Supply Chain & Manufacturing
A committed sponsor member of the HunterNet group for the past several years, Liveware ERP felt the decision to join was a logical progression given our principle activity.
Liveware is the Newcastle based distributor for Microsoft Dynamics® NAV and given the nature of business in the Hunter, a significant portion of our projects and expertise is involved in manufacturing and project costing environments.
The globally recognised standard in business software solutions (Microsoft Dynamics) is provisioned locally providing greater flexibility and a lower total cost of ownership.
Integration is the Key for Manufacturers:
The fundamental success factors for manufacturer’s remains constant: produce the right products—in the right quantities, at the right time at a price the customer is willing to pay. However, flexibility and continuous improvements are also imperative. Ensuring internal processes and systems are working for you and not against you should be at the fore.
The manufacturing sector when compared to other sectors carries a much greater logistical burden with more variables and more data to manage into KPI’s. Planning and directing a manufacturing business tends to involve high financial and operational risk, along with the need to make far-reaching decisions in full confidence.
Manufacturing logistics includes the simultaneous management of:
- Customer/sales data
- Inventory data
- Production data
- Resource information (people and equipment)
- Financial data
These aspects must function in concert, an impossible outcome if they are managed by different systems. This is best described in the diagram of a typical Manufacturing Work Flow. For example, sales data is imperative as it drives and is also driven by the production process yet so often-manufacturing systems do not afford themselves a front house responsibility.
The key for manufacturers is integration. Examples of an integrated solution may include:
- Customer orders or inventory shortages should trigger the production that in turn elicits raw material requisition; the commencement date of the production order should be a function of a variety of timing aspects including production, internal handling and customer shipment lead times to name a few.
- The earliest delivery date for a customer order should be determined by production and material requisition lead times.
Following timing concerns, capacity enters the equation:
- Is the production capacity available at that time to meet the deadline?
- Are the available skills and equipment qualified and capable? If not perhaps an extra shift is required or production rescheduled or re-allocated, and if so the customer’s order and expectations must be re-established.
Most businesses are onto their second or third generation of business software; consequently, their requirements and expectations are more sophisticated and specific.
A common response from clients following an implementation was that they had concerns initially that they were too busy to cope with an internal system change; twelve months on they acknowledge they would have been in real strife had they waited and attempted it.
It is easy to paint a rosy picture of an integrated environment, but getting there is a significant event for a small to medium sized manufacturer, but it is not an outcome only reserved for the big end of town, this should be an objective for all small to medium sized manufactures, the result of which delivers the organisational breakthrough where systemic challenges no longer impede performance.