100 Shades of Grey in manufacturing
I have been doing manufacturing sourcing, vendor and product development most of my career. I have noticed this one serious problem of manufacturers working on grey-scale. None of my manufacturers would know what is their annual capacity, how much would each machine/operators earns for them. No one seems to know exactly how much it takes to produce. Not to blame any one its just no one want to invest into technology for less glamorous industry.
Most of manufactures would collect data from machines and operator through hard copy and compile it into spread sheets or rarely into rigid, unproductive ERP. There was no efficient way of capturing data that could give critical alert, or provide data upon which once could make data-driven decision. SAP/ERP would do no good, too expensive, need a nerd to use them, ugly and constrained to desktops.
Things get worse where single person oversees all the department,and it becomes completely disastrous at time. Most of manufacturers try approaching local developers for ERP which either goes so wrong, resisted by user and system becomes a monster to implement. If fortunately everything goes well, its just matter of time the whole system become obsolete. This whole rigidity of using ERP turns off management and rendering them to decide on grey scale.
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