4 Questions To Ask During Your Preliminary Meeting With A Manufacturing Production Software Representative

During your efforts to streamline your manufacturing plant's operations, you may decide your company needs a manufacturing production software package. If you are unsure of how to begin gathering information about each package, below are four questions to get you started during the preliminary meeting with the sales representative.

Is A License Required For Each Computer?

If your company uses multiple computers in its office and on the factory floor, ask if a license is required for each computer. Ideally, the software package can be installed on all of the computers using one concurrent use license. This would prevent you from having to purchase one for each computer or employee accessing the program.

For example, you may have four computers in your office and ten computers on the production line. When asking about the license requirements, you may want to inquire about packages that accommodate at least 15 users. Or, you could decide to go with a package that supports 20 users if you expect significant growth in the near future.

Can More Than One Scheduler Simultaneously Use The Program?

The software scheduler is responsible for inputting invoices, orders, and progress. If you have several different departments in your factory, ask if more than one scheduler can use the program simultaneously. This would cut back on time  having to coordinate the use of the software between multiple master users.

For example, you may want the head of each department to have a master scheduler designation so they can input data at the end of each shift. One department may need to record the progress of the assembly line's production, while another may need to input the amount of materials used for inventory purposes.

By having a software that grants access to more than one master user at a time would increase efficiency because they would not have to wait in line to input their end-of-shift data. This could also save money by not having to pay the employee overtime for having to stay over just to record information in the computer.

Does The Software Allow For Work-In-Progress Reporting At The End Of Each Shift?

If your company manages large orders that span several shifts to complete them, ask about the ability to input work-in-progress reporting at the end of each. This helps you keep an eye on the production levels of each shift. It also alerts you as to whether adjustments need to be made in staffing or speed in order to complete the job on time.

For example, if you have an order that typically takes the work of three shifts to complete it, you can examine the data from the first shift. If several people called out on that shift, resulting in slower production, you can let the current shift know they need to step up their work a little bit. You would also have time to call an extra worker or two in for the third shift so the job can be completed on time.

Alternatively, the program could also alert you if the production line is ahead of schedule. Being able to review this data early gives you the option of either planning on starting the next order or possibly asking if any of your employees wish to have the day off because work will be slow.

While these questions do not include all the information you will need to consider when purchasing a new software package, they can get you started. As you find out more information about the manufacturing production software, jot down more questions to discuss with the representatives so they can find the right one for your plant.