PROCESS ENGINEERING CONTROL

AND MANUFACTURING

​Digitise and Evolve your Business

Digital transformation for
process organisations

Digital transformation is making waves across every industry, and process based businesses are no exception.

Industry 4.0 will see every machine and device throughout your business connected by a common platform; one that analyses, learns, and derives value from the data produced to improve efficiency and move faster. Previously disparate physical systems, connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) and empowered by cognitive computing, will help businesses automate repetitive processes, and collaborate on big-picture issues.

Data, analytics, and machine learning are the driving forces behind Industry 4.0, and how well process businesses can harness these pillars of digital transformation will dictate how successfully they’re able to operate in this new era of industry.

The advancement of artificial intelligence is already changing the way businesses harvest data, manage operations, and generate forecasts. Centralising this data is increasing transparency and helping organisations better communicate and collaborate at both ends of their supply chain.

Managing and analysing the massive amounts of information generated by your operational processes and your customers is a mammoth task, and organisations need access to a sturdy set of business intelligence to make the most of the opportunity that big data represents.

Government statistics say – UK manufacturing is a tough place to be.

The UK currently ranks ninth ​in the world of largest industrial nations, producing £3.82 billion from its manufacturing industries in 2016 (most recent figures). In the UK, manufacturing makes up 11% of Gross Value Added income to the economy, 44% of total exports and directly employs 2.6 million people.

This page will help explain how investing in new technology, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Manufacturing, can help your business become part of this growth. In the 2019 Annual Manufacturing Report published by The Manufacturer and Hennik Research, it was reported that 81% of manufacturing companies are ready to invest in new digital technologies to boost productivity. Why can’t this be your company?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Manufacturing gives your company that power to streamline processes and adapt quickly to changing demands to give customers what they want, when they want it. This Microsoft software has been built and designed specifically to help businesses grow quicker and easier to run.​​

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Businesses ready to invest in digital

Process based organisations

Unlike discrete business models, the unique characteristics of process based businesses make them inherently more difficult to manage. The fact that the production process cannot be reversed, or easily adjusted in many situations, forces a more careful approach when planning product recipes and operations, which is why management require complex and customised business software solutions. 

It’s understandable that those outside the industry often feel you speak a different language, with yields, potencies, recipes, batches and continuous or semi-continuous processes often being heard, but it goes further than that.

As production environments become more modern, the immediate interpretation of data becomes more and more important. Businesses that are unable to process their data in real time are forced to rely on forecast targets for every batch. Dealing with a bad batch of raw materials is an inevitability in process manufacturing, and each item in such a batch needs to be accounted for. A company can lose a significant amount of income if it can’t do this effectively. 

A lot of businesses that do not have the aid of process ERP software have to enter data manually into spreadsheets. This is a less reliable method, as the entries may not be accurate due to human error, especially as keeping track of ingredient lot numbers that have been used in multiple finished products and sent to different places is a complex task. Many also require the ability to recall products at any time, such as those regulated by a government health agency, and trace any food safety issues.

A lot of businesses that do not have the aid of process ERP software have to enter data manually into spreadsheets. This is a less reliable method, as the entries may not be accurate due to human error, especially as keeping track of ingredient lot numbers that have been used in multiple finished products and sent to different places is a complex task. Many also require the ability to recall products at any time, such as those regulated by a government health agency, and trace any food safety issues.

Microsoft's - Industry 4.0 trends: the next 5 years

Are you ready for what's on the horizon?

Read this report from Gartner to learn how industry leaders are making their operations faster, smarter and more customisable by using:

 

  • Artificial intelligence (AI),
  • Industrial internet of things (IIoT),
  • Automated chatbots,
  • Blockchain,
  • 3D printing

How can ERP help your process organisation?

Inventory control is a critical feature of ERP software for process manufacturing – a company needs to maintain the correct amount of inventory in order to keep its customers satisfied. An ERP system for process based businesses displays the inventory counts needed to improve a business’s production planning. The inventory is calculated directly from sales orders, and any changes are automatically logged to prevent extra sales requests. An inventory control application can also provide information on item usage, balance, and inventory status.

ERP systems work in real time, and accounts for data instantly after entry. Virtually every function useful to a process manufacturer benefits from real time data. There is no need to use forecast production for each batch as the system provides up-to-the-minute information and reporting.

 Forwards and backwards lot tracking is feasible with ERP software, and all information is traced from the start to the end of the process. Lot traceability improves quality control and quality assurance, allowing manufacturers to quarantine ingredients and products until they are approved by inspection.

With an ERP system, there is one source of data, no matter how many applications a business decides to use. This saves a lot of time when analysing a company’s finances, as well as the need to perform data searches in different places and the risk of dual data entry. Your company’s data will be up-to-the-minute and more accurate, and therefore more useful.

We help them transform their business

Take advantage of this new innovation era
with Microsoft Dynamics 365

The increasing accessibility of digital tools, such as cloud storage, software, and IoT sensors, is making it more possible than ever to create ‘smart factories’ where devices, assets, and resources all over the world can sync together to make the industry more productive.  

Businesses of all types – from process to discrete, batch to repetitive – can benefit from digitally overhauling their operations.

Click the headings below to see how Dynamics 365 can help maximise productivity across the board: 

Optimise supply chain operations

With so many organisations involved across a supply chain, it can be challenging to gain a complete, real-time overview of operations end-to-end. Data from sales, suppliers, order fulfilment, product performance, and customer service all need to be factored in when working to improve supply chain processes. 

The benefits of employing an intelligent system to manage supply chain operations are extensive. By combining your business data, supply chain data, and public data like maps and weather forecasts together in a system imbued with artificial intelligence and machine learning, manufacturers can better adapt to changes and developments. This can help cut down on wasted time and resources.  

Implementing a holistic system which acts as a ‘single source of truth‘ can help create more accurate schedules, forecasts, and budgets, which in turn power a more efficient business 

A cloud-based, mobile-enabled solution like Dynamics 365 gives the right people – from those working the supply chain up to key decision-makers – instant access to real-time information wherever they are, so issues can be addressed before they significantly impact business.

Streamlining asset management

A companies assets are a crucial part of their business, and as the idea of the connected factory becomes a reality, companies can better manage their equipment to gain greater value.  

Dynamics 365 allows businesses to closely monitor their apparatus by processing and gleaning data in real-time. Performance, usage, and machine life-cycle information can be viewed anytime, anywhere, and any issues can be resolved remotely to maximise up-time 

By combining an innovative ERP solution like Dynamics 365 with IoT-ready parts, businesses can keep an even closer eye on their assets, spot broken or inefficient components, and use collected data to develop more efficient equipment.

Enhance innovation

In any type of organisation, time is money, and businesses are under constant pressure to shorten production cycles and get products to market more quickly. 

Dynamics 365 offers greater insight into business operations, highlighting areas that can be optimised, processes that can be shortened, and costs that can be cut. With product, customer, and performance data being analysed in real-time, organisations have more freedom and scope to improve the way they work, and react to changes faster 

Having data on hand to able to innovate and reinvent not only empowers employees, but also shortens the time to market. Improved collaborations at the research and development stage, smarter analysis of costings and resources, and streamlined production processes will allow you to turn around new products faster, and capitalise on trends and developments ahead of your competitors.

Improve customer experiences

In recent years, technology has enabled businesses to connect and communicate with their customers, and vice versa, in new ways. As a result, customer expectations have risen, and companies need to be able to meet those expectations by delivering an outstanding service, keeping their customers informed, and deal with any issues in a fast and decisive fashion.

Having all your business and customer data in a single system means that your customer service agents can find the right information easily, and can respond to queries regarding order status or delivery as quickly as possible.

Offering great experiences throughout the organisations process cements your competency, and builds loyalty and trust by solving problems before they impact your customers.

Dynamics 365’s centralised, intelligent platform allows organisations the agility to respond and adapt to changes at any point in the cycle. Users can push through rush orders from the initial sales order, update or edit orders throughout the production process, utilise multi-level production orders to simplify make or buy decisions, and run ‘what-if’ scenarios to better prepare for changes and predict their effects.

According to Gartner’s CX Pyramid, predicting the needs of customers, and delivering solutions before they even feel the impact of any issues is the key to taking your customer experience game from good to great.

By using Dynamics 365’s predictive analysis and intelligent reporting, you can tailor your services to each customer based on their previous purchases and activity, allowing you to make your customers’ lives easier, and become truly invaluable.

Digitise your operations

By 2020, 60% of all process based business supply chains will have benefited from digital transformation, with the remaining half being held back by outdated business models or operational processes.

Industry 4.0 will change the way things are made across the world by allowing every single cog in your industry to connect, communicate, and share information. As these industries move towards a more productive, agile, data-driven future, businesses who embrace this opportunity to revamp their systems will be the most successful. Though the prospect of throwing out the procedures that have become ingrained in the day-to-day running of the business may seem overwhelming in the short-term, the benefits of digitisation can transform businesses in a more efficient, profitable, future-proofed organisation.

Dynamics 365 is an intuitive, cloud-hosted, intelligent solution which offers users a single platform through which to manage their entire operations, making collaboration easier, processes faster, and reporting more pragmatic, while enabling businesses to put customer engagement at the forefront of their business.

Through digitisation with Dynamics 365, organisations can find automated digital solutions to practical issues, such as inventory monitoring, quality control, and equipment maintenance.

Make better use of business data

The rise of the IoT is not only allowing organisations to better sync their equipment and processes, it’s also generating monumental amounts of data. How businesses use that data is crucial to their success in the new age of industry.

According to a recent report almost 60% of process based business currently use upwards of five separate systems to store and manage their financial data. It’s near-impossible to see the full picture when you don’t have all the puzzle pieces in one place, and centralising your business data will help produce a clearer picture of the health of your organisation.

Combining this centralised intelligence with Dynamics 365’s built-in AI capabilities helps organisations derive actionable insights from their data, make predictions based on previous actions and events, and graduate from being reactive to proactive.

The app enables organisations to forecast and plan more accurately, and predict demand depending on data including seasons and market trends. These predictions can be used to optimise output, ensuring levels match customer demand and eliminate wasted resources wherever possible.

Boost profitability

The whole point of improving processes, streamlining workflows, and boosting customer loyalty is, of course, to make your business more profitable.

By providing organisations with the tools and intelligence to make their services better, faster, and more customer-focused, Dynamics 365 enables users to eliminate waste, reduce errors, and provide more value to their customers; all of which will result in higher profits, and a healthier future.

Customer success in their words

Our business is a unique one, which requires the management of a high volume of technical
information, worldwide deliveries and large quantities of metals varying from titanium to stainless steel to copper.

The team at Azzure IT did a superb job in providing us with an ERP system that works to our own, specific needs.

Independent Forgings & Alloys

Prepare for Industry 4.0 with a business health check

Join other engineering and manufacturing businesses who trust Azzure IT and Microsoft Dynamics, to help streamline their processes, complete the form below and we’ll be in touch. 

Microsoft’s – Industry 4.0 trends: the next 5 years

Are you ready for what’s on the horizon?

Read this report from Gartner to learn how industry leaders are making their operations faster, smarter and more customisable by using:

 

  • Artificial intelligence (AI),
  • Industrial internet of things (IIoT),
  • Automated chatbots,
  • Blockchain,
  • 3D printing

© 2019 Azzure IT
Azzure IT, 10 Europa View, Sheffield Business Park, Sheffield, S9 1XH, UK

t. 0345 467 9950
e. info@azzure-it.com