Manufacturing software is a system that is used to manage the manufacturing process.
A typical manufacturing software helps manage work orders, inventory, and production scheduling.
Manufacturing is more competitive today than ever before and companies are looking for smarter software solutions to manage their operations.
In this context, to help you get started on your digital transformation journey, we list here six manufacturing software solutions you should know about –
- Customer Relationship Management Software
CRM software is used to manage customer relationships. It’s a database that helps you keep track of customer information, including contact details (like email addresses and phone numbers), demographics, and other information that can be useful in maintaining client relations.
CRM systems also give you the ability to track specific orders and shipments for your customers. You can assign each order status (pending, approved, shipped) so that it’s easy for you to see which orders are still open and which have been completed.
- Enterprise Resource Planning Software
ERP is a software system that integrates all business processes in an organization to help manage and control the flow of information between departments and functions. These systems typically include accounting, manufacturing, purchasing, and supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR), and other back-office functions.
With ERP software you can:
- Merge different data sources into one centralized system to better understand what’s happening across your entire operation
- Transfer information between departments without having to rekey data each time
- Automatically create reports based on user-defined criteria
- Product Lifecycle Management Software
Product lifecycle management (PLM) is an essential tool for managing the entire lifecycle of a product, from its inception to when it goes out of production.
PLM helps manufacturers manage the generation and distribution of their products by enabling them to collaborate with other teams in real-time. For example, it can help designers communicate changes or new requests directly with manufacturing engineers and vice versa. This speeds up the product development process and results in increased quality.
- Quality Management System Software
Quality management system software (QMS) allows companies to manage the quality of their products from start to finish.
A QMS tracks materials used in manufacturing, records how long each step takes on the production line, and identifies any areas where improvements can be made. The result is a more efficient operation that produces higher-quality goods while also reducing costs and increasing profitability.
- Manufacturing Execution System Software
Manufacturing execution system software (MES) includes ways to monitor and control the manufacturing process, as well as data collection, analysis, and reporting.
MES can be used for:
- Improving quality, productivity, and efficiency
- Reducing costs through more efficient resource allocation in the production process
- Helping with compliance
- Bill of Materials Software
Bill of materials (BOM) management software is a tool that helps you create and manage your product’s bill of materials (BOM). It does this by allowing you to enter all the parts, assemblies, and subassemblies.
With these data points on hand, BOM software can help you:
- Find out what’s in your products based on their components
- Understand how much each component costs and whether it can be substituted for less expensive options
- Reduce errors due to typos or incorrect information
Now, that we explored major software solutions that every manufacturer needs, below are two examples of end-to-end manufacturing ERP software that are enabling manufacturing businesses to manage, optimize, and streamline operations –
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based platform that helps manufacturers manage their business processes.
- Quote, sales order and invoicing are well-streamlined
- Decent implementation time, if you have the right experts with you
- Expensive and requires additional software purchases for full functionality
- Limited in workflows and dashboard analytics customization
- Requires experts/consultants to make it work
Katana is a cloud-based manufacturing ERP platform that helps small and medium-sized manufacturers track their inventory, plan work orders, monitor equipment health, and track time spent on jobs. Software like Katana comes with features that help with basically everything involved in running a factory.
- Holistic manufacturing software focused on small and medium manufacturers
- Easy to set up and integrate with an extensive set of APIs
- Simple to track production across multiple facilities and easy to follow workflows
- Flexible approach to building products, variants, and bill of materials(BoM)
- Great knowledge center and good customer support
- A relatively new entrant in the manufacturing ERP domain but Katana huge traction among small and medium manufacturing businesses
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the different software solutions available for manufacturers. If you’re looking to take your company’s operations to the next level, now is the time to start exploring these options so that they can be implemented in your business.