Selecting a Manufacturing Production System – Six Tips
Many companies find themselves challenged selecting a manufacturing production system, either for the first time or after suffering one or more production failures.
Thus, when we speak of a manufacturing production system, we refer to a set of interrelated parts to achieve the objective of bringing the production process to successful fruition.
However, each company applies a different manner of combining production factors to make its system more efficient and economical.
What are the criteria for selecting the right manufacturing production system?
To optimize company performance, manufacturing executives must determine the criteria they will employ to choose the right manufacturing production system for their company.
In this blog post, we will propose six steps to follow and some essential criteria to take into account to carry out the selection of the most appropriate system:
1 – Determine the issues that need to be addressed with the implementation of the manufacturing production system
- Analyze the most critical problems that need to be solved to improve the company’s processes. For example, manufacturers can seek to reduce stock, control manufacturing orders, control costs, reduce emergencies, control traceability, increase visibility, and control the manufacturing quality of third parties, among other considerations.
- We suggest that companies seeking to choose a manufacturing production system list the problems they encounter in order of importance. Doing so will enable potential to demonstrate how their products can successfully address them.
2 – Establish an investment budget
- Bear in mind that the production issue is complex. Regardless of the size of a company, if production is very complex, factory personnel will not control it with an elementary production system. This is true for manufacturers of varying sizes.
- The development of these systems is costly, and the investment that has been made cannot be recovered through the establishment of very low prices.
3 – Select possible suppliers
- Determine the experience level of the supplier in dealing with production issues. For example, find out how long ago they began to develop manufacturing production systems.
- Verify the company’s solvency and determine how long the company has had in the market. Ask for a list of clients with production modules and make inquiries to determine the degree of client satisfaction.
- Examine the technology and programming language used. Manufacturing production systems must have been developed using modern technology, with languages and databases commonly used in the market.
- Ask about national and international certifications that the company and its products have earned. Find out if the company is endorsed by the major players in the global market, such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, etc.
- Pre-select potential suppliers to make evaluations. For example, examining more than 3 or 4 manufacturing production systems will probably cause some confusion and negatively affect the clarity of ideas.
- In the case of locally produced systems and those that have been developed abroad, determine the stability and resilience of the companies to assess the risk that they will disappear with the next economic crisis.
- Choose a system that is “made to measure”: A complete production system may need, based on the experience of multiple companies, about 60,000 hours of development. This figure translates into about three years of work with a team of ten people. This means that a comparative evaluation must be done before hiring parties to create custom development.
- Recognize the unique needs of a company in a strong growth phase. Such companies will likely need to do some “reengineering of administrative processes.” Given this circumstance, it may be advisable for the supplier to know about the Organization of Production.
4 – Take advantage of presentations
- Present the problems that the company faces. Then the supplier must demonstrate that it understands them and can solve the identified issues by showing a broad mastery of the subject.
- It is convenient to have people with production experience as interlocutors to interpret your needs and answer all the questions you have. Unfortunately, less honorable vendors are often prepared to convince the buyer that the system does everything the client needs, with a few questions as possible.
- The logical thing is that the system adapts to the company and not that the company adapts to the system. If vendors try to convince the potential customer that a system “does everything” because it has many features and modules, remember that every company is unique in its needs and requirements. Management can address a company’s challenges by communicating needs and evaluating how presented systems can address them.
- It may be necessary and convenient to do the evaluations with successive meetings until you are convinced that the system meets your needs.
- Once the workings of the manufacturing production system have been explained to you, you can ask potential suppliers to demonstrate essential functions with the production system running in real-time. For example, this could include the entry of materials to reception, the entry of the structure of a product, or a programming run. At all times, it is a good idea to look at the “big pure.” That is, to “see the forest” without getting lost in the details.
- If there is missing functionality and a potential supplier proposes to develop it, or if they have a “knowledge base” and say that everything that is missing will be developed to measure, you have to think that this may require many hours of development. Of course, this would carry with it a corresponding cost. If you agree to have them perform any function after closing, either at no cost or with a charge, it should be noted in the contract in detail.
5 – System characteristics
The issue is complex. As a reference, these evaluation criteria for a manufacturing production system can be taken into account:
- Technology and languages used, preferably modern and commonly used in the market, and the cost of the hardware necessary to support the system.
- Bear in mind that it can be very convenient for the system to be “Web-enabled.” This means that production staff can access the system over the Internet. The presence of this functionality will enable its use from your home or from anywhere in the world.
- It is convenient that you can easily communicate with desktop tools, such as Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, and others.
- The manufacturing production system should include a reporting tool.
- Comprehensive parameterization to adapt it to your changing needs.
- Flexibility to implement the functionalities of the production system as you need them.
- Scalability so that the production system adapts to the growth of your company. It is not advisable to contract a system with a significantly reduced scope that must be discontinued because it cannot follow its growth.
- Internal and external security scheme.
6 – How can you evaluate if a manufacturing production system is complete and advanced?
Advanced functions that these systems must include:
- Unlimited reprogramming and simulation of the programming run.
- A scheduling process that does not interrupt the use of the production system by users.
- Management of Third Parties with the issuance of purchase orders, control of income and returns, control of stock and lot in the third party, control of its billing.
- Management of second rejection online, with control of debit and payment to suppliers.
- Programming with automatic issuance of Manufacturing Orders, Purchase Requisitions, and Delivery Orders. This should include their dates and issuances of alerts that indicate difficulties in carrying out the proposed program.
- Management of Open and Closed Purchase Orders, prepared for inflation.
- Management of “Formula and Alternative Routes.”
- Materials Recovery Cycle for “dismantling of rejected products or assemblies.”
- “Automatic alerts” with notices for the prevention of production emergencies.
- Direct communication over the Internet with strategic suppliers, sending automatic Alerts.
- Calculation of Standard and Real Cost, with the resolution of the cost matrix of the indirect centers over the direct ones. Also included as a part of the manufacturing production system should be the capacity to run cost simulations.
- Import of materials with a calculation of the cost matrix and simulations.
- End-to-end traceability, although it may seem to be enough to maintain Batch Control.
- Widely parameterizable approval workflow with the possibility of being incorporated into all the necessary control points.
Contact our business development team to discuss your manufacturing needs.