4 Tips for Adopting New Software Practices as a Manufacturing Company
Like most other kinds of businesses, manufacturing companies use a diverse range of software to facilitate their daily operations.
Of course, in a tech-centric industry where machinery and engineering are central skillsets, it makes sense that manufacturers would not only be using software but standing at the cutting edge of software development within their respective industries.
However, not all manufacturers are the same, and there is a stark contrast between large multi-national manufacturing firms and small, local suppliers.
If your company operates somewhere on the lower half of the industry spectrum and is still looking for ways to improve, here are few tips you can use to adopt new software tools and processes:
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1. Examine Currently Available Features
Before you rush into switching software altogether, it’s usually worthwhile to see if the program you’re already using has the features or capabilities you’re looking for.
For example, some manufacturers don’t know that it’s possible to use a stencil for pcb design within Altium.
Simple discoveries about your current software like this can help you completely revamp your creative process and drive forward both innovation and productivity.
2. Speak with an Expert User or Software Consultant
Sometimes, you can find applicable solutions for your workflow just by having an hour-long conversation with someone who has extensive experience in using the software that your company uses.
During the software consultation, you could explain your process to them, and they may be able to help you find features that would create faster or more convenient processes within your software administration duties.
3. Invest in Employee Training Time
While you should certainly know how to use your company’s software without third-party assistance, so should the employees who are tasked with operating those interfaces.
Give your supervisors and software operators at least two weeks to become familiar with the core functionality of the programs they’re working with.
Beyond that point, it’s good to practice ongoing monitoring to ensure your software operators are performing optimally.
4. Work with a Custom Software Developer
Using pre-made software can be sufficient, but it’s best to go with an enterprise version that allows for a degree of customization.
There really are no one-size-fits-all solutions in the complex field of manufacturing.
Some commercial enterprise software will allow for this kind of customization with built-in features, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a tool that was specially designed for your company – it can be one that has been modified to suit your needs within the range of settings that can be adjusted.
The Right Software Can Make or Break Your Company
Ultimately, the software you choose to base your business around and the way you operate it will have a direct impact on your productivity, accuracy, and efficiency as a manufacturer.
There have been cases of manufacturers taking software reliability for granted and not having any alternatives or backups in place to limit their dependency.
If the software you’re using suddenly stops working, what kind of effect would that have on your business?
That’s an important question to pose for the sake of developing a corporate contingency plan.