By John Lundy, Manager of Electronics and Aerospace & Defense, Plex Systems
Much of the discussion at the last AeroCon Montreal centered on how to meet customer and regulatory demands while operating more efficiently.
With tougher demands, aerospace and defense manufacturers must apply increased quality controls, track production as it occurs and launch new programs faster than their competition. Many are also frustrated with how to manage the increasing volumes of data required for regulatory compliance.
The people I talked with are looking for solutions – new technologies and new methodologies — and I was able to share with them how the users of cloud ERP are faring.
Quality Controls in Real Time
Cloud ERP supports integrated quality, with real-time traceability and supply-chain data maintained electronically and kept current through automated transactions and processes.
My company’s solution, the Plex Manufacturing Cloud, includes integrated quality management. Its features help increase process repeatability, reduce variation, increase production throughput and reduce defects. Quality-based tools are integrated with problem controls, purchasing, shipping and receiving to ensure quality across the supply chain.
The sheer volume of documentation now required to track supply-chain communication, product histories and compliance data has made paper-based systems obsolete. Market leaders are finding that electronic-based solutions eliminate headaches as well as excess costs.
Phoenix Logistics, an Arizona-based aerospace supplier, is a case in point. The manufacturer moved to cloud ERP a few years ago, going completely paperless by replacing 40 standalone spreadsheets with Plex. Phoenix Logistics has saved more than $50,000 a year in paper, printing and storage costs. It achieved ROI within 18 months and successfully managed a 50 percent internal growth rate.
The Plex Manufacturing Cloud handles the internal complexities of launching new programs, conducting R&D, and making revisions. Highly integrated with checklists and APQP, the system includes work breakdown structures, electronic signatures and more — saving time across the program lifecycle.
For example, Plex user Weber Metals cut its quote entry time by 80 percent. The aerospace forger also replaced 40 hours a week of job and material optimization calculations with an automated, real-time process, and reduced rescheduling time from 18 hours to under one hour.
Another cloud ERP user, Eagle Picher Technologies, sped its time-to-market for new programs by streamlining the steps involved in custom orders and shortening the time it takes to perform critical program tracking, ordering, billing and processing functions.
What’s the Hold Up?
These results make me wonder how people who are not using cloud ERP are meeting their business challenges.
If your company still maintains paper files, why haven’t you moved to an electronic-based solution yet?
What steps have you taken to improve quality and program management?