Finding Your Digital Starting Line

When starting digitalization in metal fabrication, the main question is: where to begin?

Should you update your ERP system? Should you invest in new CAD software? Should you consider a quoting solution? Should you integrate tablets on the shop floor?

The answer is always in the bottleneck. You need to identify your primary bottleneck to focus on upgrades that impede progress.

Eliyahu Goldratt, a famous management thinker, stated:

“Any action that does not contribute to the company’s goal is unproductive. [..] Productivity is meaningless unless you know what your goal is.”

He also defined a bottleneck as “any resource whose capacity is equal to or less than the demand placed upon it.

So, how do you apply this to your digitalization journey?

Start by examining your workflow, particularly the areas of work preparation and sales. If these are lagging, they need your immediate attention.

If they’re up to speed, move down the chain until you find a true bottleneck.

The main goal is to make more money and produce more. Chasing efficiencies or following tech trends shouldn’t be the ultimate goal.

And whenever you’re in doubt, start at the work intake and work prep. I will share some more on this over the next days.

Yours,

—Luke

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