The pandemic has deeply affected every industry across the globe, from healthcare to manufacturing. Indeed, customers are now demanding more products, like electronics as well as furniture, and businesses are scrambling to meet demands by putting pressure on manufacturers. In fact, a survey featured on Forbes found that manufacturing companies noted significant growth in company revenues last year — a trend that will very likely continue in 2021.
However, manufacturers, too, are feeling the brunt of the pandemic’s effects, whether that’s delays in the supply chain or the lack of workers to manage machines. Luckily, the right technologies can help you make the most out of your current resources.
Here are some of them:
Product designs aren’t made and approved in one go. Because of the revisions from managers, clients, and sometimes stakeholders, the design process can cause delays early in your production cycle. Thankfully, the right design tool can speed things up.
For example, Autodesk’s CAD platform allows architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) manufacturers to share, manage, and review AEC equipment models in the cloud. This lets them design equipment much faster. Similarly, Altium 365 helps electronic manufacturers collaborate by storing all PCB design tools and data into one platform. Anybody with access to the software can view, search, cross-probe, and comment on projects, which lessens the back-and-forth between designers. Depending on the industry you manufacture in, there’s a tool that can help streamline your design process.
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) software is a type of information system that tracks the movement of manufactured goods in factories. This grants users real-time visibility into their company’s operations, which can be a great source of insight.
For instance, it could let you know about potential causes of bottlenecks like malfunctioning equipment, employee schedule gaps, and more. The added visibility into your resources, like materials and labor, can also help you create strategies that will let you maximize what you have. Cantier MES even offers additional solutions like robotic process automation, enterprise resource planning tools, and other software that can be integrated into its network. If you’re a multi-site organization, MES can also be used to standardize processes and observe them in one location.
Before they can be sent out to the market, any manufactured product needs to go through a series of approvals by industry regulatory boards like the FDA or Department of Transportation. You might better recognize it as the quality management system (QMS).
Unfortunately, though it is necessary, there’s a lot of documenting, auditing, and other activities that go into QMS approval, which could cause delays in the last part of your manufacturing cycle. QMS software like Micro Focus and Pilgrim can help you comply more efficiently by giving the company a centralized location to manage documents, ask for signatures, organize complaints, and more. Manufacturing delays can be caused by a number of reasons like the back-and-forth of design reviews or using an Excel sheet to paste and track your audits. Finding the right technology that can streamline these processes is going to help you a lot in the short and long term.
Written by Helen Stradley