What to Do When Fear is Holding Your Shop Floor Hostage?

This time of year, when ghost and ghouls are top of mind, it’s a good time to look at the fears that hold so many manufacturers back from taking the next step to improve their operations with paperless manufacturing.

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

Don't let fear hold your shop floor back.  Photo by www.colourbox.com

Don’t let fear hold your shop floor back. Photo by http://www.colourbox.com

We all have fears.  Mine is mice and rats.  I saw a mouse once run across my kitchen floor once and almost run into my foot.  After that, I refused to go back in the kitchen for a week or more.  It sounds silly, I know.  But fear makes us do crazy things and ends up holding us back.  It’s like this weight we can’t drop, even when we know it is completely unreasonable.

Many times, fear holds a shop floor back from embracing a solution they know will fix the problems facing them.   Businesses sacrifice success because they embrace fear.  Maximizing production, improving operations, innovation, increased quality, reduced scrap, and schedule reliability all sound good, but there are times it’s simply not enough to overcome fear.

We’re going to help you conquer those paperless manufacturing fears with 5 simple, common-sense ideas that will help you embrace innovation (safely) and (reliably) improve your shop floor operations.  Let’s start with….

1)      Trust

Many times we end up not trusting our instincts and second-guessing ourselves when it comes to selecting a software provider.  We’ve seen this many times when companies decide to build a solution themselves (almost never a good idea) or select the largest company with the biggest name instead of picking the best solution.  Don’t let fear keep you from selecting the best solution.

2)      Pilot Program

Are you really scared the program won’t work for you?  Why not test it through a smaller pilot program?  Select a single line to install the program and judge the results.  You’ll get the assurance you need and the data to support a decision before rolling the solution out to your whole operation.  Not only that, if the vendor balks at letting you install a pilot program, you can be sure there is a higher-level of customization to the solution, or a hefty amount of service charges waiting for you on the final bill.

3)      Upgrade costs

I hate to tell you, but there is NO final shop floor control solution.  Ten years ago, the Cloud, 3D printing, and mobile manufacturing sounded more like science fiction than modern manufacturing.  Imagine what manufacturing will be like ten years from now.  Take a look at the costs to upgrade your potential system.  Having a clear plan to upgrade the system will take the fear of obsolescence out of the equation.

Overcome fear and find solutions for your shop floor.  Photo by www.colourbox.com

Overcome fear and find solutions for your shop floor. Photo by http://www.colourbox.com

4)      Guaranteed price

Did your vendor offer you a guaranteed, not-to-exceed price for the project?  Do you know what service costs you will incur?  Many software vendors offer a lower initial cost, and then end up charging significantly higher service fees for basic features or necessary functions.  Others require “upcharges” for basic installation services.  Knowing the price before the project starts will eliminate these fears.

5)      Who is in control?

Ask yourself, who is controlling the project?  Is the installation plan focused on your priorities, or do you see a lot of work being done with fees and charges growing with little focus on your priorities?  The primary goal of any manufacturing solution is to deliver results for your shop floor and eliminate the challenges holding you back.  If you feel like the project has grown out of your control, you’re probably right.  Make sure you are in charge of the project.

There are risks in manufacturing and manufacturing software solutions, but there are ways to mitigate risk and ensure the system is truly focused on meeting your business needs.  Years ago, CIMx recognized a number of “industry standards” we felt weren’t customer-focused.  Many companies were justifying their practices as the cost of doing business.

We’ve worked hard to eliminate the risks that cause fear and make sure the project is focused on you.  That’s why we offer a guaranteed maximum price.  We use a Phased Implementation to give you control of the project and eliminate unnecessary cost and risk.  We offer free upgrades with our licensing agreement, and assign an Application Engineer as a partner to you, instead of a help desk.

Want to learn more?  Give us a call, we’re happy to talk.

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