Development Of Better Supply Chain Management Technologies essential
Challenges in Technology in Manufacturing Sector and its Solutions
There are two areas where I see technology help meet the challenges in Manufacturing, they are:
a. Visibility into the manufacturing process – While our manufacturing is not just in time, we have a need to understand where a batch is in the production cycle to help manage resources on the floor - such as equipment and labor. We utilize a manufacturing execution system to manage the batch process, but where I see an opportunity for great improvement is in the integration of labor information from ERP systems and the availability of manufacturing equipment in a simple and easy to understand dashboard that would allow planners and managers greater visibility.
b. Data sharing among manufacturers, 3rd party manufacturers’ logistics and point of sale to allow complete visibility into the supply.
c. One solution could be a tool that could aggregate manufacturing technology and logistical data into a simple to use tool.
Overcoming challenges to make job easier
As we become further dependent on electronic systems, their availability is critical. If we lose our ERP, MES, vision system, etc., we have to be able to restore them quickly or make them redundant to ensure they are always available. Technologies such as virtualization and snap shot backups have reduced this risk to our organization but we still have certain legacy systems that cannot take advantage of such technologies and are single points of failure.
Technologies giving competitive edge in the Manufacturing sector
Better integration with manufacturing execution systems, ERP, SCADA and calibration systems allowing for the seamless collection of data, and then a tool that would tap into this data to allow managers to make better decisions resulting in cost reductions with improved quality.
Technology trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment and Manufacturing Industry
In regulated manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, it would be serialization/e-pedigree. This is a hot space for us given that the US, Europe, Japan and some countries in Latin America are legislating rules around the ability to trace a pharmaceutical product from the point of its manufacture through distribution all the way down to the point of sale in an effort to reduce counterfeiting. This is a huge effort that requires data exchange standards to exist between manufacturers, 3rd party manufacturers’, logistics and pharmacies. For better supply chain management, technology is being developed that will allow for the standard data sharing among each member of the supply chain, things like 2-d barcodes, new packaging systems that track serial numbers and data exchanges that allow all in the supply chain to “trace” a serial number. This will be a competitive advantage for those who are first to market with this technology.