MANUFACTURING SOFTWARE BEST PRACTICES
BENCHMARKING DIVERSE INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing thought leaders and best in class users of manufacturing software applications have pioneered a rapidly growing trend of benchmarking and competitive assessment outside of the traditional discrete or process manufacturing industries. This type of external view delivers new and different (while still relevant) experiences, process results and objectives for replication which go well beyond the all too common and recirculated internal opinions which frequently come from staff based on their prior employment while at competitors, customers, or suppliers.
Whether external or internal industry comparisons are sought, manufacturing benchmarking and best practices analysis exercises seek quantifiable operating results and insight from other companies that can be replicated in house.
Basic manufacturing benchmarking assessments and manufacturing software best practice reviews should involve inspection of two types of competitors in order to generate the greatest insight and highest impact improvement opportunities.
The first competitor class is the traditional 'comparables'. These are the industry like companies similar to your own and often in the same geography and serving the same customer market. The first of the comparables generally include your competitors and similar firms you know well. Based on the competitive nature of the industry and the culture of your competitors, information exchange may be difficult. In the absence of competitor comparisons, you may be forced to learn from customers, suppliers or other third parties. The comparable companies are useful in determining if you are hitting the operational marks in all the core fundamental areas.
The 'best practices' companies exist within in your industry (or related industries) and often set the standard for excellence in the eyes and opinions of employees, customers, suppliers and competitors. This class of benchmarking companies is often less obvious and does not necessarily include competitors, however, they do establish performance expectations among your customers and prospects. Some of the best practice comparables may be large global companies that have resources you can not expect to match, however you may still be expected to achieve the performance standards that they establish. Benchmarking with best practice class companies should be done with measurable and constructive based goals in mind; rather than an effort to build a sense of respect or inadequacy by comparing yourself to a known brand. Its important to discover both the competitive strengths of the industry recognized brands as well as their weaknesses or those areas where your company may achieve superior performance. A balanced perspective is especially important when reviewing enterprise-wide opportunities and prioritizing business process improvement objectives.
CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS PROCESS OR YOUR BUSINESS SOFTWARE?
Most manufacturing software applications promote the implementation of best practices simply by adopting the business process workflows within the parameters of the application software. However, when not relative to best practices achievement, caution should be exercised before agreeing to change company procedure. For efficient or optimal business processes, it would be a significant mistake to change the process merely to accommodate inflexible manufacturing software applications. However, when the manufacturing system poses a gap relative to your business process, first verify the adequacy of the business process, and then determine whether it makes sense to modify the process or modify the manufacturing application software.
Manufacturing Best Practices
manufacturing software best practices, erp software, manufacturing benchmarks, CRM, baseline, business process improvement, accounting software, on-demand, saas