By: Scott Filiault, vice president of technology, LillyWorks
Historically, the recurring nightmare for an owner of a small to medium-sized manufacturing business is the cost, complexity and lack of ROI of a traditional ERP system. However, new thinking and new cloud-based technology have given manufacturers lower risk and better tools to improve their performance like on-time delivery and production flow.
MRP to ERP
Looking back, material planning, purchasing and production planning functionality (collectively called Manufacturing Resource Planning or MRP II) were at the core of Enterprise Resource Planning when the acronym ERP was coined in the early 1990’s.
At that time, major software vendors believed their product to be good enough in these areas, and instead focused their development efforts in peripheral areas, even going so far as to add functionality for many non-manufacturing enterprises adding to the cost, complexity and pushing an ROI further out in the future. Today, ERP and manufacturing are no longer synonymous.
Now new cloud-based manufacturing ERP solutions, like many of the other new ways we live today, are addressing the recurring nightmare felt by small to medium-sized manufacturing businesses in several ways. These new manufacturing ERP solutions have made a major impact on how producers can now obtain software specifically for their operation using an approach called SaaS – Software as a Service.
SAAS benefits include reduced total cost of ownership– no costly in-house servers and bloated IT budgets; fast and secure access from anywhere in your business or on the web, highly encrypted and accessible from your laptop, tablet or phone; and the freedom of an annual commitment model (monthly payments and automatic product updates).
Manufacturing ERP Reimagined
From hands-on experience working with manufacturers of all sizes, the LillyWorks team understands that most shops do not use their ERP’s scheduling features, relying instead on lots of spreadsheets and frustrating, time-consuming scheduling meetings to negotiate priorities.
The LillyWorks new cloud-based manufacturing ERP solution is the result of decades of developing software for manufacturing, it is an ERP system that actually brings order out of chaos—letting manufacturers make commitments they can keep, while maximizing flow and avoiding the common pitfalls that eat away at profit margins.
An example of a new approach to shop floor execution, resource planning, and material planning and purchasing is Protected Flow Manufacturing™ from LillyWorks. It simplifies planning and execution, preventing premature release of work, reducing time jobs spend waiting, protecting promise dates and providing a clear priority to each operation, without complicated finite scheduling. It accurately predicts when each job will arrive at a specific work center (resource), monitors risk and makes the decision about what to work on next simple.
For decades, job shop manufacturers have tried to use finite scheduling. However, finite scheduling requires super-accurate data regarding setup times and run rates at each operation in the routing. This concept of shop floor execution delivers excellent results without any setup time and run rate data whatsoever.
If a manufacturer has somewhat-accurate (as opposed to super-accurate) setup and run rate data for the routings, Protected Flow Manufacturing™ leverages that additional data. The system simulates the effect of issues concerning resource capacity and material availability that are likely to occur in the future, presenting solutions to prevent those issues from affecting on-time delivery.
This revolutionary new approach protects due dates and maximizes flow providing a dynamic, clear task list that automatically adjusts to real-time changes resulting in reliable predictions of future dangers and suggested actions. It is Manufacturing ERP re-imagined(TM).
Freedom from “The Old Way”
The cloud continues to transform many aspects of both our business and personal lives bringing us advancements we never dreamed possible and effecting in ways in which we can’t believe we ever did it “the old way”. Today’s cloud-based manufacturing ERP SaaS architectures provide freedom to small and mid-sized manufacturers and a quicker ROI in ways that were once just a dream as well.
- No need for large initial capital investments with long-term consequences.
- No longer having to own, maintain and understand expensive, complex IT systems allowing you to focus on what you do best.
- No need to be in the office to have your information at your fingertips.
- No longer struggling with difficult Scheduling algorithms!
- No more contentious daily or weekly production planning meetings.
- No more worrying if you’ll meet this or that ship date.
Using LillyWorks with Protected Flow Manufacturing will quickly have you wondering how you ever managed to do it “the old way”.
About the Author
Scott is Vice President of Administration for LillyWorks, Inc. and is a 30-year veteran of the software industry. Scott is co-founder and CEO of LionWise, LLC and is the former Vice President of Technology for Lilly Software Associates. LillyWorks offers the latest in web-based Manufacturing ERP software technology designed specifically for small and mid-sized manufacturers. It is delivered in a SaaS model (Software as a Service) that provides manufacturers the benefit of reduced total cost of ownership, fast and secure access from anywhere in your business or on the web, and the freedom of an annual commitment.
The Lilly family has been innovating software for manufacturing companies since 1960. LillyWorks serves only manufacturing companies and is fully aware that the needs of manufacturers have changed since last century and that MRP II functionality is no longer good enough, LillyWorks puts Manufacturing Back in ERP.
LillyWorks is sharing a booth with FORCAM at IMTS 2016. Visit them at Booth: E-4421.
For more information, contact LillyWorks at 603-926-9696 or visit our website at www.lillyworks.com