Automation Tips for NetSuite Manufacturing Customers
November 4, 2019
Casey Rebman Walker
With trends like Digital transformation, Internet of Things (IoT), and Industry 4.0 leading the manufacturing industry, many discrete manufacturers are implementing technology and moving their operations to cloud-based business systems, like NetSuite. Moving to the cloud also means a shift from manual processes, spreadsheets, and legacy systems to automated systems. This isn’t a nice-to-have, it is mission critical for keeping up in a competitive, fast-moving industry.
Discrete manufacturers need access to real-time information to proactively manage operations and make quick decisions. By increasing visibility into your operations, you can reap the benefits of cost savings, faster production times and improved customer service. Mobile technology extends an ERP system like NetSuite for plant managers that want complete visibility to the shop floor.
Why mobile technology is critical
A recent Boston Consulting Market Group analysis predicts that roughly 63% of manufacturers believe applying technology to their operations will increase profitability over the next five years – this includes the automation of inventory management and self-optimizing production.
Simplifying the supply chain using barcodes and scanning to automate processes allows you to operate your business more efficiently with more visibility and control over your inventory even with the increased flow of raw materials, parts and components.
You should be automating:
Work Orders, Purchase Orders, Sales Orders – all orders
By electronically collecting, validating and entering data into NetSuite—and by directing employees to perform their tasks— a mobile solution like RF-SMART, enables NetSuite manufacturing customers to automate processes. Let's look at issuing components for a work order. By simply scanning the work order, RF-SMART guides the worker on the most efficient pick path to gather all necessary components needed to assemble their order.
Support for WMS capabilities means you can also take control of your advanced manufacturing operations by tracking assembled and manufactured goods. When a part or material is compromised, manufacturers need to be able to trace when it was used, what products are affected, and be able to inform the customers who received it.
Think beyond barcoding
To effectively manage your inventory, you will also want to leverage tools to further automate your operations:
Automation: If you are planning on investing in PLC-based manufacturing and MES systems, you need a way to get that data into NetSuite. RF-SMART's Automation module is built with our proven NetSuite integration to communicate and directly update NetSuite with material movement and inventory changes. You can easily customize workflows and set default parameters of NetSuite transactions for your 3rd party solutions. We’ve even added an Exception Handling capabilities so you can review, edit and resubmit transactions in the transaction history.
Packing & Shipping: Once the production process is complete, manufacturers need to quickly get product out the door. The shop floor and key suppliers should know order details and capacity requirements in real time. RF-SMART can support outbound EDI integration with 3rd Our Packing Station Solution provides your order fulfillment personnel with the right tools and user interface to maximize order and shipping accuracy - all in one screen. If you are working with small orders or individual items, you can reduce multiple touch-points with Mobile Pick Pack Ship. Using one mobile function, a single worker can complete the entire process straight from the device.
Work Center Reporting: Manufacturers need to continue to improve labor productivity, both to remain profitable and to provide the best customer service possible. But most companies are unaware of how productive their workers are or what it really costs to make their goods. RF-SMART records all labor activity within NetSuite so NetSuite’s dashboards can be used to measure productivity. Built in NetSuite’s Work module, RF-SMART’s Work Center Reporting dashboard provides an easy way report labor and quantities, giving you metrics to measure how productive your workers are.
NetSuite Automotive Aftermarket Parts Manufacturer
“We would recommend RF-SMART to anybody. It’s changed our business.”
J-TAPE manufactures specialist masking and detailing tape products for the automotive aftermarket. Shipping globally to manufacturers, body shops and distributors, JTAPE implemented RF-SMART to gain better control of their inventory.
Production schedules would dictate employee and inventory movement, resulting in incorrect inventory levels. J-Tape also needed structure and accuracy to their inventory stock count.
RF-SMART directs picks and ensures employees are using the correct materials. Now, replenishing inventory is timed correctly, stock purchasing is under control and wastage is reduced.
Assembly build time has decreased by 75% and staff are 20-30% more productive. Management now has real-time visibility into build completions in NetSuite. Stock counts are ten times easier now, compared to what we were doing before. “We now have 100% satisfaction and faith in our inventory.”
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