Custom Manufacturing Software

How data-led bespoke software can enable high quality business automation for UK manufacturers

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How custom software can enhance the business operations of UK manufacturers

A key sector for the UK economy, the manufacturing industry in this country produces everything from food, cars, and textiles, to electronics, military equipment and pharmaceutical products. In 2021, the manufacturing sector accounted for 9.7% of the total UK economic output and in recent years there has been a rise in demand for specialist manufacturers producing high quality homegrown British products.

Our country has long been the brains behind some of the world’s best industrial breakthroughs. Today, Smart Manufacturing is innovating the landscape once more. Rather than replacing people with robots, smart manufacturing focuses on digital technologies to monitor performance and provide high level insights. The fourth industrial revolution, and the emergence of smart factories, are focusing on automation and the exchange of data to boost productivity and streamline production methods. 

Embracing the digital manufacturing revolution

At the recent launch of a £50m Smart Manufacturing Data Innovation Hub (SMDIH) at Ulster University, Lee Rowley, the UK Industry Minister said: “It is vital manufacturers across the UK can capitalise on the productivity and growth gains that come with the adopting the latest data-led digital technologies.”

Living and working in the digital age opens our eyes to brand new information, including how our business is running and where improvements can be made. If you’re a manufacturing company considering investing in a software system, here are some of the reasons why choosing bespoke will help you to work smarter. 

Automate complex tasks for improved accuracy and quality

Cost efficiency is of the absolute essence when it comes to management of your production workforce. Devising an industrial internet of things (IoT) system, which involves a network of connected devices being able to talk to each other to monitor and analyse performance data, can provide real-time insights into the management of processes, assets and resources.

A bespoke software system will focus on simplifying complex tasks to enable greater shop floor process automation and create more agile supply chains. Repetitive manual tasks such as data input, inventory management and production planning can be taken care of by custom built software which maximises the capabilities of Industry 4.0 tech. 

Custom-built predictive maintenance software, for example, relies on AI tech to help future proof your machinery. Sophisticated monitoring tools such as sensors can be built into the system to take a proactive approach; reporting on abnormalities which might go undetected by staff. The system can be programmed to calculate whether repairs are needed and in turn lower maintenance costs and makes best use of production time. 

Monitor the data that matters for real-time decision making

Today, information is everything. In our experience, manufacturers who view their data as an asset as valuable as their machinery are more likely to achieve digital success. Digital data analytics have the power to revolutionise business operations. Software which is purpose built provides much greater access to business intelligence. Richer data capture, with everything from tracking purchasing to monitoring quality control at the touch of a button is made possible when your data is the central focus of your software system.

Bespoke software can provide access to big data analytics, with large data volumes, at a quick speed, and with complex algorithm capabilities. Comprehensive statistical analysis is taken care of, given managers access to vital intelligence at a glance. With sophisticated digital management of data and built in reporting and analysis tools, custom manufacturing software can provide advanced performance and insights.  

The beauty of having data managed digitally is that more details can be captured effortlessly and reports can be generated and analysed super quickly. Real-time decisions can be made to address issues such as dips in productivity or a slump in online sales. Each piece of information provides an insight which in turn can effect meaningful change on the factory floor. 

Connect all departments and aspects of the production chain

With the development of a bespoke enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, you can create a singular digital workspace which provides access to everything from your supply chain, operations, sales and accounting. Every part of the product cycle can be tracked for clear visibility and customised user content can be enabled depending on department and job seniority to help protect confidential data. Cloud based software means that you can have a window to what’s happening on the factory floor when you’re on location or at your home office and information can be easily shared, allowing teams to work more collaboratively no matter their location or time of their shift.  

Achieve sustainable digital transformation 

Sustainable manufacturing is on the rise. ESG targets are a key concern for many companies who are looking towards renewable sources to reduce the environmental impact of their production methods. Database applications which monitor the management of product lifecycles can also play a part in developing greener working practices such as monitoring waste management and focusing on building a green supply chain. Digital software systems focuses on producing a digital audit trail and can also support a paperless work environment, which can work towards reducing your company’s carbon footprint. 

Empower workers to focus on skilled part of their roles

With the manufacturing industry experiencing a skills shortage, freeing up worker’s time to focus on the skilled and creative part of their jobs is all-important. Digital operations can take the manual aspect out of repetitive administrative tasks. Task management software can help streamline workflows and track time spent while also automating the creation of documentation, reports and invoices. Bespoke software developers work with the end user to define a digital user experience which replicates their job function and is purposeful to them.

Custom software developers architect a system to your exact needs. No compromises. With a production line management application, for example, it’s important that you have access to features which are relevant to your line of business; that your dashboard is totally purposeful to your job role. Accurate tracking of the life cycle of your products can be achieved with the use of custom-made functions and capabilities. By involving employees in the software development process, they are helping to define your new digital system and will be more likely to make great use of it. Providing your teams with a high quality system that enables them to focus on the parts of the job they enjoy the most can in turn increase employee satisfaction and help with staff retention levels. 

Develop a system as innovative as your product

In the Annual Manufacturing Report published in 2020, 81% of surveyed companies agreed that digital technologies will enable manufacturers to open up new markets. In the UK, manufacturers are creating groundbreaking products which in turn allow other companies to break the mould. Yet profit margins can be tight and competition fierce. So being able to rely on a totally unique software system can help to improve your output and set you apart in your industry as well as improving your capabilities.

Everything from inventory management software to product tracking tools can be devised especially for your business need. However, the digitalisation of management and administrative processes cannot be achieved overnight. Investing in technology to future-proof your business is a commitment and a process. Modular integration of digital business processes is something we would always recommend. One piece of software can be built to be part of a larger digital ecosystem which looks towards digitally managing and monitoring the end-to-end management of production.

Powerup your Business Intelligence

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, the fourth industrial revolution is expected to create up to £2.7 trillion of value worldwide. As the world’s eighth largest industrial nation, the UK manufacturing industry will contribute greatly. Bespoke software can help you overcome challenges which are unique to your business; simplifying and automating supply chains, streamlining production processes, achieving a higher quality of digital automation. 

Here at Clever Software Group, we work with a number of UK based manufacturers to facilitate business process automation. We love playing a part in future-proofing the production of brilliantly made British products. For more details on how we can support your business to achieve more, please do get in touch. 

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AccessAble is an online resource providing Detailed Access Guides all about a venue's access facilities ahead of their visit. The company's suite of applications used by surveyors all over the UK needed ongoing software support, data management and development as part of their rebrand and new website.

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