by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : February 2011
Technologies & Techniques Automation & Integration Builds Effective Business eRP, Mis: Powerful Tools Differentiate great Companies from good ones By David Taylor ning (ERP) systems because they understand the importance of connecting all their business pieces, processes and people together through automation. These automated systems track all pertinent data, from the initial estimates through production through cash receipt, keeping all transactional data in a central database. Informa- tion only needs to be entered once and then flows throughout the business. In doing so, MIS/ERP systems eliminate manual touches from each step of the process, while enabling employees to have real-time access to information, so they can make more effective business-critical decisions. These systems automatically generate the necessary transactions, paperwork and data with greater accuracy-–ultimately lead- ing to healthy operations and lower overhead costs. EstImAtIng & QuotIng Estimating and quoting should be done directly in your sys- tem software to get the full advantages from your investment. A cornerstone of integrated, state-of-the-art, print and pack- aging industry ERP/MIS software is the ability to address the estimating and quoting needs of companies, directly in the system. This means that even with complex needs; such as short run, long run or contract estimating requirements, the software can compile accurate, profitable pricing estimates, and configure them in such a way that they can be presented as professional quotes to clients and prospects-–quotes that help them win business. World class systems enable compa- nies to perform this activity without the need to augment their system’s capabilities with tools, such as spreadsheets, word processing, or the like. These types of systems enable the information used to generate the initial sales estimates to automatically flow through to quoting, then production estimating, scheduling and costing- --eliminating manual rework, reducing errors, saving costs and decreasing delays in business operations. They also ensure that companies can easily compare sales estimates to actual costs, al- lowing businesses to quickly and easily see which jobs are the most and least profitable for their organizations. Once companies can leverage their data in this way, it en- ables them to make mean- ingful changes in the way they do business, so that they can become more profitable, such as raising prices to correct projected unprofitable jobs or deciding to focus exclusively on winning and producing the most profitable business. Go with the Flow-–automate production planning and management. The move should be driven by the estimat- ing data in your system. From streamlining and automating information flow, to estimating and production, the additional advantages of integration start to compound via automated production planning. By automating your production plan- ning, you ensure that all estimates approved in your system are planned for production in the most cost-effective means, while satisfying client deadlines. And, with sophisticated systems, schedules can be configured based on goals, such as lowest cost, client priorities, or combinations of several variables; thereby allowing you to optimize the productivity of your equipment and your personnel, while maintaining ac- curate order completion and on-time deliveries to clients. A system like this will also enable you to project, based on past performance, which jobs and repeat contracts can be produced profitably, so you can make adjustments to optimize your business performance. As the information from estimates flows through production, all costs in the produc- tion process are captured--costs such as what you paid for the materials to produce each job, how many hours each job actually took and how much waste was generated to pro- duce each job. This allows organizations to quickly see and understand actual performance against estimates, a task that is nearly impossible to reconcile manually, consistently and accurately. PErformAncE DAtA Planning production automatically, so your skilled profes- sionals can use their expertise to further optimize and man- age schedules, instead of compiling them manually, is a great start on the road to improved business performance. Along with automated production planning, companies should al- ways consider maximizing their investment by automating the capture and collection of what gets produced against those plans. The ability to accurately and cost effectively collect and analyze shop floor performance data, provides the means for organizations to better manage it. By comparing actual per- formance against plans, companies can quickly see where savings can occur. A fully integrated software system will also have automated shop floor data collection capabilities to capture and track produced items, based on machine counts. These systems should have bar code capabilities to eliminate manual data entry, allowing companies to quickly and easily capture finished goods inventory through handheld scanning.This helps companies understand how much of each item was produced and lets them quickly and easily track and locate it, anywhere in the company. As this data is captured, it enables employees and, if desired, customers to be able to check the production status of all orders. A job’s profit margin is a terrible thing to waste---manage your inventory and understand your materials costs at the time of consumption. With rapidly changing materials costs, even yesterday ’s most profitable job for a long-time client might not bring good results to an organization’s bottom line today, especially if the team doesn’t completely understand the costs to produce the work. In today ’s marketplace, volatile materials costs and the uncertainty of when companies may actually consume the materials they have on hand for produc- tion, can have a significant impact on profit margins. Today ’s state-of-the-art systems provide an ability to ripple a material’s price change through the system and see the potential impact. Some companies carry raw materials for long times and don’t know when they consume them, what their costs were. With a fully integrated management system, companies instantly know how much material they have on hand and the exact price they paid for it. They can easily understand when they will start consuming materials at a dif- Automatic scheduling capabilities can replace manual processes and planning boards with integrated and sophisticated capabilities to optimize your production plans and improve your company’s performance. even complex estimates can be done directly in the system, producing fast, accurate and profitable results for your business. www.flexography.org FeBRuARy 2011 FLeXO 35 FLX_Feb11_mech.indd 35 2/16/11 8:50 AM
Sustainable Winter 2011