If you are in the business of manufacturing heavy equipment, you are fully aware of the size and complexity of products that you are required to produce. These could range from the most straightforward equipment to engineered-to-order items that have standardized and customized components. It is always useful for engineering and manufacture to work in tandem to ensure that you can deliver what the customer wants.
In some instances, customer requirements can change at a much later stage of the production, which means that you need the flexibility to keep working without wastage or compromising profitability. When your manufacturing setup has a connected solution to support, then it can help with the many challenges that you have to face. We give here the five capabilities your manufacturing solution requires to manage your business:
Engineering management: The collaboration between teams is a significant component in a heavy equipment company’s ability to meet customers’ needs in today’s competitive market situation. When you have the engineering management aspect as part of your discrete manufacturing solution, then keeping track of the changes required and the way these are resolved becomes easier. Today manufacturing solutions offer you the wherewithal to standardize and automate change management to a large extent. Which means that request to approval process flows smoothly and change request is converted to change order. ERP integration (to manage the manufacturing aspect) with PLM (product lifecycle management) to manage the engineering aspect, is the best way forward to maintain alignment and smooth workflow.
Configuration management: if you are looking for a way to meet requirements that customers have along with details that include both the unique and the standard, then configuration management is the way forward. When a customer wants a product, you start with the list of product parts based on the engineering constraints and put together a customer quote. The product configuration tool can interface with product engineering to help you configure, prices, and quote (CPQ) to help you establish an engineering bill of materials (EBOM). Often, you will have numerous revisions to the EBOM before it can be converted into the MBOM (manufacturing bill of materials). What is required here is that reliable configuration source data to ensure that errors are minimized. Furthermore, product configuration should sync with the financial aspects and the sales module so that your revenue planning and profit projections are realistic and accurate. The key to all these factors lies with the iterations in BOM being transferred to CPQ and thereon to production.
Project management: In many heavy equipment manufacturing businesses, the items produced are not standard but instead designed to customer specifications. In such instances, the project depends on engineering designs, quotes, EBOMs, and MBOMs to ensure that production goes smoothly. Other factors that are managed using this feature include quality control, budgeting, and profitability. Your manufacturing solution can help you move around elements in your production projects. You can also plan and track resources, milestones, and activities. Planning becomes more comfortable with visual tools that offer intuitive support to translate engineering and quote elements into the workflow for your projects. What is more, these can be saved as templates to be used for future projects. With the right discrete manufacturing solution, you can not only update changes that customers want but also track the impact it will have your resources and profitability. It can help you with earned value management or EVM.
Asset management: Assets are a big part of your manufacturing setup, and you need to have complete information on all of them. A framework that lets you collect data on your production equipment, machinery, fleets, facilities, and other assets can help you manage your assets. With support from analytic tools (ideally cloud-based) can help you manage your assets to get the best possible returns on them. Not only can you schedule preventive maintenance during slack times to ensure lesser disruption, you can also collect data to analyze the performance and maximize it. You can find out the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and track asset-related KPIs.
Asset service management: If your contract with your customers includes service during the warranty period, then this feature can help you track service financials. You will be able to schedule technicians to visit the customer site to undertake service. You can add value by analyzing the data you get from your asset service management functionality to help customers maximize their output from their equipment.
These five capabilities can help you maximize production, meet customer demands, track revenue, improve profitability, and achieve your long-term goals. The way forward is to optimize your heavy equipment manufacturing business by integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 with our manufacturing suite.
Maximize the potential of your heavy manufacturing business with ERP-PLM integration.