In 2021, manufacturers have several good reasons to set ambitious targets and to be positive about their market growth prospects. At the same time, they must wisely prioritize their investments and streamline their operations in order to effectively resolve the complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty of today’s markets, especially in (post-)pandemic times. Those who manage to take advantage of new opportunities and solve the challenges that afflict most manufacturing plants today will emerge as market leaders and will be profitable at the end of the year.
Roadblocks to overcome
In order to make full use of the abundance of manufacturing opportunities generated by modern technology and eventually meet all of the 2021 production targets, manufacturers have many roadblocks to overcome:
1. Removing touchpoints to enable social distancing
Eliminating paper records is a central feature of the type of social distancing that will be required today and will become part of the daily routine tomorrow. Paperless solutions greatly minimize the need for employee contact, with features such as digital work orders, OEE dashboard monitoring, track and track visibility, remote system access and easily accessible electronic documentation. Employees remain securely distant, with some being able to operate remotely.
2. Improving internal production processes
Every manufacturer wants to increase his ROI, and one way to do this is through the enhancement of internal production processes. This would undoubtedly entail the introduction of a computerized production system capable of monitoring and recording the transformation of raw materials into finished products.
3. Strengthening customer relations
The importance of customers in the manufacturing process should not be ignored, and all manufacturers should aim to improve their relationship with customers by storing more information about them. Stored information can be analyzed and used to better distribute resources and produce relevant market intelligence.
4. Responding to increasing consumer demands
Consumers have a lot of choices to choose from in 2021 and fulfilling their growing expectations is one of the key roadblocks that producers must resolve in order to stay competitive and reach their market objectives. Automation can help to solve this roadblock by minimizing human error and making production lines more effective.
5. Increasing worker productivity
From the biggest product-making enterprise to the humble workshop, nearly all factories are struggling with the shortage of qualified staff in 2021. Manufacturers require a manufacturing infrastructure that can allow them to consider current conditions and how they can be improved to improve labor efficiency without increasing labor costs.
6. Increasing market responsiveness
With customer expectations now higher than ever before, suppliers must be able to respond rapidly and clearly to unexpected increases in demand. Failing to do so could lead customers to look elsewhere.
7. Maximizing operating costs
Waste, reprocessing and scrap may have a huge effect on the bottom line of any manufacturer. To optimize asset usage and ensure the best possible ROI, it is important to collect cost-information correctly to help strategic decision-making.
8. Minimizing downtime
Production downtime, either due to inadequate preparation or malfunctioning of machinery, has become the weakness of many factories in the past, which is why more and more manufacturers are now using powerful software tools to reduce inefficiencies and repair issues before they transform into major problems.
9. Scaling at the right time
Scaling too soon or too late may have devastating effects for producers, but it is far from easy to decide the right time to scale. The aim is to know how the produced goods are doing, which is only possible with a product life-cycle management solution in place.
10. Maintaining the right stock quantities
It can be difficult for manufacturers to maintain the right level of inventory at all times, particularly when handling inventories manually. Fortunately, inventory tracking can be substantially simplified with the aid of the right tech solution and advanced analytics.
Overcoming them with MES
To address the above-listed manufacturing challenges and boost efficiency across a variety of capabilities, many forward-looking manufacturers have already adopted an MES (Manufacturing Execution System) solution.
An MES is an information system whose purpose is to connect, monitor, and control complex manufacturing processes and data flows to improve production output and ensure successful execution of all manufacturing operations. It can collect output data directly from the SCADA or PLC system and completely integrate with the ERP system and computer equipment, providing a complete view of the factory floor and it also helps manufacturers achieve their operational efficiency goals (OEE).
Objective MES is a modern MES developed to help manufacturers manage operators and machines to the maximum advantage and to help them analyze performance and quality in real time. When implementing the Objective MES, it is possible to:
- Manage high complexity in production and logistics efficiently and easily manage high-variability and low-volume production.
- Eradicate islands of information generated by homegrown systems without assistance or disparate systems that are not integrated.
- Ensure transparency and traceability by easy-to-retrieve documentation that has made compliance concerns a thing of the past.
- Integrate data with machines and systems to provide real-time material and potential delay updates.
- Standardize crucial processes to prevent issues with legacy systems not being maintained and system owners being absent.
- Monitor and identify the root cause of quality problems for quick resolution and reduce the cost of not doing things right for the first time.
- Avoid line and operator confusion with tracking/tagging of unique line specifications.
By implementing the Objective MES software, all manufacturers who have very large manufacturing goals to hit in 2021 can overcome the numerous manufacturing roadblocks that stand in their way and ensure that they always deliver the right product, at the right moment, and at the right location.
Objective is the expert in combined MES and WMS applications and services for the optimization of manufacturing and logistics processes, delivering a single solution for a fully integrated manufacturing and warehouse management system. This gate-to-gate solution places all Objective customers in a position to meet their priorities, ranging from mastering production and system transparency to enhancing operating efficiencies and generating relevant data to improve corporate profitability.
Long story short: manufacturers must focus on how to overcome the various roadblocks that could prevent them from achieving their goals in 2021. To overcome these roadblocks, manufacturers should strongly consider implementing a Manufacturing Execution System solution like Objective MES to get full factory floor visibility and hit all operational efficiency goals.