The roles of manufacturers and warehouse operators are becoming more complex as supply chains become more integrated. Supply chain disruptions are also driving the need for greater data accuracy and collaboration among supply chain partners. Fortunately, more secure, streamlined, and accurate data systems can help, driving operational improvements and greater data accuracy.
Specifically, evolving supply chain demands are “driving a need to sync manufacturing execution system (MES) and warehouse management system (WMS) solutions so a gap doesn’t hinder real-time knowledge over material flow,” Logistics Management describes. Only then can these organizations achieve a technology infrastructure that supports real readiness in the face of modern supply chain and manufacturing disruptions.
Organizational leaders must adopt a single, trustworthy system of record that integrates with and supports modern MES, WMS, and electronic data interchange (EDI) software. With these integrated systems, manufacturers and warehouse operators can achieve a real-time, 360-degree view data across their operations and partner-connected supply chains. But they can also process this data to drive operational advantages, including:
- accurate, real-time inventory tracking
- actionable key performance data from machines and equipment
- labor and process efficiencies through automation and optimization
- production and quality forecasting and analysis
Let’s take a closer look at how enabling and integrating a single system of record (SOR) supports the next generation of manufacturing and warehouse operations.
Creating Close Connections Across Modern Supply Chains
Manufacturers, warehouse operators, and other supply chain partners are working to optimize the way both data and materials flow between them. Success in these areas depends on their own individual abilities to visualize product, materials, and operational data in real-time and optimize processes based on those results.
But even as these organizations digitize their operations, they are struggling to deploy new supply chain technologies sufficiently and effectively. For example, at least 70% of manufacturers are struggling with pilots of digital solutions rather than implementing them on a permanent strategic basis, McKinsey reports. “In fact, most organizations find themselves stuck … with no clear approach for quickly scaling up innovations across the manufacturing network.”
Real-time operational data has great potential value to these organizations in terms of optimization, accuracy, and security. This data also has great value to their supply chain partners. Even so, “Huge torrents of data from sensors and manufacturing processes have … no value at all if companies cannot organize that data, search it, analyze it and use it to build better products or processes,” as Forbes describes.
The Next-Generation Advantages of a Single System of Record
Fortunately, implementing a single system of record — a reliable, configurable environment for all real-time operational and product data within a manufacturing or warehouse operation — can support greater efficiency and scalability for an organization, as well as interoperability with supply chain partners.
Leading solutions integrate with manufacturers’ existing technologies — including MES, WMS, and EDI software, among others — to deliver these benefits. They also seamlessly connect with external systems to enable the secure sharing of supply chain data. In these ways, data and insights become “instantly accessible, with comprehensive data lineage, so that they can track everything that needs to be tracked, be it components, parts or production data,” as Forbes describes.
What are the reasons your manufacturing operation needs a single system of record? Here are three ways a single system or record can drive value for modern manufactures and warehouse operators.
1. Optimize data accuracy for improved visibility and control.
Operational leaders can access real-time information about any process, product, or worker, empowering them to optimize production and their use of personnel. A single system of record can also integrate with barcode or IoT solutions, so that all assets and facility elements are taken into account.
Additionally, manufacturers can streamline documentation, sharing, and compliance, both internally and when exchanging data with partners. Accurate shared information helps operational leaders make informed decisions, gain control of business processes, and track end-to-end production — from the input of raw materials to the output of finished goods.
2. Streamline processes and workflows for greater scalability.
This accessibility to accurate data also empowers leaders to optimize scheduling, equipment performance, and product quality, among other processes. Thanks to integrations with MES and WMS, manufacturers and warehouse leaders can automate some aspects of operations as well, relieving workers from tedious manual tasks such as data collection.
As manufacturers and warehouse leaders scale up their assets, thereby increasing the amount of data output, they can leverage their single system of record to apply newfound capabilities across them while minimizing additional workloads. That’s because a single system of record can information critical Industry 4.0 technologies such as automation, advanced analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) that make scaling manageable and secure.
3. Ensure accurate data exchange across the supply chain.
Combined with a single system of record, advanced traceability technologies ensure operational leaders can collect, track, view, and share unlimited data attributes as products and materials move throughout the supply chain. In these scenarios, nearly every participant in the supply chain partner ecosystem “will see increased gains in efficacy through better information, reduction of risk, more effective recalls, and better products and services,” as Forbes describes. That includes demand-side data, which manufacturers and warehouse operators can leverage to improve production and inventory management.
Get Started With Your Own Single System of Record
For today’s manufacturers and warehouse operators, business success depends on their ability to leverage accurate, actionable data. Fortunately, integrating a single system of record with MES, WMS, and EDI software, and other Industry 4.0 technologies positions these companies for growth in new, complex economic environments.
Radley is a top provider of enterprise data systems associated with manufacturing and warehouse operations. We help companies automate and streamline processes while maintaining compliance, improving efficiency, and strengthening their relationships with supply chain partners. For more information, contact one of our solutions experts today.