Earlier this year, the interactive digital session “Get the most out of your production process” took place. Marc van der Zon, Director of Sales & Marketing at Quinso, opened the session by saying, “Our goal is to take companies in the manufacturing industry on the path to the most efficient production process and help them become an intelligent manufacturer. Next to speak were Wouter Vervoort and Jurgen de Jong, Quinso experts from implementation and technology. Rens Konings of CoreDux, an organization that has already gone through the process, also shared his experience. After the plenary part, there was another interactive part. Some 20 professionals in the fields of supply chain, business consultancy, IT and logistics interacted here about optimizing your production process and the challenges. According to participants, it was a successful session with meaningful discussions. “By far the most interesting webinar I have attended in the last year,” René Kuipers, Business Analyst at MCB, reported to us after participating in the session. Wondering what he bases that on? We are happy to share the insights from the session with you in this blog.
3 trends in manufacturing process optimization
Wouter Vervoort has been involved in various supply chain and manufacturing issues since 2000, including for Oerlikon, HunterDouglas and CoreDux. From his practical experiences, he took us through the three trends he sees in optimizing the production process:
1. Customer determines
About a decade ago, we saw mostly mass production. Here the producer determined what the product would look like. In recent years, we have seen this shift: customers largely want to be able to determine what the product will look like. Wouter cited HunterDouglas, the world market leader in window coverings, as an example. You see there that every curtain is still just a little different and that customers these days even choose their own prints.
2. Greater visibility into production
We want more and more visibility into the running of production through vertical integration: from the planning to the machine and from the machine back to the planning. We also want to have all the numbers automated as much as possible so we can do good analysis on them. For example, you gain insight into which malfunctions take the most time, so you can more specifically resolve the malfunctions that have the most impact on the production process.
3. Ever-changing priorities
Customers want to determine not only what the product will look like, but also exactly when they want it. To take curtains again as an example: people are remodeling and have ordered curtains, but the remodeling is delayed or accelerated. Then they call the supplier, “Can it be delivered earlier or later? So priorities are constantly changing. Those new priorities have to go to the floor, the paperwork has to be checked, and then it has to go back up. And when all that is done? Then new priorities lie ahead. Of course, this can be done much more easily by using real-time data so that the right priorities can be set immediately.
How does Integrated Smart Manufacturing help respond to those trends?
Jurgen de Jong is Senior Integration Specialist at Quinso and has years of experience in the field of integration between topfloor and shopfloor. During the session, he explained the benefits of Quinso’s Integrated Smart Manufacturing (ISM) solution and how it helps to get the most out of your manufacturing process.
Seamless integration with SAP and the factory floor
Quinso’s Integrated Smart Manufacturing is a solution that uses SAP Manufacturing, Integration and Intelligence. The solution completely aligns with SAP’s standard, making ISM the intelligent link toward the factory floor. Data from the factory floor is translated into data suitable for SAP and vice versa. In this way, we are working toward a paperless factory.
Self-explaining user interface
Jurgen taught us that you can compare a user interface to a joke: if you have to explain it, it’s no good. So if you put a screen in front of an operator, the idea is that he should immediately see what he can do with it and the result of his work.
Deployable within weeks
ISM was built from Quinso’s experience with clients over the past few years. We saw that the process is somewhat similar for most customers within the manufacturing industry. All that experience has therefore been packaged into one solution. As a result, 80 percent of the functionality can be delivered in just a few weeks.
Flexible enough to embrace proprietary processes
Most organizations may work the same way, but there are always organization-specific processes. Because 80 percent is delivered in the first few weeks, there is ample time left after that for customer-specific processes. Quinso works according to the Scrum method, allowing the delivered product to be extended with new functionalities each time.
Do all these benefits sound too good to be true? According to Rens Konings, who is responsible for supply chain and business process management within CoreDux, not: ‘I can only confirm that it’s really all true. After going live, we had arranged people to provide support on the production floor, but within half an hour it was running like clockwork. The users find it easy to work with the interface and benefit greatly from it, which we also see in the reports, which have become much better because of it.’
Rens also offers some tips for companies looking to make the switch:
- Preparation is very important. Check with similar industries to see what they have learned and what it brings to them.
- Make sure you have the IT and process landscape clear beforehand. That way you know where potential bottlenecks are and can make adjustments in time.
- Don’t think in the technical details of the solution, but in the desired end result. The specific solution to achieve that end result then follows naturally.
- Start with the basics and only continue development after going live. As cliché as it sounds, the best ideas for increased usability come from real-world experience.
- Is your organization not used to change? Then think carefully about change management. Make sure you keep developing and evaluating so that you can move with the demand coming from the market.
After Rens talked about the successful implementation of ISM at CoreDux, participants were divided into two parallel sessions led by Wouter and Jurgen. There appeared to be considerable interest in exactly what ISM is, and participants enthusiastically participated in the discussion. Also discussed was the importance of having Master Data in order before starting ISM. In addition, participants recognized the desire to further digitize and move away from paper control.
Marc van der Zon closed the session with a brief summary: “So ISM helps you integrate the topfloor and shopfloor so you can deliver what was promised and on time. It is a solution that can be deployed in the short term and then expanded. The ultimate goal is a paperless shopfloor and the right interface can ensure rapid optimization. CoreDux is proof that what we do actually works in practice.’
It was with great pleasure that we organized this session and look back on relevant and meaningful substantive discussions. For the participants and for us. Therefore, we will definitely repeat this in the future. Do you want to be there next time? Please email email@example.com and you will receive an invitation to this in due course.
By the way, you can also listen and watch the stories of Wouter, Jurgen and Rens here. Learn more about ISM here. And would you like to know what Quinso’s Integrated Smart Manufacturing can do specifically for your organization? If so, contact Wouter directly at 06-23731994 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is happy to discuss it with you.