The Waiting Game, MES and Paperless Manufacturing

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

As manufacturers decide to wait to implement a modern manufacturing system, they fall further and further behind their competition.

Not long ago, we started working with a manufacturer still using paper to manage the shop floor.

They printed 80 pages of work instructions for every order. Some days they would have 30 or 40 orders on the shop floor at once – 2,400 to 3,200 pages a day they were managing. They collected data using paper. Afterward a clerk typed the data into a spreadsheet. They tracked orders using email, and as-built records were assembled by hand.

The manufacturer wanted to double their output and improve production records. We worked with them to map their processes to our software – Quantum. Using the system, they could automate production records and increase production. It was a shop floor solution that offered tangible, measurable improvements.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer decided to wait and continue to operate in an inefficient, out of control production process.

The Cost of Waiting

At first, waiting seems like a safe choice, but if your current system is not optimized it’s a decision that leads to increasing risk and cost. Consider this:

  • If a shop floor problem that would be solved by the software is costing your company $1,000/day, then you need to consider every day you wait is a $1000 loss you can never get back – with the cost quickly compounding over time.
  • The data you aren’t collecting, or collecting incorrectly, is data that’s gone forever and will never help improve manufacturing outcomes.
  • Sustainable process improvement requires the process enforcement and accurate analytics provided by manufacturing software. Attempting other methods leads to shop floor frustration.
  • Improved quality is one benefit of an MES. Current scrap reduction is part of the ROI of a system.
  • Manufacturing continues to adapt to and implement modern technology. MES provides the foundation of modern manufacturing, and waiting will only make the transition more difficult in the future.

Waiting is not a solution to production problems. Once a potential solution has been identified and you confirm the long-term viability of the solution, waiting on implementation will drastically increase the risk and cost of production, with the shop floor falling further and further behind.

If you want to learn how MES or paperless manufacturing can help, then contact CIMx today for a free shop floor analysis.  We work with you to quickly define the best solution for your shop floor challenges. The analysis is yours for no cost or obligation, and it provides an easy first step toward increased production. We’re happy to help.

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