The Devil is in the Details

The Devil is in the Details

Manufacturing excellence is achieved by paying attention to the smallest detail.

When I was working in the shop we had an owner with a manufacturing management strategy that was obsessed with understanding and tracking each detail of the manufacturing process as well as making sure his employees were equally passionate about providing the detail needed for manufacturing excellence.
the devil is in the details estesgroup manufacturing blogThis started with the part quoting process that our shop received from our customers and prospects.  He insisted that his engineers/estimators provide all the detail related to what they would estimate it would take to manufacturer the part (i.e. each operation set-up/run time; w/work center, special comments, subassemblies with every nut/bolt/raw material, any outside processes; including the intended vendor that they were going to use for the OSV process, etc., etc.).  Of course the push back from the engineers/estimators on this manufacturing management strategy was this would take too much time; based on the number of quotes they were asked to get out as well as the percentage of quotes they received actual orders for. The owners response was always the same, do the detailed work now when you’re quoting the part, so when we get the order (which might be in 2 to 6 months after the quote was completed) no one would have to guess what their thought process was to arrive at the price they gave the customer/prospect.  The added bonus of breaking down the manufacturing process in detail during the quote process was you could then take an “Order Entry” person (using the Epicor Vantage, 9 or 10 system for ERP manufacturing solutions) have them create the order, link it to the quote and pull the manufacturing detail from the quote into the job so production could review it, change it if necessary, schedule it and create the shop paperwork. This was a highly efficient ERP manufacturing solution process to get work out to the shop in a timely manner.

With all the detail instructions now in the shop (via a Shop Traveler) for the production worker to understand specifically what they needed to manufacture (Vs having to review/interpret a part blue-print), they knew:

  1. The Date on when they need to start the part/job to get it out on time to meet the customer’s requested delivery date(s).
  2. What Material(s) (raw, finished, etc.) they need to pull from stock to make the part.
  3. What Operations they need to report their time against to make the part; as well as the machine/work area with estimated set-up/run times for each operation.
  4. The specific Quantity they had to make.

Any Outside Subcontract work necessary and where in the manufacturing process it needed to done.

Mistakes in manufacturing, as most business, is due to a lack of communication on the details of what’s needed to be done to deliver the product and or service.  In manufacturing the true value of providing the detail from the start of the quoting process through the reporting of actual time, materials, costs against the manufacturing process of the part is that it provides management the ultimate reason for why they purchased the Epicor 9 or 10 ERP system.  That is knowing what parts, type of work and customers they’re most profitable working on.  As soon as you know that information as a manufacturer you can guide your business to getting more of that work as well as get rid of the unprofitable customers/no margin work.

The manufacturing shop I worked at knew this information from their analysis of the Completed Job Report and Part History Report (which are standard reports in ERP manufacturing solutions provided in the Epicor Vantage, 9 and 10 systems). They used this information to implement a successful manufacturing management strategy and grow their business 10 fold in 5 years.

If your company would like to better understand the importance of the information (or lack of accurate information) on the Completed Job Report and/or Part History Report, let EstesGroup’s ERP manufacturing solutions share with you our experience in manufacturing management strategy and how to interpret this information to ensure the future success of your business in good/bad times.

Hint, the “Devil is in the Detail”.

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