In a fast paced society where things are constantly changing and moving on, one of the main challenges in the manufacturing process is the ability to efficiently launch a new or custom-built product. Normally such tasks require the involvement of teams from various business functions, such as the design engineers, manufacturing, procurement, costing, finance, sales, and possibly others.
How would you go about setting a product lifecycle process which is efficient, but also thorough enough to maintain a consistent quality on the products?
This is where a software solution can be crucial. At Progrex we have successfully delivered a number of software solutions customised to the organisation’s business process. The diagram below highlights some high-level areas which a workflow solution can improve.
However, the devil is in the detail, and that is where a solution tailored for the business can drastically improve the process. I believe that the secret for a successful software solution is to build it tightly knit around the business process, while keeping the functionality and process simple and easy:
- Capture technical details unique to your product.
- Organisations are set up differently, with specific processes, teams, and business functions. The solution should provide a fully tailored workflow process.
- No man is an island, and this also applies to software. It should integrate with the other existing software and data used by the organisation.
- The application should be scalable and malleable to keep up with organisational changes.
The secret for a successful software solution is to build it tightly knit around the business process, while keeping functionality and process simple and easy.
Our manufacturing customers are using our workflow solutions to be able to deliver bespoke engineering products. This is represented to the user as a simple browser-based electronic form called a ‘product request’, where the complexity is hidden under the bonnet and not in the interface.
The process above is a simplified example of how a workflow application helps in managing a product lifecycle process. The request form is like a virtual folder where all product information, and most importantly where the process information is stored. This is done with the help of features such as:
- A custom list of product fields.
- A set of workflow steps.
- Configurable user roles, teams, delegation functionality, and access control.
- Approval process for when changes need authorisation.
- Ability to loop back the previous workflow step for clarification.
- Keep communication within the request form rather than dispersed in mail boxes.
- Ability to measure waste and lead time in each step. This is very useful tool for management trying to improve efficiency of the process.
- Ability to automate and simplify certain processes, such as with product configuration, stock control, and price changes.
- Embedded real time reporting and dashboard for quick overview and prediction of bottlenecks.
It is clear to see how a tool like this can drastically improve the product life cycle process, especially for new products. It helps teams do their job more efficiently. It also helps management have better visibility of the process, and they are therefore able to constantly improve it.
Do get in touch if you want to learn more how Progrex IT Solutions Ltd can help your business. Call us on +44 1772 875513 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.