Wire and cable harness companies must deliver under very short lead times to meet customer demands. This puts pressure on manufacturers to build quickly and error-free. Customers also require Engineering Change Orders (ECOs) on harnesses – a costly and time-consuming process. The manufacturer often bears the cost of the ECO to stay competitive, especially if they cannot calculate the cost of production.
Without the right tools, customer requirements increase scrap and rework, delay shipments and cause material shortages.
To keep costs low and retain customers, wire harness manufacturers can only pass on production charges when absolutely necessary. A system that estimates the original production costs, manages changes to the order and calculates the resulting costs is critical; otherwise, the risk of errors and cost overruns dramatically increases.
Visibility of Work and Cost
Wire harness manufacturers need a solution that provides complete visibility of production and cost factors, so a real-time assessment of the impact of an ECO can be made the moment it is received. Mistakes occur when supervisors are forced to make a best-guess estimate on how to manage the change.
Accelerating and error-proofing communication between the sales group, engineering and operators is critical. When engineers and supervisors are forced to walk the shop floor to manage a change order, delays, errors and wasted time drive up production costs.
Companies using paper to manage production cannot support the demands of modern wire harness manufacturing. Paperless Manufacturing provides the only solution that directly addresses the core needs these companies have, simultaneously meeting the stringent requirements of their customers and increasing profit margins.
Solving ECOs for Wire Harness Manufacturers
Paperless Manufacturing automates ECOs, eliminating production errors, controlling costs and making production processes predictable.
Wire harness companies using Paperless Manufacturing start by controlling their existing work, increasing accuracy, productivity, and their ability to predict costs. As they digitize production planning, companies maximize their use of existing planning, further controlling costs.
Paperless Manufacturing gives every member of the team immediate access to the work required. Operators access just the area of the production plans they need to complete their work; as changes are made, they are immediately available to the shop floor, eliminating the possibility of building to the wrong information.
By eliminating errors in production, all orders are made to specification and scrap becomes an issue of the past. When scrap is eliminated, many companies find it is easier to maintain inventory control. Inventory is used only where needed.
The Results of Paperless Manufacturing
Paperless Manufacturing enables manufacturers to manage the entire production process from a single location. When a customer calls with an order change, the sales or customer service team can evaluate the customer’s change request based on the current cost, schedule and production numbers.
Engineers use current production information to make the required changes or hold production until new requirements are available. The production floor continues work on other orders as they wait on the new requirements, increasing efficiency. Paperless Manufacturing facilitates communication for the team, eliminating delays, confusion or errors typical of paper-based production operations.
Paperless Manufacturing enables companies to process customer change order requests quickly and without mistakes. With digital communication between operators and engineers, manufacturers significantly reduce scrap, rework and expedited shipping costs.
Companies using Paperless Manufacturing react to change with accuracy and efficiency, error-proofing their processes and improving profitability.
By David Oeters, Corporate Communications for CIMx Software