Today, manufacturers must be able to respond at a moment’s notice. The ability to increase production throughput relies upon making split-second decisions, decisions that must be made in real-time and ones that are predicated on access to time critical production information. To be successful requires manufacturers do away with manual production tracking methods, and instead rely upon the accuracy and ease-of-use of today’s enterprise mobility solutions. Manual production tracking is an outdated and antiquated approach to the time-sensitive needs of today’s constantly changing marketplace, a marketplace where time waits for no manufacturer and the consequences of not being able to react, are severe. Today’s enterprises must do away with manual processes and turn to the definitive benefits of enterprise mobility solutions.
Stop manual production tracking!
Manual processes are prone to errors, are easily misinterpreted and require a substantial amount of time disseminating information and reviewing results. Because of the natural delay between reviewing results and making changes, manufacturers with manual processes are always behind the proverbial “eight ball”. However, the right enterprise mobility hardware solution means your company will be able to mitigate the high costs associated with work stoppages. It means your enterprise will be able to track production in real-time. It means your production personnel will be able to barcode work orders, track task completion and provide instant feedback into cycle time variances and productivity rates. Ultimately, it means your company will not only have greater visibility on its current production capacity, but will also be able to define costs from a raw material and part usage perspective. Therefore, can enterprise mobility solutions help your company increase production throughput? Absolutely!
The benefits of enterprise mobility and cycle time analysis
While there are many ways to increase production throughput, the most obvious way is to reduce manufacturing cycle times. Reduce the time it takes to complete a given work task, and the company will increase production. However, it’s not merely about reducing cycle times in one production station, but ultimately about replicating that success throughout the shop floor. In this case, there is a cycle time to manufacture the finished good and separate cycle times for separate operations. Trying to reconcile production levels via manual production sheets doesn’t empower employees to make the critical decisions that must be made to improve productivity. So, how can an enterprise mobility software platform focused around barcode scanners, and rugged handheld devices, help your company reduce cycle times, track cycle time fluctuations and increase throughput? In order to answer this question, consider the following immediate benefits.
Barcode work operations: Imagine the simplicity of having a barcode scanner at every production work station, one that tracks cycle times on each and every work order and one that provides instant feedback on production. Imagine the insight your company will gain into raw material usage, into productivity rates, and ultimately into the root causes of down time and work stoppages.
Tracking cycle time fluctuations in real-time: The key to reducing cycle times is to be able to react immediately and having barcode scanners makes that possible. No time is wasted trying to analyze cycle times in person. No need to witness work stoppages in order to understand their severity. Issues are immediately brought up. Production planners can immediately track cycle time fluctuations and can make the appropriate adjustments.
Reconciling production levels in real-time: Upgrading to enterprise mobility means being able to react to production in real-time. You’ll no longer need to wait until manual production tracking is finished. You won’t have to be concerned with the accuracy of manual reporting methods, or of the high costs of data entry errors and inaccurate statements. No more worrying about the impact of part and raw material shortages on production. Your entire company will have more accurate information and that information will be much easier to manage.
Most manufacturers think the immediate solution to low production volumes is to immediately go forward with a capital expenditure on new equipment and machinery. Increasing capacity is easiest when the company decides to move forward with a new purchase. However, it ignores the importance of understanding why production levels are low to begin with. Before going for the easiest of all solutions, take the time to define your company’s current productivity rates by upgrading to a mobility solutions platform that provides your company with instant feedback. This alone will help you increase your production throughput by outlining the high costs of down time. More importantly, it will speed up how your company responds to interruptions and work stoppages.