My company, Sheet Metal Connect, is called that for a reason. Most metal and sheet metal companies have unconnected and outdated practices. And I help them get into flow with a connected system.
Most companies notice this in daily practice: a lot of time is lost in manual operations. But what most don’t notice is what happens underwater: a lot of valuable data needed for data-driven improvement is lost.
When the goal is to collect data and create flow, you see most companies staring blindly at an ERP system. Everything has to go in, right? The central source of truth?
I also always thought this marketing pitch was foolproof.
That an all-in-one ERP system should provide insight and that individual systems are just moving parts and risks. But that is now obsolete.
Why? Sometimes more depth is needed. There is no such thing as a system that excels in everything.
What is needed are ways to create flow and collect data.
And I think the Connect step is driven primarily by specialty solutions. Here are some possible ways to enable more flow and data collection.
3 ideas for the Connect step:
- Workshop control via tablets. For this, you can purchase specialized software apps that can interface with the ERP systems. They collect data and give crystal clear instructions to the team. Plus collect all data on actions, reports, quality etc. One example is Azumuta.
- Quotation software (possibly with portal). This is a type of software that stores structured data during the intake process, which can then be used to produce faster and more accurate quotes. This creates a better understanding of costs. Moreover, it is faster to production afterwards because of better preparation. One example is QuotationFactory.
- Manufacturing Execution System (MES). This software manages all running jobs in the machines on the shop floor. This is where the production pool is maintained, current time and consumption reports, and any quality reports. An example is TRUMPF Oseon, especially the 2-way integration with machines via RCI etc.
In a video on my YouTube channel, I cover some of these examples.