How to Use Plant Floor Data to Make Smart Strategic Business Decisions

Dec. 27, 2016
Reshoring business requires manufacturers to look at their technology, quality, reliability, and collaborative supply-chain relationships. One company points to its manufacturing cloud ERP software as key to this competitive strategy.

Joshua Hopp, President of HK Metalcraft, is the fourth-generation owner of a manufacturing business that specializes in precision metal stampings. His company collects a lot of quality data from its plant floor and is able to monitor live statistical process control (SPC) on any required product dimension to catch dimensions that may wander out of tolerance.

But for many manufacturers today, the data they collect is nothing more than a collection of data. Most don't know what to do with it. Connecting the plant floor to HK’s business operations through cloud ERP turned that data into actionable information.

Now the HK Metalcraft team can go into the part cost structure and see the direct overhead, variable overhead, direct labor all the way down to the specific hours that each operator spent on each job. That kind of information helps him make decisions about how to run his business better. He can tweak processes and rates to look at costs to find areas of profit or loss. What’s even more astounding is he can now trust his data because it’s more accurate that it was before.

Another area the HK Metalcraft team can get more information on is downtime. The company’s old press system required operators to manually input downtime with reason codes. With no standards around this process, operators would sometimes just enter a general code. All of a sudden, the company was running a lot of general downtime, which was not actionable. Now not only does HK Metalcraft know exactly what caused the downtime but they also have actionable data to improve processes and overall equipment effectiveness.

A cloud ERP solution should include a powerful manufacturing execution system (MES) to enable the kind of insight and control manufacturers need to make critical business decisions. Want to discover more about connecting your manufacturing enterprise for real-time visibility? Download the white paper: Tying the Shop Floor to the ERP System.  

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