Small- and medium-sized businesses operating in the manufacturing sector often find themselves in need of effective and efficient timekeeping solutions for a myriad of reasons. It’s no secret that managing a factory, plant or job shop requires a tremendous amount of coordination to keep operations running smoothly, and scheduling and managing workers shouldn’t slow down this process. From shift scheduling and time keeping/tracking features to avoiding excessive absences with time and attendance protocols, the right software in these environments can make all the difference.

Into this foray has come the MES (Manufacturing Execution System), a computerized solution used in manufacturing to track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished goods – in other words, the whole journey. Helping to establish simplified and streamlined manufacturing processes while providing real-time feedback of requirement changes, an MES can deliver information at a single source, thus:

  • Reducing waste, re-work and scrap (while quickening setup times)
  • More accurately capturing cost information (labor, scrap, downtime, tooling, et al.)
  • Increasing uptime
  • Incorporating paperless workflow activities

In a proverbial nutshell, an MES provides information to help decision-makers in the manufacturing sector understand how conditions currently operating on the plant/shop floor can be optimized – to improve output of production, enable the control of multiple production process elements (personnel/machines/support devices) and much more.

SFC (Shop Floor Control), MRP (Material Requirements Planning) and MPS (Master Production Schedule)

Before we delve into why Insight Works’ Shop Floor Insight add-on is an excellent MES option for small- and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing arena, there are three other systems worth mentioning which parallel the effectiveness of a Manufacturing Execution System in these environments: SFC (Shop Floor Control), MRP (Material Requirements Planning) and MPS (Master Production Schedule).

We’re mentioning this because Shop Floor Insight boasts capabilities that exhibit inherent elements of these systems.

Shop Floor Control is a software system consisting of methods and tools used to track, schedule and report on the progress of work in a manufacturing plant, and generally evaluate the portion of an order of operation that has been completed. These systems typically analyze materials status, machine usage, labor and other resources to report on work-in-process.

Material Requirements Planning refers to a system that calculates the materials and components needed to manufacture a product, consisting of three primary steps: Taking inventory of the materials/components on hand, identifying which additional ones are needed and scheduling their production or purchase.

A Master Production Schedule is a plan for individual commodities to be produced in each time period such as production, staffing, inventory and more.

An MES That Works the Way You Do: Shop Floor Insight

If you are a regular reader of our blogs or are one of our myriad of valued customers, you already know about Shop Floor Insight, an add-on for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central that significantly reduces the labor costs and entry errors associated with manual data entry. Now being touted as a Manufacturing Execution System that’s perfect for small- and medium-sized businesses, Shop Floor Insight is the go-to solution for small and midsize make-to-stock (MTS), make-to-order (MTO) or assemble-to-order (ATO) manufacturers who are struggling to track shop floor data.

While entry-level accounting software packages are not designed to manage production on the shop floor and spreadsheets can quickly become messy and complicated, Shop Floor Insight, as an MES, represents an intuitive interface to help you manage quite a lot.

  • Data collection and acquisition for better decision-making
  • Built-in drawing document management
  • Graphical dispatch list for streamlining scheduling
  • Pre-assigned tasks and jobs to manage staff
  • Much more

To learn all about the ways Shop Floor Insight can transform your operations as an incredibly effective Manufacturing Execution System, contact Insight Works or click here.