• February 11, 2016
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Taking Multi-Company ERP To Greater Heights With Cloud

If you have experience managing multiple companies operating in different geographies, languages and currencies, then you already know that an ERP system must be able to be aligned to the unique complexities of your organization and supply chain.

  • February 05, 2016
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Why you can’t force traditional ERP and MRP to run projects

An earlier blog outlined the differences between “regular” order-based manufacturing and project manufacturing. As a reminder, order-based manufacturing is oriented around, well, orders (e.g., jobs orders, production schedules).

  • February 05, 2016
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Defining PLM

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process of tracking and managing a product through its entire lifecycle from the first idea through development, production, sale, use, and ultimate disposal.

  • January 04, 2016
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How to Build a Culture of Innovation in Your Plant

Innovation is what provides longevity to a manufacturing company—products do not last forever. And product cycles are shrinking, making it more important than ever to look for new ideas and new approaches wherever they can be found. Most companies realize that the best source of innovative ideas may well be right inside their existing organization.

  • January 04, 2016
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How to Convince a CEO Who Is Saying No

Any system change or improvement project that requires an investment of capital, time or other resources must be approved by senior management and perhaps by the board of directors before the project can be authorized and started. And that can sometimes be a problem.

  • January 04, 2016
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There’s Financing New Projects … and Then There’s Financing ERP Projects

Every company must invest in equipment and technology to increase output, improve efficiency, and grow the business. Prudent management will only make investments that will pay off. Investments that return benefit to the company that exceeds the cost.

  • December 03, 2015
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Succession Planning in SMEs

Many smaller companies (and larger ones as well) have no formal succession plan. Meaning, no real plan at all. This is especially troublesome in privately-owned companies and family businesses where top management is the founder or a family member of the founder. Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders tend not to think in terms of their incapacitation or ultimate demise, as if they expect to lead the company forever.

  • October 15, 2015
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Bringing Sexy Back to Manufacturing

Manufacturing has an image problem. To the general public, and most importantly to high school and college-aged youths, manufacturing work is perceived to be back-breaking, tedious, dirty, and dangerous. This perception is a major contributor to the “skills gap” in manufacturing, with companies struggling to find workers to fill jobs in the factory despite high unemployment rates.

  • August 14, 2015
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Data Security and Access Control: Can You Do It On Your Own?

If you have data, and everyone does, you have to be concerned about access – both enabling access to those who need the data and restricting access for those who do not. Traditionally, this access control is the responsibility of the IT department and they are continually challenged with increasing user needs and external threats.

  • July 10, 2015
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How Mobile Devices Are (And Will Be) Used In The Plant

The recent release of the Apple watch is sparking discussions about mobile technology and when or how it may impact the plant. It’s still early in the development cycle for “wearable” technology and its utility in the plant environment is dubious at best.

  • July 10, 2015
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Lean Manufacturing: Still Relevant?

The basis of Lean Manufacturing is the Toyota Production System that was refined at, well, Toyota and other Japanese manufacturing operations and was introduced to the West through the landmark book “The Machine that Changed the World” by Jim Womack and his team at MIT International Motor Vehicle Program. First published in 1990, the book’s subtitle was “The Story of Lean Production.”

  • April 24, 2015
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How to Identify a Project-Based ERP System

Most manufacturing, and the ERP systems that support it, are order-oriented. The primary tracking and data management focus is on individual work orders, customer orders or, in the case of flow manufacturing, line schedules. Multiple items and orders are connected only through bill-of-material relationships in planning and scheduling. Activities, schedules, and costs are not connected.

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