Women Who Work Wonders In Manufacturing

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More than anything, I want to champion strong, smart and courageous women.  I polled far and wide to find such women in the manufacturing industry.  While most industries are split along the same fifty-fifty line of the population, manufacturing’s population of women is only about 25%.

From the shop floor employee to a c-level executive, let me introduce two women we are nominating for STEP awards in manufacturing:  Cielito Toledo Matienzo, and Elizabeth Pospick. Read more

TMAC Hosting Supply Chain Strategy Learn @ Lunch

TMAC Lunch and Learn TMAC and Arlington Chamber of Commerce Hosting Supply Chain Strategy Learn @ Lunch.

Supply Chain Optimization for Leaders featuring the Benefits and Approach to Optimizing Supply Chain on Wed., September 16, 2015 11:30 AM  – 1:30 pm.

The Supply Chain Optimization Initiative is based on establishing a comprehensive view of the Supply Chain and improving the visibility and responsiveness of all Tiers supporting the Supply Chain, whether it is supporting a small to mid-sized contract manufacturer or a large multi-national OEM … the concepts and tools are applicable.  Register now!

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Navision VS. NAV 2015 – Features Comparison

Businessman with tablet computer in office buildingQuick to implement and easy to use, Dynamics NAV is by far one of the best ERP solutions small and midsize businesses can opt for to gain greater control over financials and streamline sales, marketing, supply chain, manufacturing, and wholesale distribution operations.   And, this solution is used by 110,000 customers worldwide!

If you’re using an earlier version of NAV (formerly Navision) we recommend considering an upgrade to DynamicsNAV2015 in order to remain on a supported software version and benefit from enhanced capabilities that can help you increase productivity, improve performance, and reduce costs. Keep reading to find out more about the enhancements included in NAV 2015 and identify the features you’re currently missing. Read more

Clients First Business Solutions Acknowledged: 9 years on Bob Scott’s Insights: Top 100 VARs proves talent, and achievement.

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What adds success to an organization? More than anything visible, tangible passion: that sparkle in someone’s eyes when they speak about what they do, the excited lilt in someone’s speech when they explain a project.

This is the type of response I get when I speak to our managing director, Michael Conti, about Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions. When I asked him last week, “What’s your favorite part of Microsoft Dynamics NAV?” A big grin grew on his face saying, “I’ve never seen a software with stronger financial details. Not only that but it allows for different views of the company: home office versus satellite companies, and specific user views even in dealing with multi-country, multi-company implementations. The business accounting solution consolidates big data into very readable reports.” (By the way, come back in a few weeks for the case study). Read more

Dynamics AX ERP for Manufacturing

Dynamics AX Process, Formula, and Recipe Capabilities

When it comes to choosing formula, recipe, food, ERP software, Microsoft Dynamics AX is one of the most complex, powerful, agile yet simple business management solutions you can find. AX provides manufacturers with integrated functionality, allowing them to efficiently plan and control production and distribution, manage accounting, invoicing, and procurement operations, meet evolving customer demands, and comply with regulatory requirements.  (See how Merrick Pet Care has used Dynamics AX to grow into the second largest specialty pet food manufacturing company in the U.S.  – Yes, we are bragging!)

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Dynamics NAV Helps Keep the Railroad Moving

Dynamics NAV ERP Software

RCL Services Group, LLC (“Services”) a longtime Dynamics NAV user provides railroad signal construction and signal material integration services to the freight and passenger rail industry.  Services’ primary subsidiaries, Railroad Controls, LP, RCL Wiring, LP and RCL Burco, LP are the leaders in railroad signal construction and signal integration in the United States.   RCL Services Group’s Class 1 railroad customers like Union Pacific, and BNSF Railway very satisfied with the product and service delivery provided by RCL Services Group and Dynamics NAV is a big part of why RCL has been able to grow from 60 to 800 employees. Read more

Free MRO Webinar: Used Serviceable Material Strategies – The Future of Cost Effectiveness

Free MRO Webinar: Used Serviceable Material Strategies – The Future of Cost Effectiveness

Thursday, May 28, 12pm CST

Why Attend our Webinar?

According to Oliver Wyman the used serviceable material strategies together with proprietary technologies are expected to revolutionize the entire MRO industry. Strategic sourcing combined with advanced technologies have already helped numerous airlines to increase the availability of used serviceable materials by 13 percent within one year. A recent survey of airlines indicated that 84 percent of the participants considered their approach to used serviceable materials as “active,” successfully embracing new serviceable material strategies to increase profit margins without additional costs. Read more

manufacturing erp

Is a Manufacturing ERP Right For Your Small Business?

“I don’t need a manufacturing ERP system to run my business.” Probably, this was the first thought that crossed your mind after reading the title above. But before making a final decision, you should read the rest of this post. Read more

3D Printing

3D Printing and The Future of The MRO Industry

Manufacturing products without a factory would have seemed impossible a few years ago. However, the “impossible” is slowly taking shape thanks to additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. This relatively new technology is ready to deliver a small, “mobile” factory to every OEM, MRO, and repair shop. In fact, a number of businesses are embracing additive manufacturing as a temporary or permanent manufacturing solution, as you read these lines.

3D Printing: The Future Is Just Around the Corner  

Although 3D printing technology can be used by anyone, from regular people to industry giants, sustainable growth is expected to come from industrial applications, especially in the OEM and MRO sectors. That’s simply because only a large company has the financial power to design, craft, and test multiple prototypes to finally develop a product that customers will want to buy. But this is only half of the OEM-MRO equation. The other half relates to the impact additive manufacturing will have on the MRO industry.

Additive manufacturing technologies deliver incredible flexibility. To begin with, a MRO company will be able to develop “instant” spare parts and complete maintenance and repair tasks within hours. Imagine an airline looking for a MRO able to repair an airplane that has broken down unexpectedly. Instead of waiting days or even weeks for parts to arrive, the MRO can manufacture the parts needed outright and fix the airplane within several hours.

3D Printing

Manufacturing parts for scheduled maintenance and repairs or, more importantly, for unplanned events, with virtually no wasted materials, will help MROs reduce downtime and operating costs. Another major motivator for additive manufacturing technology adoption is the ability to produce hard-to-find spare parts or components that aren’t manufactured anymore.

The International Space Station’s 3D Print project is one edifying example of spare parts production using additive manufacturing. The first 3D printer was launched to the space station in September 2014. On November 24, 2014, the first “space” object was successfully manufactured using 3D printing technology. According to NASA officials, additive manufacturing is useful especially when spare parts aren’t available or when inventory is extremely expensive to ship. This technology brings several performance and efficiency advantages, regardless of whether a maintenance company or department is located on Mars or on Earth.

Additive manufacturing may seem too futuristic to become standard. However, the acceptance of this technology as a source of spare parts will change the course of MRO history. A maintenance company will be able not only to manufacture simple or complex parts and difficult-to-achieve geometries, as required; it can also develop prototypes to modify equipment and achieve quicker repair times.

Undoubtedly, the ability to manufacture parts on demand will affect inventory and logistics. MROs will no longer have to order spare parts from manufacturers and keep dozens of “just-in-case” replacement components on hand until the right clients come along. Whenever they need a product, they can just make it. This will probably cause a collapse of the entire supply chain, making part suppliers and even manufacturers vulnerable to extinction.

By eliminating the need for high-volume production, 3D printing shows its worth in terms of reducing production costs. Additionally, it increases part availability at the point of use and decreases shipping-, inventory-, and labor-related expenses. Although this brings bad news for a number of businesses, additive manufacturing will add new efficiencies to the operations of MROs and their clients. In conclusion, what additive manufacturing does is to dissolve the global supply chain, which costs MROs billions of dollars every year, re-assembling it as a local system, at a much lower cost.

In the following years, additive manufacturing will radically change the OEM and MRO environment. Analysts predict that the additive manufacturing market will grow to $16 billion by 2018. More and more companies, especially MROs, are expected to invest in 3D printers to produce parts as needed. But to achieve the forecasted outcomes, digital design software must evolve and more advanced and affordable scanners must be developed. On the other side, manufacturers must find a way to protect themselves against the negative consequences of this technology. For sure, 3D printing will tip the scales in someone’s favor. Who will be the winner? Only time will tell.

Applications for Profitable Projects



Food Manufacturing ERP

Process Manufacturing ERP: Recipes and Formulations

Process industries like food and beverage, cosmetics and specialty chemicals have had product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions for many years. These solutions rarely receive the same level of attention as those meant for discrete industries.

Things have however started changing in recent years as leading ERP manufacturers like Microsoft, through its Dynamics AX solution, focus on enabling organizations completely manage product definition, from concept to retirement.

Dynamics AX’s capabilities enable faster, more efficient and high quality manufacture of formulated products. A formulated product refers to a structure of items including the label, artwork, container or package, and the formula and recipe for a product. The product can be made in a continuous manner or in batches.

The recipe refers to the ingredients, equipment needed for production, procedures of combining the ingredients, and instructions on how to configure the equipment (e.g. a required mixing time and temperature).

The bill of materials of the process industry is the formula while the manufacturing route and related instructions is the recipe.

Process manufacturing organizations need a Process Manufacturing ERP at all stages. There are basic and specialist requirements at each stage. Microsoft Dynamics AX can be configured to manage process manufacturing requirements such as:

  • Rapid order processing for many customers and their options
  • Lot/Batch recall/traceability and management of FDA health and safety requirements
  • Own and Private label products
  • Business analytics and intelligence; from reporting to real-time events with alerting
  • Inventory planning, management and visibility
  • Product and process costing

Larger companies may require more sophisticated capabilities such as:

  • Transport and/or logistic optimization
  • Product serial number tracking
  • Advanced warehouse task management and Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) capability
  • Automated production data collection
  • Multiple units of measure capability such as catch-weight management for pricing/costing
  • Lab systems linked to quality inspection

Benefits of Process Manufacturing ERP

Whether you are looking to replace your existing spreadsheets or are in the process of re-evaluating your existing ERP, it’s important to focus on a solution that has a strong process manufacturing foundation. The ERP should support your unique requirements with minimum customization.

Dynamics AX can help to streamline your process manufacturing through:

Production Planning

Production planning provides stability for the details capacity and material plans by ensuring access to timely information, minimizing downtime of production runs, and maximizing resource utilization. Dynamics AX can develop short-, medium- and long-term plans at the plant across multiple locations by answering key questions for planners such as what should be made, how much should be made and where it should be made.

Product Costing

Product costing enables organizations to determine standard or estimated cost rollups. Cost rollups can be determined for a single product or specification, group products or multiple specifications, or for all process specifications for a single or multiple plants.

Materials Planning

Material planning helps managers to develop production plans based on demand, current inventory levels and existing replenishment. Materials planning can determine the quantity and date when packaging supplies and ingredients will be needed after a workable production plan is produced. Planning jobs can also be created and confirmed for later transfer to manufacturing jobs.

Recipe and Formula Management

Organizations can use recipe and formula management to manage the resources required to produce a product in every stage of the manufacturing process. The formula or recipe is the basic building block for the entire manufacturing process. The two define all the resources and steps required to produce raw materials, intermediate products, and resource and labor requirements.

Other benefits of process manufacturing ERP include:

  • Automating your chargeback validation process and helping to keep tabs of regulatory compliance requirements, manage fees and rebates, non-standard pricing and high data volumes.
  • Protect your customers and brand with easy-to-use traceability solutions that can track ingredients and products from suppliers to manufacturing end-users.
  • Make informed manufacturing decisions in real-time to improve delivery performance, contain costs, increase plant throughput and enhance quality.
  • Streamline inventory management and get accurate data in real time to ensure low manufacturing costs, quicker inventory turns, faster time to market and higher quality product.
  • Maximize efficiency and utilization of organization resources to meet market demand and extend the life of significant capital assets.

The above is an overview of recipes and formulations requirements in a process manufacturing ERP.

Watch our Process Manufacturing Video in Dynamics 365 Enterprise:

Dynamics 365 Process Manufacturing Video

Dynamics 365 Process Manufacturing Video