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How a manufacturing ERP can straighten out internal systems

Chaotic cultures are all too common in many manufacturing industries. This article looks at ways to address the “firefighting culture” that is unproductive and unprofitable.

Good examples of a chaotic work culture are:

  • Managers rushing from meeting to meeting
  • Finger-pointing when a production process breaks down
  • Knee-jerk reactions when problems arise
  • Recurring production bottlenecks
  • Quick-and-dirty fixes
  • Reworks are the norm and not the exception

Custom and complex manufacturing processes seldom have systems that support scaling. A single job that doesn’t go right, or a material that isn’t delivered on time will have down stream ramifications often resulting in a compounding effect.

Management often ends up overworking the best people while providing band aid fixes to problems as they come to light (yet again) and never getting the real “why” of the problem. Headway can seem impossible due to the steady stream of emails, phone calls, reworks and interruptions causing more reworks.

Implementing an ERP that spans the supply chain, your organization can use data to rethink problem-solving and make better business decisions. Ultimately, a manufacturing ERP will help design long-term growth strategies, save time, improve productivity and encourage collaboration.

ERP makes it simple

Complexity is one of the biggest challenges for SME manufactures to overcome. Siloed datasets residing in standalone systems will create inefficient systems and processes. This can be solved with a more integrated approach. Here’s where an ERP becomes invaluable.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a simplified system that combines data from across the supply chain:

All this information comes together in a single user-friendly platform. As a result, everyone in your organisation has the tools, features and data they need to prioritise and track tasks, so unexpected issues are put in context with the bigger picture.

Manufacturers who implement an ERP can take their business to the next level, straightening out chaotic culture as they go.

How Jobman helps Australian manufacturers to overcome chaos

Chaotic culture leads to…Jobman Culture leads to…

Reactive problem solving

Strategic problem solving

Complaints driving priorities System and processes driving priorities
Promises eroding profits Systems ensuring profits
Priorities overriding processes Process controlling priorities
Band-Aid solutions Developed solutions to strengthen outcomes
The best person being overworked Balanced workload for everyone
Repeating problems Adapting the system for desired outcomes
Patches become the system Implementing proven systems and processes

Strategic problem solving

There will always be more problems than there are hours in the day. Production problems shouldn’t be ignored; they should be prioritized and addressed systematically.

A manufacturing ERP provides an overview of the entire business, so management can decide how to allocate resources in a way that aligns with long-term priorities. This approach ensures your workforce stays focused on growing the business. It also reallocates the time and energy spent on problem-solving back to production and value-adding activities.

System and processes driving priorities

Lean management methodology identifies non-value-adding activity (i.e. waste). Quality Assurance processes home in on specific defects. Six Sigma provides a framework to stamp out variability.

But management can’t adopt these methods without the right tools. And neither can the workforce alter their behavior. For example, when machine operators and salespeople don’t communicate, or when the logistics coordinator can’t see what materials are taking up too much valuable storage space, everyone feels alone with no support.

Bringing the business together into a simplified ERP system means every level of the organization can communicate, see the positive impact, and understand the bigger picture.

Systems ensuring profits

ERP software helps to reduce waste and target a better-quality product. For example, reallocating resources to clear a recurring bottleneck can increase output. In turn, this shortens production lead time. As a result, customers are more satisfied, payments come in faster, and the business can re-invest in expanding output.

All that data is easily accessible in Jobman:

  • Real-time job tracking
  • Production reports
  • Sales and financial reports
  • Automated financial processes
  • CRM tracking customer feedback

Implementing an ERP system creates a constant feedback loop for management to track their progress in real-time, rather than waiting for quarterly or annual results.

Process controlling priorities

Who sets priorities on the shop floor? If that question is hard to answer – or if the answer depends on the problems that crop up each day – then your business needs the data-driven intelligence of an ERP.

Without a clear picture of performance across the value chain, priority-setting becomes chaotic. Teams (or individual operators) decide which problems to address and which tasks to prioritise instead of collaborating in line with management’s priorities.

Developed solutions to strengthen outcomes

Band-Aid fixes only hide production problems; they don’t create long-term solutions. They also make things more chaotic downstream, where the result is visible, but the root cause is plastered over.

Better outcomes require a thought-out, systematized approach. Due to the complexity of manufacturing operations, this usually means an iterative method for identifying, tweaking, tracking and continually improving results. An ERP like Jobman provides easy access to the data needed to make those decisions.

Balanced workload for everyone

In the community, firefighters are heroes who respond to emergencies and save lives. But in a manufacturing organization, letting the reactive heroes lead the charge means discouraging innovators from contributing long-term ideas.

Eliminating chaos allows innovative ideas to come forward. It also means the people who continually step up to solve problems can instead focus their energy on long-term business growth. Jobman balances workloads at every stage of the production process: by scheduling work based on capacity, providing easy-to-follow checklists, automating time-consuming tasks and eliminating double data entry.

Adapting the system for desired outcomes

Without an ERP, production issues can look random and varied. But when you have all the data you need at your fingertips, it’s easy to see patterns:

  • Recurring bottlenecks
  • Production delays
  • Machine breakdowns
  • Underperforming staff
  • Overtime wages
  • Human error in data entry
  • Lost or mishandled paperwork
  • Inefficient stock control

Once you can see the problems, you can use management methodologies to address them. But without real-time production data, you can only see the issues after they occur, which means you’re always on the back foot and never moving forward.

Implementing proven systems and processes

Quick-and-dirty patches become the accepted standard too often in manufacturing. Unfortunately, these patch fixes ultimately lead to lower reduced productivity and quality, whether it’s a production workaround, manual data entry, retrospective timesheets, or overpaying for last-minute material orders.

With Jobman’s manufacturing ERP, you can eliminate patchy problem solving for good. Jobman simplifies strategic problem-solving. Data from all corners of your business come together in a simplified browser-based system, giving you the tools to identify, address and systematically eliminate poor practices.

Jobman offers a SaaS signup process with a free trial. Signup today and discover how Jobman can improve your companies culture.

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