10 Most Commonly-Used Acronyms in Discrete Manufacturing

Mar 31, 2010 12:00:00 AM

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Much like streamlining a supply chain, discrete manufacturing is increasingly distilling industry terminology into acronyms such as PLM, CAD and CRM. However, as the industry continues to standardize acronyms, what they actually mean can become unclear.

To help understand the acronym-centric world of discrete manufacturing, here is a top 10 list of the most common acronyms used and, more importantly, what they mean:

1. Warehouse Management System (WMS) – WMS controls the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse and the processes of shipping, receiving, putaway and picking. The systems also direct and optimize stock put-away based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization.

2. Product Data Management (PDM) – PDM is the use of software and other tools to track and control product data. The data tracked usually includes the technical specifications of the product, specifications for manufacture and development, and the types of materials needed for production.

3. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) – PLM is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product through its conception, design, manufacture, service and finally disposal. PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems to provide a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.

4. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) – CAD represents the use of computer software technology for designing real and virtual objects. It can be applied across many different industries, including automotive, shipbuilding and aerospace.

5. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) – ERP solutions are integrated computer-based systems used to manage internal and external resources such as financial records, materials and human resources. The systems are built as a centralized database and consolidate all business operations into a uniform and enterprise-wide system across all channels of manufacturing.

6. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) – EAM manages the whole life of an organization’s physical assets for maximized value. It includes the design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and decommissioning of equipment and facilities. By managing assets across the facility, organizations can improve utilization and performance, reduce capital and asset-related costs and extend asset life.

7. Maintenance Repair and Operating Equipment (MRO) – MRO involves repairing mechanical or electrical device whether unforeseen, scheduled and preventative maintenance.

8. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – CRM is recognized as a strategy for managing interactions with clients and sales prospects. It involves using software technology to organize, automate and synchronize business processes, including marketing and sales.

9. Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) – This is the buyer-side counterpart of CRM, representing a set of tools, technologies and services that helps manage relationships with vendors. In turn, vendors use these tools to develop better relationships with their customers.

10. 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) – 3PL provides a one-stop service for outsourcing (third party) logistics services for part or all of their supply chain management functions. They typically specialize in integrated operation, warehousing and transportation services that can be scaled to customized needs based on market conditions and the demands.

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About Author
Luciano Cunha

Luciano Cunha

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) For Luciano, being responsible for To-Increase’s global sales and marketing means unleashing the company’s insight, innovation, and creativity to tell our story and help customers achieve their goals. On the road much of the time, he travels the world to meet with customers, understand their challenges and ambitions, and find the most effective ways to help them advance. Luciano develops and mentors our marketing and sales team, and creates strategies to help the To-Increase worldwide partner channel thrive and grow.
Making Customer Needs the Main Business Driver Luciano and his team have daily conversations with the To-Increase research and development organization to bring customers’ requirements and concerns into the road maps and design of our solutions. Luciano brings his insight to the marketing group to make sure the company’s communications resonate with customers and speak directly to their experience.
“I’m awed by customers’ innovative spirit in taking business management technology past its limits and by their generosity in letting us participate and empower them. I hope to transform our organization to become even more customer-centric than we are today. That means making more resources available to spend productive time with both our customers and partners, so we can ensure that we place into customer businesses effective solutions that fit the evolutionary stage of their operation and the way their people and processes work.”
Empowering a Global Channel
Because To-Increase only sells through partners, readying the channel to be successful in helping customers is a business-critical effort. Luciano aims to meet partners where their interests are. Partners who consider the relationship with To-Increase strategic can rely on our industry specialists to work with them as they plan their growth and serve customers. If partners prefer a less collaborative relationship, they still receive the rich To-Increase expertise and resources to ensure they win the business, perform a successful deployment, and retain a satisfied customer. In working with partners and their customers, Luciano brings to bear his experience of many years of creating successful, customer-focused business development and marketing strategies in many of the world’s countries and regions.
Enabling Customer Success in Challenging Business Environments
Looking into the near future, Luciano expects that customers will continue to expect To-Increase to help them make business sense of unfolding trends and technologies. For example, the internet of things (IoT) will thoroughly revolutionize manufacturing, engineering, and supply chains. Big data will be meaningful and valuable when decision-makers can use technology solutions to transform it into actionable business intelligence that supports key roles and business processes. Mobility will help companies become digital enterprises and move business processes forward from any location, at any time. Team To-Increase harnesses innovation to help customers translate the promise of these technologies into business results.
Before his current role, Luciano for several years was one of To-Increase’s global industry directors, responsible for our industry solutions. His experience also spans more than 17 years in IT and manufacturing management roles. These positions took him into various areas at IBM Brazil, serving as product manager for several software development companies, and included working in senior management at a manufacturing organization in the U.S.
Luciano is married with two young children. Away from work, he enjoys participating in a soccer class together with his son and daughter as well as taking relaxing walks in natural environments with his family.

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