12 Crucial Transformations Rolled Product Manufacturers Need to Make to Survive

To Thrive in the Face of Global Competition, Rolled Product Manufacturers, Like Yours, Must Modernize Operations

Lack of Data is No Longer the Challenge, It’s Analyzing and Using the Data You Collect to Transform your Business

The Future Belongs to Digital Leaders

Your organization needs to encompass the data across the supply chain, inventory and production to optimize operations and meet customer expectations. Through automated processes, collecting and tracking accurate information at every step in the process—from purchasing through production and delivery—you can achieve the visibility that will build profits.

Whether you serve a handful of large accounts or hundreds of customers, they expect fast and accurate answers and will go to your competitor if you can’t deliver. With today’s affordable technology options, you can transform your operations more easily than you thought possible. In this eBook, we’ll help you understand the key elements involved in taking your business to a new level.

01: Put Centralized, Real-Time Inventory, Order Status and Schedules in the Hands of your Sales and Service Teams

Not having accurate inventory can have serious repercussions throughout your organization. Potential fines if your company can’t track a roll number for a recall or product failure. Lost credibility when “missing inventory” delays an order for your best customer. Microsoft Dynamics 365 reduces the risk of inaccurate inventory by providing the tools to view, report, and trace inventory at any point during the product lifecycle.

With inventory tracking features and specific roll management functionality, the history of each individual roll is traceable through every manufacturing step. Employees, from sales to shipping, see a real-time view of your inventory at any time from anywhere.

02: Support Better Customer Service Unified Business Management Systems

Customers are not as forgiving as they once were. When they call to check on order status, they expect an instant answer—not a call-back two hours later.

With centralized data that flows across the organization, everyone from sales reps to production managers can be on the same page. With visibility into orders as they are placed, the manufacturing schedule, and work in progress, your employees can make and meet promises. Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides a single-source experience that connects sales, service, manufacturing, planning, scheduling, order fulfillment, and purchasing.

03: Automate Alerts to Ensure Proactive Measures for At-Risk Orders

For rolled product manufacturers, restocking material can’t always happen overnight. An overlooked inventory shortage can become a production and customer service disaster.

By automating production floor management, supervisors receive alerts to potential problems with inventory, scheduling or machinery. With Microsoft Dynamics 365, your managers and operators have more flexibility to see and respond to changing production issues. Complete information allows managers to be proactive, keeping production moving to deliver the quality and turnaround that customers expect.

04: Monitor Machine Performance for Optimized Production and Proactive Maintenace

In a time when manufacturers are facing significant skills shortages on the shop floor, combined with ever-inflating customer expectations, using data to monitor and improve production is imperative.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides support for operators through task guides, workflows, and alerts. With guidance for daily production tasks such as starting jobs and reporting jobs as finished, production workers get up to speed quickly. Visibility into machine performance and maintenance allows managers and employees to fine tune assets for maximum productivity.

05: Accurately Track Product Profitability from End-to-End

To accurately track costs in rolled product manufacturing, your ERP system must be able to use multiple inventory dimensions, including dual units of measure, catch-weight calculations, packaging codes, variations to the main item, and lots.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides visibility into work in progress (WIP) and actual cost through production tracking and reporting. Managers can track detailed resource and throughput costs, including work center costs. Production to standard cost variations can be tracked to items for more accurate costing every step of the way.

06: Track Status and Location of Rolls at Every Step

The inability to track rolls across the product lifecycle is a constant and time-consuming challenge for manufacturers. The ERP and MES systems of the past weren’t designed to manage BOMs, routes, and complex SKU schemas.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365, manufacturers track and trace inventory with detailed dimensions across the inventory, warehouse, production, and transport processes. This level of detail supports multiple inventory control systems and inventory valuation methods including first in/first out (FIFO), standard cost, moving, and weighted average.

07: Put Real-Time Information in the Hands of Production Floor Workers and Managers

Today, employees at every level understand how technology and data can simplify their work and support decisions. Workers frustrated by outdated, disconnected systems aren’t good for business.

Dynamics 365 helps organizations achieve more by enabling people to find, sort, visualize, and use information easily with an intuitive, contextual user interface.

Process guidance empowers every employee do their job efficiently and effectively. With built-in intelligence, managers can anticipate future issues to coordinate people and assets more efficiently.

08: Manage Multiple Production Facilities and Warehouse from One Place

Forward-looking rolled product manufacturers understand that growth requires new ways of doing business to coordinate operations across multiple facilities.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365, advanced inbound algorithms use warehouse zones and replenishment strategies to optimize picking and shipping.

Advanced put away strategies and picking guidance simplify workflows and improve productivity. Custom work-flows allow manufacturers to fine tune production and warehouse management to meet unique business requirements. Material handling instructions based on the system support warehouse workers at every level of experience.

09: Monitor Key Performance Indicators for Continuous Production and Process Improvement

To respond proactively to supply chain interruptions or production problems, company leaders and managers need to be able to monitor the KPIs that drive the business. Instead of information buried in a monthly report, decision makers need real-time dashboards that leverage the company’s data to enable timely responses.

With dashboards, visual graphs and charts that focus on meaningful KPIs, managers can use data to improve operations and build better business processes. Advanced analytics empower managers to be more data driven and guide them to optimal outcomes.

10: Support Fast, Confident Decision-Making Based on Timely, Relevant, and Reliable Data

When managers have to look through multiple sets of data or the IT team needs to get involved to get answers, the company is at risk. Dynamics 365 uses in-memory business intelligence (BI) to give managers real-time operational insights to make informed decisions.

Managers today want to be able to find, sort, visualize, and dig into the details to look for answers. They understand the challenges of their department and can use data to make decisions that solve immediate problems and improve long-term operations. The centralized data and familiar tools of Dynamics 365 allow managers to capitalize on information to draw better insight out of data and convert it to intelligent action.

11: Centralize System and Data to Improve IT Efficiency

When the IT teams have to spend their time managing dozens of disconnected software applications, there is no time left to strategically plan for the future. In a digital world, those manufacturers not using technology for competitive advantage will be left behind.

Microsoft business management solutions, including cloud options, help rolled product manufacturers centralize data and coordinate operations.

Through agile platforms and solutions designed to change and adapt, IT teams can work with leadership and business analysts to define the current and future needs of the organization—and put the software in place to support them.

12: Implement Industry Best Practices to Remain Competitive and Streamline Processes

Changing business processes that are ingrained in the culture of the business is not easy. Which is why forward-looking manufacturers work with a technology partner who specializes in their industry when implementing a new business management system.

Business analysts with knowledge of system capabilities and rolled product manufacturing know how to define and automate processes that will improve productivity and build profits. Proactive change management training, combined with the intuitive user interface of Dynamics 365 help people use and master intelligent processes that coordinate people and assets more efficiently from purchasing through shipment.

The Digital Future for Rolled Product Manufacturers

In the late 1990s, manufacturers had to make big investments to avoid Y2K business interruption. Now these systems pose their own risk, with obsolete technology and spiraling support costs.

The time for digital transformation is here and forward-thinking companies are looking to solutions that can adapt for the long term. With business management solutions from Microsoft, like Dynamics 365 and Office 365, manufacturing companies like yours are putting familiar, adaptable, and powerful applications to work, improving productivity and building for the future.

Sikich understands the challenges of rolled product manufacturers. We support and implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 with best practices and analysis backed by extensive industry experience. Designed for your business: Sikich will help you design a business management solution that provides for the specific needs you face in your industry.

Adaptable, cost-effective, and easy to maintain. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is designed to adapt to changing business needs with low total cost of ownership (TCO).

Deployed on your terms. With architecture that makes it easier for you to implement in stages, you can to roll out Microsoft Dynamics 365 to new divisions before deploying it to the rest of the company. Choose cloud or on-premises to suit your specific needs.

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