2Yes it can, in fact a good ERP solution is a perquisite for a modern manufacturing company. Manufacturing has undergone tremendous changes in the last 15 years. The focus increasingly is on agile production. Companies must have the ability to change direction at a moment’s notice without encountering loss in production quality.
Take the case of the metal fabrication industry. Manufacturers are under pressure to reduce costs, maximize efficiency and embrace just in time manufacturing to meet their clients’ requirements. If fabricators want to keep up they have to work faster and cheaper without letting quality slip.

To ensure they stay competitive fabricators are turning to more sophisticated machinery that cuts with greater precision and reduces waste. Tools that require a smaller workforce are also used. However, these systems can be expensive and if your processes are not optimized around their capabilities pretty much redundant.

This is where a good ERP solution can help. A good ERP solution helps an organization have:

  • Cross-organizational process visibility
  • Flexible production scheduling
  • Automating manufacturing capabilities
  • Improve inventory visibility
  • Contribute to customization

A live example of how an ERP solution can be customized to solve a specific problem faced by a metal fabricator is below:

The Problem

A sheet metal fabricator faced a unique problem. Manufacturing sheet metal blanks for competing vehicle manufacturers meant his dispatch warehouse was stocked with similar looking products. At least they looked similar to his largely unskilled and uneducated dispatch labor. The difference in the product lay in the physical and chemical composition of the sheet metal as well as the small variation in thickness. They were of different sizes too, but the difference was too tiny to stand out. How then would he ensure that the right product was delivered to the concerned vehicle manufacturer?

Getting it right the first time, every time was critical. The wrong size would impact the whole manufacturing process, leading to dissatisfied customers. Worse, if the wrong size sheet was fed into the die, it could damage it, resulting in losses running into a few crores. There was also the tricky issue of Excise duties. Correcting a wrong dispatch also involved a laborious and time consuming process of rectifying and redoing the excise duty forms.

The manufacturer tried various solutions, including segregating space in the warehouse for different lots. But the workforce would inevitably get a couple of orders wrong. As sending out the wrong dispatch was out of the question, a detailed quality control process was put in place, which resulted in each shipment being manually checked and rechecked by a number of employees. This caused delays in dispatch and still the odd order would end up in the wrong place.

The Solution
The manufacturer, who had already implemented EPPS’ ERP solution, turned to us to find a work around to his tricky situation. The brief to EPPS was to find a solution that would ensure perfect dispatches, without causing unnecessary delays. The solution should be easy enough to be used by the uneducated staff that handled the bulk of the dispatch. All this keeping the cost in mind.

EPPS devised a simple mobile-based solution to meet the manufacturers’ requirement. The answer was to affix bar codes to every manufacturing lot. When the loading document   was created, it came affixed with a bar code. The loader was trained to scan the bar code first on the loading document and then the code on the products in the warehouse, using a Smartphone app. A green light would flash on the screen if the correct codes had been scanned. This was his cue to load that particular lot onto the truck. If he scanned the wrong code, a red light would appear. In case the red light flashed, he was instructed to call a manager.

To ensure accuracy in the dispatch process, the security guards too were equipped with Smartphones loaded with the dispatch app. Their job would be to scan the bar codes inside the vehicle and the delivery note, before allowing the truck off the premises. They would only let the truck go, if the green light flashed in the app, indicating the correct lot had been loaded.

A further step required a manager to okay the dispatch. This too happened via the app. The designated manager would get a notification once the loading was done. He could then check to ensure the bar codes on the dispatch document and the lots matched. If satisfied, he would click on the app to allow for the goods to leave the factory.

One Size does not fit all

Unlike standardized ERP packages, the customized, innovative & technically friendly solution from EPPS came to the rescue of the company. The company truly believes in being a partner to its clients to ensure their unique problems are addressed satisfactorily. In this case the solution provided ensured 100% accuracy sped up the delivery process and did so using relatively inexpensive Smartphones…therefore keeping costs low.  See how EPPS ERP solutions can benefit your organization.

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