The industry today is moving at a fast, unprecedented pace. Delivery windows are tighter than ever, and many companies are still recovering from supply chain shortages brought on by COVID-19. Couple these factors with the ongoing challenges food, CPG, and process manufacturers face — including complex regulatory requirements and the need to boost profits while controlling resources — and it becomes apparent that traditional tools just aren’t enough to meet today’s demands. Using plant management software will ensure your facility not only keeps up, but has the tools needed to accelerate performance.
Let's take a look at a few benefits of this tech and how it can significantly boost your ROI.
Saves Time and Eliminates Paper: Software allows you to save your data on any device, be it a phone, tablet, or PC. All your data then backs up to the cloud. This saves all team members considerable time since all information is available in one central location.
Improves Frequency of On-time Shipments: Delays can happen anywhere, from pre-op to packaging. After repeated shipment delays, customers may eventually switch to brands with more prompt deliveries.
Plant management software helps provide insight into all operations, so production runs smoothly, and all bottlenecks are identified and handled immediately, thus preventing long delays.
With it, you can create an auditable record of all forms that employees submit across the entire company. Any team members that need to review or sign off on documents for an audit can easily pull up necessary records and share them with regulatory agencies. This heavily cuts down on audit times and enhances compliance, thus making plants more productive. Moreover, it shaves off about 80% of the time spent on audit prep.
Decreases Product Holds: With product holds, items deviate from standards, but they may not necessarily be faulty. After inspection, they may prove to be acceptable. The problem is, inspecting them is time-consuming and may require a Faulty Product Report.
Plant management software enables virtual reports and offers root cause analysis so managers can save time and better identify what causes recurring holds. This means that the number of holds will then decrease, and production will run more smoothly.
Reduces Waste and Rework: Similar to product holds, plant management software helps identify any waste-related issues so you can address them promptly and prevent them in the future. This ensures the company has fewer products that need to be reworked or thrown out. In turn, you can expect a waste reduction of up to 7.5%.
Drives OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) for Your Plants: Downtime is often caused by equipment failure. It takes time to either repair or replace damaged parts, which ultimately translates to shipments delays and revenue loss.
Plant management software measures OEE, which applies advanced algorithms to identify the weakest points in your production line. This way, you can take action before they interrupt and suspend production and save up to 15% of your time.
Reduces Time in Sanitation/Pre-Op: Before production, sanitation and other pre-operational processes must be carried out to ensure all machines are running efficiently and no hazards are present. These checks are vital yet time-consuming. Instead of recording them on paper, teams can use mobile forms to save up to 20% of the time spent doing pre-op activities.
Reduces Over Pack and Over Fill: The more a company gives away, the more money they’re losing. Plant management software allows you to pinpoint the root causes of overfilling, including whether it’s occurring on a specific line. With these insights, you can see a decrease in overpacking and overfilling of up to 15%.
Enhances Supplier Compliance: Plant management software features a supplier portal that automates many communications. For example, if the supplier submitted incomplete documents, the system triggers a notification to inform them that they need to submit a revision. Any reviewing and signing off that operators and managers need to do can be done virtually for maximum efficiency.
Boosts Performance with User-friendly Analytics: Software allows you to glide through production dashboards easily so you can actively keep track of availability and performance. You'll then make faster and more accurate operational decisions that will boost productivity.
Ultimately, implementing technology will allow you to bridge the gap between where your plant is now and where you want it to be. It allows you to leverage the greatest assets you already have — your data and your people — by empowering everyone from plant-floor operators to leadership teams to make the best decisions with real-time information. Everyone gains visibility into the information they need to do their best, and as a result, overall operations begin to run smoother.
Eric Hansen is the VP of technical solutions for SafetyChain Software. Hansen has been designing, developing, delivering, and improving business optimization solutions in the health care, supply chain execution, and food and beverage manufacturing and distribution markets for over 20 years.