Unleashing the Power of Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Enterprise Resource Planning
by Shawn Furman
Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy Manager
Advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) is a toolbox of cutting-edge techniques, processes, and tools to enhance the efficiency, precision, and capabilities of manufacturing operations. AMT encompasses a wide range of innovative methods and technologies that aim to improve product quality, reduce production costs, increase productivity, and enable more flexible and sustainable manufacturing processes.
Carving Out a Competitive Edge
Improvements in operational effectiveness, resulting in higher profit margins, help companies establish an edge over competitors that elect to not implement AMT; this is especially important when bidding for jobs since a company can offer a lower bid while still maintaining profit margins.
AMT has the power to transform safety culture and quality in manufacturing. Development in safety products through automation can be exemplified by light curtains, a hardware that detects when someone walks into an area of danger and automatically de-energizes the equipment to prevent injury. Automation can be used to complete manual jobs that might be unsafe, dirty, or physically strenuous. Additionally, inspection systems that leverage weight or vision can bolster existing quality management systems. Overall, improvements made through AMT implementation translate directly to a better work environment for employees.
Cracking the ERP Code
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is just one tool in the AMT toolbox that provides an alternative to manual business and accounting processes. ERP systems allow companies to build a baseline and historical data to refer back to when bidding on future jobs.
ERP provides visibility of actual costs to produce components and yields insight into profit margins on those components. Without visibility, money is lost to waste and inefficient time management. ERP systems also draw attention to opportunities for improvement and identifying training needs. For example, an ERP system might reveal that job costs vary depending on the employees performing the job, discovering a gap in skills or knowledge that indicates key training opportunities.
Joe Booth of Summit Software solutions describes several problems that plague manufacturers today, including retaining and attracting skilled labor, accelerating the passage of knowledge from existing employees to new employees, and navigating and managing compliance regulations; having a well-documented ERP system may be able to help manufacturers combat some of these common issues (Booth, n.d.). The process of implementing an ERP system relies on documenting business processes, transactional and financial flows, and defining the scope of work; in turn, these processes enable more efficient onboarding and capturing historical data. ERP is just like any other tool, if you use it right, it’ll work for you. If you don’t use it right, it won’t work. Just having a system doesn’t solve the problem, but having a well-documented, well-defined system can definitely make an impact.
The Convergence of Forces: AMT & ERP
For companies interested in implementing AMT and ERP, start small. There may be multiple areas of opportunity to investigate, but take it in baby steps. Find something that’s going to give you some payback, but make sure it’s something that can be successful in its first implementation. Starting with small, practical improvements that produce tangible results sets a positive precedent and reassures others that automation
is a complementary addition to business processes rather than a distraction. In today’s competitive market, staying ahead of the curve requires continuous innovation and customization.
MRC specializes in providing personalized AMT solutions that align with business goals and drive success. Our team of skilled engineers and consultants works closely with companies, walking through business processes and shop floor operations to identify opportunities to explore and implement AMT.
Check out our Advanced Manufacturing Technology Webinar Series to better understand how to harness the power of AMT to gain a competitive edge, stay ahead of industry trends, and transform your business. Webinar Series or Video Resources
MRC can guide you in selecting and implementing the right ERP system to streamline your operations and unlock your manufacturing potential. Let us show you the transformative power of ERP in driving operational excellence. For questions or a free consultation, you may contact Shawn Furman, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy Manager at (610) 737-2529 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference Booth, J. (n.d.). Signs That Your Obsolete ERP Software is Crippling Your Business Growth. Summit Software Solutions, LLC. https://www.summitsoftwarellc.com/about.html