Criticality of Visibility in Project-Based Manufacturing

Oct 26, 2018 7:21:48 AM

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How Critical is Visibility in the Different Phases of Project-Based Manufacturing?

In their day-to-day business, Project-based manufacturing companies have several things to consider and look into – from detailed tracking of projects, costs and tasks to ROI (Return on Investments). Therefore, visibility in such a complex environment plays a critical role. The success of a project-based manufacturing business starts from creating a good quotation. The quotation also known as estimation is getting accurate and timely product cost estimates of materials/parts/sub-manufacturing components from a sub-contractor or vendor. This could be a deal breaker or a deal maker as your customer’s time to market depends on it. A clear, straightforward quote can allow you to make an educated, informed decision for your next purchase as it gives a true picture of the costs to ensure expected margins. Modern tools and applications let you communicate with your sub-contractors or vendors to procure the material costs to be included in your quotation. In this phase, visibility into the history is very important as it helps calculate costs based on previous learning and best practices. Also, with visibility into real-time costs can help you turn the quote around to your customer quickly and estimate a fair profit margin that can be earned.

Once the quotation has been agreed upon, the execution phase starts, which can further be divided into – design, manufacturing, and installation.

Design phase  
The goal of this phase is to design the product and have a detailed understanding of the manufacturing and installation phase. As this phase entails very close involvement from the customer, it results in project change orders.

Project change orders entail many aspects – accurately managing resources, forecasting the number and capacity of engineers to be utilized. Having clear visibility helps in optimizing these resources and ensuring an on-time delivery. In some cases, we see that change orders come in without revised deadlines, which in turn makes the on-time delivery, impossible. Visibility, in such cases, minimizes risks and mitigates the possibility of something going wrong.

Manufacturing phase
The design phase moves to the manufacturing phase with final design approvals from the customer. In this phase, the product specifications are worked out in more detail. This phase takes into account two aspects – equipment utilization and resource utilization making it more complex than the design phase. Visibility into the efficiency of the equipment is a critical factor for the success of this phase and the project. Applications like preventive maintenance are available today that mitigate the risks of having any last-minute failures ensuring on-time delivery. Visibility would enable you to have data-driven conversations with your customers, in case there is a timeline challenge and the customer wants to go to market sooner than you estimated.

Installation phase
The installation phase involves many inventory items that the team uses for installation making visibility very crucial as it includes each item that aid in installation. Visibility enables forecasting ability of the costs and optimizes your inventory, preventing wastage.  This visibility is further powered by data. Data is fundamental to the three phases. Timesheets from the project engineers, resource and machine utilization until the installation phase, training post utilization – there is a sea of data that is available. It is important to have capabilities within an organization to bring all these data points together as it contains a wealth of strategic information that can be used for decision-making.

In a project-based manufacturing business, through enhanced visibility, manufacturers can gain several benefits in the form of resource and cost savings. Know more on how To-Increase’s Advanced Project Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations allows end-to-end Visibility in Project-Based Manufacturing, thereby improving productivity, efficiency, and the cost to profit ratio.

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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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