Software development company SYSPRO assists fabrication businesses by providing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions that assist in delivering consistency throughout the value chain, from the initial quote to final product delivery.
“The metal fabrication industry is largely in survival mode, meaning that cost-cutting, rather than investment in new technology, new plants and improved processes, is dominating the thinking of much of the industry,” says SYSPRO Africa.
The industry faces challenges such as volatile commodity prices, shrinking markets, offshore price cutting and higher expectations in terms of product quality and speed of delivery.
Manufacturers must, thus, continuously aim to innovate when managing their businesses, whereby increases in labour costs, electricity and transportation are negatively impacting on margins, investment in new capacity and job creation, says SYSPRO.
To remain sustainable, businesses are having to become increasingly tech-savvy, agile, flexible, responsive and customer-centric.
Increasing manufacturing efficiency means finding the right balance between supply and demand, optimising capacity, improving throughput, streamlining processes, cutting costs and reducing waste.
“The success of metal fabricators depends on efficiently managing their complex supply chains and collaborating with customers to design effective products while meeting quality, tolerance and material specifications. Fabrication companies that meet, and even predict, customers’ needs sets them apart for success,” says SYSPRO.
Further, increasing customer demand for a diverse product mix, material needs and labour costs are straining manufacturers’ profitability.
SYSPRO adds that the correct ERP solution can assist not only with planning, execution and control but also “radically” improve production efficiency in a manufacturing or fabrication environment.
Additionally, for component and material suppliers and original-equipment manufacturers, synchronising supply with customer demand is necessary to prevent costly line stoppages in assembly parts.
This involves automating order processing and other processes in the supply chain, as well as executing production plans using lean principles.