Every discrete manufacturing business operates with a unique set of systems and specifications, and faces equally unique challenges. Before you really know what to look for in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, you will need to go through extensive modelling of your own business processes and needs.
A system should be agile and flexible, and must allow you to increase the efficiencies of your core competencies while supporting areas where your existing processes are working well. Legacy ERP systems just cannot keep pace with rapidly changing customer needs and market requirements.
Making best use of existing and new data sources allows discrete manufacturers to understand their customers’ challenges and strategic planning, and then use this knowledge to build lean business processes with demand-driven supplier networks. Costs can be driven lower while efficiencies and customer service improved. The resulting strengthening of customer relationships will yield market growth and rising profit margins.
Estimate and quote accurately
Integrate finance with operations, for accurate costing and real-time reporting. Provide accurate quotations based on a real-time view of operations. Align customer requirements with your capabilities. Record customer requirements accurately.
Integrate collaboration and communication
Synchronise communication between engineering, manufacturing and subcontractors. Integrate CAD to eliminate the need for engineers to manually enter part numbers and BOMs.
Provide flexible production planning
Use data from the entire supply chain to respond effectively to changes and problems. Integrate planning and execution to give the manufacturing team complete visibility and control of orders, materials, capacity and quality.
Deliver superior customer service
Grow your customer base by enabling your customer service team to quickly generate accurate quotes, custom-configure products at the point of sale, assign special pricing, and promise accurate delivery dates. Gain a comprehensive view of customer information. Eliminate isolated silos of information. Create customer self-service opportunities. Co-ordinate multi-channel communications with customers. Collaborate with customers on new product designs.
Provide your supply chain team real-time communication
Stay completely in sync with your partners and vendors to meld planning, scheduling, production and delivery into a seamless, dependable process. Deliver a single, real-time view of data from multiple facilities and departments. Optimise planning to minimise stock while meeting customer requirements.
Eradicate reactive decision-making
Use real-time data to proactively manage the metrics that matter to your operation. Incorporate data-driven insights with workforce, product, and customer connectivity to drive process optimisation.
ERP for discrete manufacturers
Microsoft’s integrated ERP solution, Dynamics 365, enables discrete manufacturers to implement, energise and sustain lean manufacturing initiatives by delivering the tools and information support needed to streamline processes, reduce waste, enable demand-pull operations and promote continuous improvement.
Being able to schedule and track operations on your shop floor from a single system allows you to use your production lines as efficiently as possible. Get the entire picture—from the back office to the shop floor – with a more accurate view of near-term demand you can build more collaborative partnerships throughout the extended supply chain.
Dynamics 365 intelligent business applications enable lean business processes, demand-driven business management and a tool set that enables the extended supply chain to be linked together. It is an efficient and effective solution with a defined return on investment for manufacturing businesses.
IoT for discrete manufacturers
The variety and complexity of products is increasing and product lifecycles are getting shorter. Discrete manufacturers need better ways of optimising processes and delivering efficiencies.
Manual reporting of production status to the ERP system leads to inefficient production planning. Production line IoT devices can now provide the exact timing of every operation, allowing for precise production scheduling and pre-emptive machine maintenance.
Linking the shop floor with back-end systems – connecting physical and digital systems – is about creating a new industrial ecosystem characterised by machines capable of aggregating, analysing and acting upon data to make real-time manufacturing decisions, and self-organised logistics which react to unexpected changes in production.
The digital transformation of manufacturing technologies has become known by the terms Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory. Cost reductions and improved capabilities in technologies such as sensors, cloud computing and machine learning have made digital transformation accessible to manufacturers of all sizes.