Welcome to the Columbus Discrete Manufacturing Series. Our series focuses on five common problems discrete manufacturers are currently facing, and how to solve them, including case study examples of where discrete manufacturers have implemented our solutions and seen success.
Delivering on the promise of innovation in today’s competitive environment means more emphasis than ever on developing and sustaining winning new products. To thrive — and survive — companies must constantly reduce time to market, increase new product throughput while improving product quality and safety, and ensure products meet customer needs.
Often, one of the key advantages that a British manufacturer has over cheaper foreign competition is flexibility in designing products and the ability to gain an edge by bringing new products to market faster – delivering a competitive benefit to their customers.
But can British manufacturers bring new products to market fast enough?
In order to maximise the opportunity of bringing new products to market, the interaction between sales and marketing teams, product management and design teams and the supply chain teams is critical.
This can only be obtained through integrated CRM systems, PLM and CAD systems and of course, the right ERP system. By connecting all the dots, and streamlining each team that plays a part in taking a new product into market, faster development and a product successful launch can be achieved.
Companies are increasingly turning to product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions to enhance the productivity and efficiency of their innovation and product development activities. When used appropriately, PLM software can enhance an enterprise’s bottom line by delivering a potential 5 to 10 percent revenue uplift as well as considerable savings and productivity improvements in product development activities.
Collaboration with suppliers for new or modified componentry forms a crucial part of the design process too. Tools such as ‘design collaboration portals’ allow the parties to collaborate online, providing ways to streamline this process and deliver faster results to take to market.
Customer case study – Progress Rail
A fully integrated ERP system has allowed Progress Rail to make significant efficiency gains across its business. Over recent years, they experienced strong growth, but success has not been without its growing pains, not least increasingly inefficient business structures that have struggled to communicate with one another effectively.
In addressing such mounting inefficiencies, Progress Rail sought a software system that would improve visibility across their railroad division and accelerate their ambitious growth strategy. Not least, they needed a streamlined manufacturing solution that would ease production planning and automate the purchasing process.
In choosing Dynamics with Columbus, Progress Rail realised immediate benefits in the reduction of unnecessary communication that was clogging up the system, as Keith Churm, managing director explains: “Since the implementation we haven’t needed to deal with each of our profit centres separately. Now a lot of transactions have disappeared.”
“Microsoft Dynamics enables us to use the capacity planning facility not only to indicate free capacity on one site, but on a multi-site bases,” comments Mark Nash, manufacturing director, “this helps project managers deal with shifts and the number of people he needs in areas where the risk of delivery failure is higher. The system gives the operator a sequence of operations that he is then charged to undertake according to the task schedule. Thanks to the implementation, the output level has increased by an enormous 300%, while the amount of people has stayed the same.”
Reach new levels of integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Operations
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Operations (D365O) removes the barriers between CRM and ERP, brining everything that you need all into one place. The software allows you to implement separate apps or workloads whenever you need them, adding and integrating others should your needs change.
The flexibility, connectivity and visibility that D365O can bring to your business will ensure that your teams can work better together to develop new, improved products that your customers will benefit from, and with shorter time-to-market.
D365O will also open you up to a new world of business intelligence software allowing an insight into real time data which can inform you of the performance of equipment and machinery or the environmental conditions in your warehouse, allowing you to make improvements or developments where necessary. This ensures that any product you manufacture is always at the top of its game, keeping your customers happy.
The discrete manufacturing series
Our series focuses on five common problems discrete manufacturers are currently facing, and how to solve them, including case study examples of where discrete manufacturers have implemented our solutions and seen success. The full series includes tip sheets – available for download - on: