This is the second in our industry focus series in which we will highlight the customer successes in a specific industry or niche manufacturing segment. We’ll focus on the relevant ERP functionality that an industry or market requires and how an ERP solution can address the unique needs of each of those industries. For our second edition, we thought we would focus on a segment where Visibility has a long track record of success; custom converting machinery manufacturing.
This article should be of interest to any custom machinery manufacturing company; in particular make-to-order and engineer-to-order machinery manufacturers. The converting industry takes rolls of flat, thin materials and converts them into some other form. Examples of machines that perform these converting operations would be slitting, coating and laminating. Often times referred to as “web converting” these machines process the rolls of paper, film, rubber, plastic, laminate, foil and cloth into a finished or semi-finished good. Converting would be to use a converting machine to take a web of foil, cut it to specific sizes or lengths and then fold or seal the edges, creating a foil pouch or bag. Die cutting, adhesive coating, printing services and roll slitting machinery manufacturing companies can see great value and benefit in a deployment of an ERP system with specific industry depth.
So what are some of the key requirements of the converting machine manufacturing segment? We’ll focus on five functional areas that are of critical importance.
- The solution must be rooted in Engineer to Order (ETO); meaning that from an engineering perspective there must be robust support for project management, deep bills of material, engineering change control, Engineering Product Data Management (EPDM), document management, engineering workflow, revision control and material traceability.
- Quotation Processing. Converting machinery manufacturers require strong CRM and front-end quoting solutions. Often times, companies manage job quoting and estimating in offline spreadsheets. Those can now be replaced by native estimating functionality to support pricing, costing, margin, markup, version control, change orders, job profitability, numerous cost buckets and varying markup percentages by cost bucket, labor or material.
- Material Control. Running MRP by project or job, multi-level order pegging, purchasing specific to project tasks and project inventories, location control and warehouse management functionality are but a few examples of what custom converting machine manufacturers are looking for in an integrated ERP solution.
- Project Management and Accounting. Converting machinery companies often are managing long projects with their customers. To support that, built-in functions that support these long term engagements are key. ERP systems with this type of industry focus should deliver excellence in contract management, revenue recognition, progress payments, project performance, earned value, estimate at / to completion and project accounting dashboards and key performance indicators.
- Production Scheduling. These types of companies might also look for solutions to help them with improved production scheduling to ensure that the right combination of people, raw materials, machines and skills are available when needed for the specific machine in production. This aspect is also vital as companies may be involved in concurrent engineering; actively producing sections of the machine while still completing engineering design work on others. Having an ERP solution that supports the ability to release sections of the job or project by sections can produce some significant efficiency gains.
These are five areas of focus for this type of custom machinery manufacturer. As part of an overall ERP solution, they make up an important set of functions and pre-requisites for an ERP system implementation.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our second of many industry focus articles. Subscribe to our posts so that you will receive notifications on future industries!
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You can also learn more about the machine manufacturing industry and how our software serves that industry here.