Ultra Consultants recently was the featured guest at an SME webinar entitled Digital Transformation: Take Control of Your Factory with Technology.
A previous blog post entitled “The Digital Factory – Take Control of Your Shop Floor” looked at the digital factory and the five types of technology driving value.
This post considers how those technologies align with the IIoT and how to achieve shop floor digital transformation.
A truly integrated ERP solution in the digital factory relies on technology automating all aspects of the enterprise.
- The supply chain is streamlined by an SCM solution
- Production is automated by MES/MRP software
- Quality is monitored by a QMS
- Warehouse operations are aided by WMS
- Logistics are coordinated by an LMS
- Back office operations of sales and marketing are better coordinated with CRM solutions
- HR functions, including employee data and scheduling, are aided by HRIS
- Finance issues are integrated with FMS
- Engineering is powered by PLM software
How ERP Enables IIoT
ERP solutions work from a data warehouse and a workflow. The data warehouse stands as the starting point for all of the IIoT data flowing from the various automated solutions. ERP manages the transactions and the data of customer orders, purchase orders and manufacturing orders. It offers business intelligence, big data integration, and analytics for decision making and forecasting.
ERP moves to IIoT by using its primary database or the data warehouse of the ERP as the repository of information for IIoT. As the ERP is already structured and manages all transactions on the shop floor, it is a normal extension into MES to drive this data collection back to the ERP.
Therefore, the ERP should be the repository for all of this data.
Is Your Factory Ready for Digital Transformation?
As enterprises consider digital transformation via an ERP software selection process, the questions to answer are:
- Are we digitally enabled today?
- Are our processes lean, capable, and reliable?
- Do we have visible production systems?
- Do we have a team-based organization?
- Do we have a policy deployment process?
- Have competency frameworks been developed and introduced?
- Are we ready to change?
Digital Factory and The Shop Floor:
Here are the six steps that move enterprise toward digital transformation:
Step One: Map out and optimize existing processes as best as possible with the systems, equipment, and people in place today. At the same time, define the desired future state for the capabilities of the shop floor.
Step Two: Define where to go. Pick one of seven values that is most important to your organization and your customers. Identify any risks that need to be addressed. The seven values are:
- Accuracy of the quantity of the product produced
- Timeliness of production
- Quality of the product
- Cost of the product
- Equipment wear, uptime, managing maintenance costs
- Environment concerns/compliance with regulations
- Worker safety
Step Three: Develop diagrams of the future state of systems which will support the future vision of the shop floor capabilities.
Step Four: Determine which module or technology best achieves success:
Step Five: If you need to look at MES, determine which platform solution will be most successful as the foundation of your MES data collection activities.
Step Six: Begin the project, make plans, consult with experts and implement. Creating the ERP implementation plan includes collecting data, establishing opportunities, defining processes in time and data, training the core team, and defining future opportunities.
Of course, it isn’t that simple in a real-world scenario and that is where independent ERP consultants come in.
Technology is driving the digital transformation of the shop floor through ERP modules. It is these solutions that will help to improve manufacturing processes.
Considering the Digital Factory?
Don't go it alone. See 5 guidelines for choosing an ERP consultant.
Look back to learn more about the digital factory and the shop floor in the first post in our series entitled The Digital Factory – Take Control of Your Shop Floor”
Digital transformation is a critical subject at Ultra Consultants. Read Ultra’s blog about The Digital Transformation Journey: Align Technology and Processes Along the Way and ERP and Digital Transformation – Realizing Value Through Business Process Improvement.