Today's manufacturing environment is intensely competitive with a host of firms vying to get products to market at the lowest possible cost and thus gain vital market share.
Productivity is the key to success, and the primary concern for owners and executives in modern manufacturing businesses is how to improve productivity in the organisation.
What is Productivity?
As a measure of the efficiency of your business, productivity is a gauge of your ability to supply your customers with what they want at competitive prices while keeping your costs to a viable minimum.
Productivity hinges on the efficiency of all your organisations business functions, both individually and in concert. Ideally, all business processes should work together with flow and synergy according to a carefully developed strategy.
So what's the best way to improve productivity?
One way is through the development of human resources and optimisation of the production process. To be done effectively, this requires an organisation-wide data system such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
Human Resource Development
Any attempt to bolster productivity must start with your employees. From shop floor to senior management, you have to ensure your staff realise their full potential by providing the requisite education and training.
They also have to be given the data they need to work effectively. Modern IT systems and the possibilities offered by ERP software allow management to deliver vital information as well as monitor worker productivity in real time.
Corporate culture is also important. To build commitment and loyalty, it's important to involve all workers in the decision making process and to recognise and reward talent.
Development of the Production Process
Modern firms have access to systems such as lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, and 5S. These work to organise, optimise, and standardise work environments and procedures. The result is fewer mistakes, delays and oversights, and a subsequent enhancement of productivity.
Automation is another way in which firms boost productivity. Repetitive tasks can be taken over by machines. Such automation lends itself well to computerisation with equipment being linked to an ERP system for control and feedback.
ERP systems can also keep decision makers appraised of Key Performance Indicators such as the cost structure of manufacturing processes and pinpoint ways to adjust fixed and variable costs, for example.
The Pivotal Role of Information Technology
The modern manufacturing firm is data driven with the IT department functioning as a nerve centre providing crucial integration. That means collecting all relevant information across the enterprise, the marketplace and the competitive environment, and processing this raw data into actionable information for decision makers.
The data gathered and analysed by ERP software allows management to reorganise processes for maximum efficiency and minimum waste. It also allows strategic planning through forecasting, trend evaluation, scenario testing, tracking and evaluation.
An all-encompassing ERP software system allows executives to keep a handle on everything from which workers are the most productive to which product lines are bringing in the most revenue to which products deliver the highest profit margins.
ERP for Strategy, Planning and to Improve Productivity
Improving productivity in an organisation involves far more than simply tweaking work processes in individual departments. To succeed in today's business environment a firm has to develop a strategic plan involving each process and procedure and to integrate everything into a system that delivers maximum productivity.
Productivity improvement is an ongoing process and this is only possible if the right data is collected and made available in a timely manner. That's why you choice of ERP software is so vital to your productivity, your bottom line, and the future of your organisation.