ERP Manufacturing-You’ve probably heard each of the “Seven Deadly Wastes” a thousand times. You’ve also probably put in some work to address the biggest areas of waste at your company, but have you been able to leverage your ERP platform to help in this area as well?
Let’s take a look at each of the wastes, and at what can be done to help by using ERP in lean manufacturing environments.
No. 1 – Transport Waste
Transport waste takes place when you move items or materials from one area to another without adding value to the goods customers will eventually receive. It occupies an operator’s skills, equipment, and vehicles without contributing to productive work.
To combat transport waste in your ERP, you’ll want to access tools that help regulate production and logistics, so there’s no needless movement of goods from one location to another. You’ll also want a system that lets you schedule and monitor the use of your transportation equipment and rolling inventory.
ERP can also help with going lean by giving instant visibility into inventory-level data. If you’re unable to see inventory levels, trends, and locations in your current ERP, there’s a good chance transport waste is at least partially to blame.
No. 2 – Inventory Waste
Raw materials, goods in production, and finished inventory sitting on shelves doesn’t do any good for your customers. The longer any of your materials sits, whether finished or not, the longer it takes for that good to produce a profit, therefore contributing to inventory waste.
Inventory waste is often a result of poor forecasting, bad production planning, and sub-optimal distribution practices. To overcome these challenges, the best ERP systems have built-in functionality for supporting just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing, ensuring that none of the means of production are ever in a state of non-movement. Functionality to look for includes tools that increase forecasting accuracy, set reorder points and min/max stock levels, and the availability of historical item data to track sales history.
No. 3 – Motion Waste
Waste of motion occurs when an individual or piece of equipment moves in any way that doesn’t add value to a product. Poor layout of a production facility causes employees to move in a way that wastes time and energy. Excessive wear and tear to machinery can also result from an inefficient layout, leading to further motion waste.
Powerful ERP platforms allow you to fine-tune your processes to incorporate production times, facilitating better distribution of equipment workload. They also provide the data context you need to work with the equipment suppliers, so you can ensure the machines you use are built and installed to work in the most efficient way possible.