There may be no kind of systems effort more ambitions than the attempt to introduce automated manufacturing management systems into a company that has either not had them before or that has been unsuccessful in its previous efforts. Modern software technology has made tools available for the management of manufacturing facilities that completely change the nature of the job.
It is now possible to manage a manufacturing facility in a comprehensive way, beginning with planning and master scheduling, extending through materials and capacity planning, and "closing the feedback loop" via purchasing and shop floor control.
The elements required for success in implementing manufacturing systems can be classified as "A" "B" and "C" items:
The software and computers are the "C" items. These are required to proceed but having them is no guarantee of success.
The "B" item is accurate data. If the plant has been managed informally until now, this can be extremely difficult to achieve. But the automated system cannot work if it doesn't have accurate information about inventory levels, open orders, status, and so forth. Banks have had procedures for accurate "inventory control" for years. It is now necessary for a plant to be just as disciplined and controlled.
The "A" item is of course, trained and educated people. People first of all, must understand and believe in the effort. And the "people" here include everyone from the President of the company on down. It only takes a few to completely sabotage the project. People must also be trained in the particular procedures and techniques that will be involved in operating the new way.
Essential Strategies, Inc. consultants have had years of experience implementing manufacturing systems in a wide variety of environments. ESI can provide business process engineering help in reorganizing the plant and defining procedures for operating in new ways, education to all in the meaning and philosophy of the new ways, and training in the new procedures.