It’s not a secret that innovations promote business growth. And you have probably read a lot about such new technologies as augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, the internet of things etc. and how they can really make a difference for any company in the manufacturing industry.
We don’t want to waste your time and repeat what you already know. Instead, we’ll focus on specific examples of software for manufacturers and how the later ones can benefit from the custom app development.
Employee tracking apps
This type of manufacturing software is especially useful for large plants. GPS systems integrated into these applications allows company’s management to track employees’ locations and routes. The benefit is twofold. First of all, it improves the safety at the plant as company’s officials have an opportunity to provide more accurate and relevant instructions in case of emergency.
And, secondly, employee tracking applications help managers gain better control over the processes as they can monitor all the activity at the plant. In other words, with these applications company’s management can easily make sure that each employee does the right tasks and timely spot the bottlenecks if such occur.
Did you know:
According to the study of the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, in the nearest future, the competitive advantage in manufacturing will have nations that invest in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. They will outperform the nations that compete on price alone.
MRP stands for material requirements planning and this is one of the most important production management software for every manufacturer. In short, MRP systems is the production planning and scheduling software aimed at the efficient management of manufacturing processes. As the name suggests, these solutions deal with material resources.
With the help of this business software company’s officers can monitor the availability of materials required for production and products that are ready for delivery. This tool lets them determine what and how many items are needed, as well as when they are needed. Hence, it becomes possible to maintain the lowest sufficient amount of products in warehouses and stores which significantly reduces the level of production losses.
Pro tip: When choosing MRP system for your manufacturing company, opt for the custom software development rather than third-party solutions. A system perfectly tailored to your production needs will bring more benefits to your company and will pay off in the end.
CRM, ECM and ERP
CRM, ECM and ERP software solutions are helpful for any business, not just those from the manufacturing industry.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. This software collects and records all information related to company’s customers (e.g. contacts, news, previous communications etc.). Thus, the main benefit it brings to businesses operating in the manufacturing industry is a much faster close of the deals since sales teams have an opportunity to promptly receive real data about clients.
ECM is Enterprise Content Management. Basically, it’s a documentation management software that makes the work with corporate content much more efficient. With ECM system employees across a company can easily share, edit and sign digital documents.
Now, what is ERP software? ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP software solution is a comprehensive integrated system that helps a business manage all its resources from cash to raw materials and products. It may also include a CRM system, so, depending on your business needs, you can either develop the latter separately or as an integral part of an ERP system. Here is what modules a typical ERP system usually covers:
Again, it’s essential that you opt for bespoke software development because off-the-shelf solutions are not tailored to your business needs and, thus, usually are not efficient enough.
If you need more information about these types of business software, read our article dedicated to this topic.
Industrial IoT systems
Although such technologies like the internet of things and artificial intelligence are relatively new, nowadays, there is already a myriad of ways they are utilized in the industrial world. Here are a few examples of software every manufacturer may want to have:
- Real-time monitoring systems. Thanks to the IoT sensors, as well as advanced analytics, it’s possible to constantly monitor how every machine is functioning even at large plants. IoT systems also allow for monitoring of the supply chain (e.g. available materials, work in progress etc.) and, thus, when they are integrated into inventory software for the manufacturing, the inventory management improves exponentially. So the real-time monitoring systems can help company’s management gain better control over the production and detect even the smallest errors before they turn into really big problems.
- Self-repairing equipment. As mentioned, IoT along with machine learning made it possible to create the software which allows for automatic identification of issues occurring in the equipment. But what is more, such issues may be addressed unattended, i.e. without the necessity of human intervention.
- Digital twins. These are virtual models of physical buildings, products, systems and processes which are connected with original objects with the sensors allow manufacturers to track the changes in assets and optimize their performance.
According to BI Intelligence research, the number of machines connected with IoT system in the manufacturing industry will hit the number of 923 million by 2020.
Demand forecasting tools
The demand in the manufacturing industry is influenced by many factors such as an economic and political situation in a country, export and import rates, surplus or deficit of resources on the market etc. For this reason, it’s always fluctuating that often causes waste and losses in production.
The innovative solution lies in the software that is based on big data. The main objective of demand forecasting tools is to help company’s officers make accurate predictions about the situation on the market and manage production forces accordingly. And, as you may know, big data is all about advanced analytics. It allows a manufacturing company to avoid significant losses and, thus, promotes continuous business growth.
Besides systems making precise predictions of how many products have to be produced, big data tools are also integrated into other software aimed at automation. Specifically, it’s used to manage supply chain risks, improve quality assurance, make custom product design and enhance production processes in general.
Rolls-Royce use case:
Rolls-Royce uses software that is based on an integrated big data tool to determine whether newly designed models of jet engines are ready to be manufactured. The simulation created by such software allows the company to spot even the minor defects before the models even get to production. This significantly reduces company’s costs and drastically increases the quality of jet engines.
Nowadays, manufacturers of all kinds just cannot ignore innovations and the opportunities they bring. It’s not that much about convenience or following fancy trends, it’s about staying competitive and growing in the new digitized world. In this article, we mentioned only a few possible applications of new technologies in the manufacturing industry, but there are indeed many more of them.
If you’re looking for a software development company to create a tech solution that will bring your manufacturing business to the next level, the experienced GBKSOFT team is ready to help!