Custom Software is helping many manufacturers meet and exceed their goals and get a leg up on their competitors. Fully specialized software allows manufacturers to spend less time adjusting their processes to their ill-fitting software tools, and more time producing their goods. Custom software can take many forms in manufacturing, including –
- Web Applications
- Mobile Applications
- Desktop Workstation Software
- IoT Device Software
- Embedded Software
But why exactly are manufacturers employing Custom Software? Tailoring your software to your processes instead of the other way around allows you to achieve peak efficiency and productivity. In many cases, it can be used to reduce human error, reduce waste and production mistakes, help scale your organization and production quickly, and improve standardization of processes. Additional benefits include improving security and customer service.
We’ve quickly covered where Custom Software is deployed and why manufacturers are choosing it, and now let’s look at some concrete, specific examples of custom software in manufacturing through the lens of what they allowed some of our past clients to accomplish.
Real Time Data Insights
High volume manufacturers depend on precise timing along incredibly complicated supply chains both externally and internally. Whatever the product, issues are costly to deal with when they delay the shipment of orders or interrupt the process.
These issues can sometimes be avoided or mitigated if the organization has sufficient access to real-time data along different points of the operation. Sufficient access depends not only on the collection and integrity of the data, but also on the organization’s ability to quickly and efficiently interpret that data and make decisions.
This is where custom software can help immensely. Instead of pouring over spreadsheets hoping to notice the dangerous oddity, any measurable metrics can be distilled into a performance dashboard. This allows decision makers to see disruptions as they occur, and potentially affords them critical time to rectify or mitigate the disruptions. Whatever the data is, a fully custom data dashboard often quickly pays for itself.
Reduced Human Errors
Oftentimes manufacturers rely on spreadsheets, or even paper, to control critical process information such as scheduling, inventory or recipe/process archival. Spreadsheets are great at storing data, but the entry of that data is susceptible to costly human errors. There are myriad issues with overreliance on spreadsheets (check out our webinar on the subject) but the major ones we’ve seen threatening the productivity of manufacturers often center around three categories.
- Scattered, decentralized data
- Too many manual steps, often involving paper
- Multiple applications that don’t communicate with each other
These issues can plague manufacturers and cause needless delays, but are often able to be entirely avoided by the implementation of custom software. Custom software can streamline and centralize your critical process data, allowing your operators to see only the process relevant information in a structured, easy to use interface and massively decrease or completely eliminate the possibility of bad data entering the system depending on the process. All of this while simultaneously reducing manual interaction steps and speeding up throughput.
Enhanced Equipment Monitoring
Manufacturing equipment is the backbone of any production operation. Is your software helping you help your equipment? Managing the scheduling, maintenance, and operational status of every piece of equipment a manufacturer utilizes can become an impossible task as an organization scales. Spreadsheets and clipboards can only do so much, and while off-the-shelf solutions exist for these problems, the adaptation of processes to these impersonal solutions can often leave costly, inefficient gaps. One size fits all solutions can leave blind spots and any attempts to rectify errors can be met with hours of hold music. In house, fully custom solutions can offer your employees better visibility on equipment status and scheduling, resulting in increased efficiency and often longer equipment lifespan.
In review, custom software can provide better solutions for many manufacturing process gaps, including:
- Production scheduling and planning
- Process monitoring and management
- Performance monitoring
- Quality control and quality assurance
- Remote monitoring of machinery and assets
- Predictive maintenance
- Supply chain visibility
- Customer relationship management and customer service
If you’d like to explore any of these possible solutions in conversation with our experts, please click here to schedule a free consultation.