IMTS 2014 & ERP: What To Know Before You Go !

Join ProfitKey, along with special guest APICS certified speakers,

“What does ERP, MES, and management software do for ME and how can it help MY company?”  Over the next few weeks, we will help address these and other important questions to prepare you for your time spent at the IMTS show.  Whether you’re attending the show specifically to research vendors, or would simply like an opportunity to expand your knowledge on an area of the industry that is becoming a necessity, this will be a great opportunity for you to gain knowledge before the show.
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State Grants Help Local Manufacturing Companies

If you are a small to mid-sized manufacturer and are interested in growing your business, a state grant or private funding could very well be a viable option for you.  The manufacturing moneyUnited States Government and the manufacturing industry have teamed up in both public, and private, partnerships to create an extensive network of programs and services dedicated to helping small manufacturers. State grants have assisted companies to start their business, expand operations, implement management software, train staff, and, most importantly, become profitable. Don’t fall into the mindset that you are not eligible for public or private funding, as you could be surprised where potential assistance could come from. Continue reading

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Federal Grants Help Provide Manufacturing Jobs & Training

VP Joe Biden Speaking At NH Works Conference

VP Joe Biden Speaking At NH Works Conference

OJT, or On-the-Job Training, is a federally funded program that no one seems to know about.  Here, in New Hampshire, OJT works through the New Hampshire Works and is a part of the Workforce Incentive Act (WIA).

There are a great number of skilled people that remain unemployed today.  As time goes by, their skill set can become stale.  That’s where the OJT program comes in.  Individuals that have been unemployed for at least 16 weeks can qualify for this program.  Not only is this program great for these particular candidates, but the OJT program provides assistance to manufacturers with placement and, more importantly, financial assistance to train these potential new employees. Continue reading

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Empowering Manufacturers to Deliver Quality Products, On-Time (Part 3 of 3)

Functions where Real-Time Integration is Critical

Estimating / Sales and Scheduling

 Today, more than ever, the Real-Time FUnction areassuccessful manufacturer has to provide more than the lowest price, or the best quality.  The key to beating the competition lies in total service of your customer’s needs.  Competition demands that small manufacturers quote accurately up front – not just costs, but delivery.  If you are processing 150 – 200 quotes a month, can you hang your hat on the dates you are giving customers?  An ERP system that can account for real-time shop conditions to provide ‘what-if’ delivery dates is essential for you to gain a competitive edge.

This type of view must consider the routings and bill of material in the what-if, load that against current shop load through the routing, and provide you an accurate Promise Date, plus provide visibility as to where bottlenecks might exist if the order is taken.  Only with this data can you quickly decide if the order is doable – or tell you where on the shop floor you need to focus your attention if the what-if does not line up with the customers requirement.  Even if the what-if misses your customer’s date, you may very well take the order, but it is imperative that you know where the bottlenecks will exist. Continue reading

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Empowering Manufacturers to Deliver Quality Products, On-Time (Part 2 of 3)

Real time ERP softwareWhat is ‘real-time’ ERP and data in manufacturing?

‘Real-time’ is a commonly used yet loosely defined buzz word in the manufacturing industry.  What does it mean in terms of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software and what does it take to be considered a real-time solution?  For this article, we shall define an ERP system with real-time capabilities to mean that the ERP system has the ability to update information throughout the system and across your company as the new information is entered instantaneously.

Often with ERP systems, on-the-ground transactions might be executed at point of use, giving the impression of a real time update to the system. Downstream however, batch processes must be run to upload the effect of those transactions to the rest of the system so those effects are visible to users in other modules.  These seemingly subtle differences could make or break important data accuracy throughout your shop. Continue reading

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Empowering Manufacturers to Deliver Quality Product, On-Time (Part 1 of 3)

The Benefits of an Integrated, ERP, MES and Scheduling Systems

Much is made these days of the Global, Interconnected world we live in, from Social Media to Smart-phones, but how interconnected is your own shop?  Does purchasing know that Sales booked a bluebird, and materials are not available?  Can the shop floor personnel have a schedule change at their station communicated instantly from the front office?  How many separate spreadsheets does it take for you to run your plant?

Many manufacturers have implemented ERP (enterprise resource planning) software systems with the hope of improving their ability to deliver a quality product on-time, while maintaining manageable inventory levels.  In an effort to save money, many companies purchased an entry-level ERP system that might manage inventory, or provide a particular focus for a given industry, but over time these systems have been outgrown as these companies face ever-increasing pressure to deliver on-time, improve quality and reduce prices.   Continue reading

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Manufacturing ERP Software Is No Longer A Commodity

ERP Hexagon 2013 v2By the mid-1980’s MRP (materials resource planning) had become a blooming software industry expanding in 1.3 Billion dollars in sales throughout American manufacturing.  MRP quickly became a necessity amongst major manufacturers in order to stay competitive in the marketplace.  Fast forward to 2014, MRP has evolved into what is now coined ERP, or enterprise resource planning.  While MRP is still very much alive within the realm of ERP, it has now taken a back seat to advanced functionality and is a must-have for modern day manufacturing.  Continue reading

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