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What sorts of advancements are being made regarding mobility in the manufacturing workplace?
Since 1989, IQMS has been designing and developing manufacturing ERP software for the repetitive, process and discrete industries. Today, IQMS provides a comprehensive real-time MES and manufacturing ERP software solution to the automotive, medical, packaging, consumer goods and other manufacturing markets. The innovative, extended single-database enterprise software solution, EnterpriseIQ, offers a scalable system designed to adeptly grow with the client and complete business functionality, including accounting, quality control, supply chain, CRM and eBusiness. With offices across North America, Europe and Asia, IQMS serves manufacturers around the world.

Rake Narang: What sorts of advancements are being made regarding mobility in the manufacturing workplace?

Glenn Nowak: To me, the largest advancements are putting manufacturing and ERP related information on the devices that people carry with them all the time – cell phones and tablets. Having everything from shop floor production to CRM and workflows on devices that people carry with them enables manufacturers to be connected to the business at all times and access real-time data that allows them to proactively address issues in a more timely manner than historically.

With manufacturing ERP apps, easily accessed directly from a smart phone or a tablet, manufacturers can perform quality control directly at a work center, scan inventory to a warehouse location from a forklift, check third shift production from the comfort of their own home after traditional work hours, log labor and production data directly from a work center without leaving the shop floor, access accurate customer information while on out on a sales call, etc. The possibilities are endless and the future of manufacturing is moving in this more mobile direction.

Rake Narang: The purpose of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization while effectively integrated to external connections too. Why would you want an MES system in your manufacturing facility?

Glenn Nowak: Traditionally, the ERP system functionality within an organization stops where the shop floor takes over and the products actually get produced. Therefore, there is no visibility within the ERP system, or the organization as a whole, into what is happening on the shop floor related to rates of production, quality issues, downtime, etc. The MES software gives an organization this visibility by getting data directly from the shop floor and making it visible to the rest of the organization.

When the ERP software is properly combined with an MES, then data in the ERP system is accurately updated based on what happens on the shop floor, which is the best world for a manufacturer to be in.

Rake Narang: What is the value of a comprehensive system – one that includes CRM, eCommerce, financial management, shop floor control, QMS, etc.?

Glenn Nowak: The value in a comprehensive system is that all aspects of the system communicate with each other and there is a single entity representing each facet of the business (one customer record, one inventory record, etc). – a single point of truth so to speak. So a person using CRM is accessing the exact same information as a person on the shop floor or in Quality Assurance or at a customer site accessing through a portal.

With a comprehensive system, there is no redundant data entry (with its associated duplicate entry errors) and no multiple interfaces to integrate, maintain and train users on. We have seen manufacturers using as many as 12 different software programs to run their business: EDI, quality, CRM, MES, payroll, etc. We love to watch transparency, data visibility and accuracy, customer service and overall productivity increase as our new customers eliminate all those discordant packages and implement one single system across their entire business.

Rake Narang: Can small to medium size manufacturers benefit from automation? Can automation be cost effective and accessible to all manufacturers?

Glenn Nowak: When we refer to automation, we think of saving our customers time and eliminating possible errors by making a manual process happen automatically. The majority of manufacturers can take advantage of automation and many of our smaller customers are the ones that want to automate. Our manufacturers bring us their challenges and we collaborate with them to develop a solution with our software. Whether the project is automatically capturing test data from a PLC, printing a label based on production counts, capturing a signature from a truck driver or taking a weight from a scale into the ERP system, our Automation Department has done a lot of “small” project with large benefits.

The key lies in a strong relationship with our customers. Many companies shy away from taking on automation projects. We feel they are what make all the difference in our manufacturers’ daily operations, so we have dedicated an entire department just to pushing the boundaries of shop floor automation and making the benefits of automation accessible to all our customers.

Company: IQMS
2231 Wisteria Lane, Paso Robles, CA 93446 U.S.A.

Founded in: 1989
CEO: Randy Flamm
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: Paso Robles, California - United States
Products and Services: The extended, comprehensive manufacturing ERP and MES software solution, EnterpriseIQ
Company’s Goals: IQMS will surpass our customers’ requirements and expectations through innovative design and execution of products and services. With a focus on relationships, IQMS will build a sustainable enterprise benefiting the community, our clients and our employees.
Key Words: Manufacturing ERP Software, MES, IQMS, EnterpriseIQ

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