes made on the fly, and even run “what if” scenarios if you’re on the fence about taking that rush order. These proactive measures allow you to make informative decisions. The best part is that this is all done with just the click of a button!
Take a glimpse into the Scheduling Module of the E2 manufacturing software:
The other great aspect of scheduling through an ERP system is the data you see is always up to speed. ERP systems track jobs in real time, so if an employee showed up for work late and production is behind, the schedule will reflect this. That gives you the opportunity to correct the problem or contact the customer to inform them about the delay. This proactive ability can help you save and maintain strong customer relationships. The reactive side of realizing production is behind at the end of the day is much more complicated to handle.
Scheduling gives you the power to make proactive decisions and changes in an ever changing environment. It’s an important ability to handle the demands of the make-to-order manufacturing industry. Proactive responses and proper scheduling will ensure you meet every deadline for every client.
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