Warning signs you need to review your production processes

Posted by Stephen Whitehouse on 11 Apr


The longer you wait to update manufacturing production processes that are out of date, the more your business will suffer. The key is in being able to identify the warning signs that indicate a review is needed. Here are some of the common red flags that you should be looking out for:

Inaccurate data or inventory

Data should always be quick, simple and accurate to collect. Any delays or errors in the collection of data can be harmful to productivity as it can cause unnecessary or missed ordering during Material Requirements Planning (MRP) or focus on processes that aren't needed. If you are beginning to notice inaccuracies in the data you collect, this is a big warning sign that there is a problem with your manufacturing production processes.

Difficulty producing reports from collected data

An outdated system will have rigid, pre-determined formats for presenting data. When you need to examine data in a different light, you need some flexibility to cross-reference and incorporate other data items. If you struggle to do this with your existing manufacturing production processes, it may be time to update your systems.

Repetitive data entry

If you find that you are having to repeatedly enter the same data into your system, this is a sign of inefficiency in your existing system. A good solution for your manufacturing production processes will not require you to enter the same data repeatedly, and for the sake of your manufacturing efficiency, you need to resolve this issue.

Having to implement workarounds

Changing operational processes needs to be done the right way. If you find that you have to improvise with workarounds to get the functionality you need, then you are making changes the wrong way. This can lead to weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and if you don't address the issue by reviewing your processes, you could find some serious problems arise down the line.

Maintenance fees are high

An ageing legacy system will require more and more maintenance the longer it stays in place. If your maintenance fees are getting noticeably high or experiencing more downtime, this is a good indicator that it's time for a review. After an assessment of cost-effectiveness, you may discover that investing in new software and/or hardware is a better use of your budget.

Upgrades disrupt business

Software vendors for ERP systems usually issue updates every 12-24 months. When these updates are needed, you want them to be implemented as quickly as possible to minimise any downtime for your business. If updates take too long to apply, this may be another indicator that you need to review your systems and processes.

System performance hinders growth

Do any of these things apply to your systems?

  • Slow response times
  • Dwindling capacity
  • Limitations outnumber capabilities

If you can put a tick next to any of them, it may be time to review and seek a new solution. Newer ERP software is designed for high performance and things like flexibility and scalability. By investing in a superior solution, you could see a significant improvement to your company's growth.

Lack of convenient features

Technology is enabling businesses to be more and more connected than ever in a global marketplace. Smartphones, tablets and laptops can all help you keep in touch, but if your software does not include things like mobile apps or useful features built-in it can hinder productivity. Wireless connectivity is key in the modern world, and your systems should reflect this.

Sometimes it pays to take an honest look at the way you do business. If you see any of the warning signs listed here in your manufacturing production processes, you should seriously consider having a review and examining your options for improvement.

>> Download our eGuide on 'How to Tell You Need a New ERP System'  

Topics: Manufacturing, ERP Software, Business Management Software, Production Management, Lean Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical manufacturing, Furniture Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Productivity, Food Manufacturing

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