Custom Software or Out of the Box For Your Manufacturing Process

Steve Fox
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Improving throughput on a plant floor can be a challenging task in any manufacturing process. The most effective way to increase throughput is by improving the process and the best way to improve process is to improve tools. Whether you are new to the plant or have been around as long as the paint on the wall you may be excited to see some new tools in the form of software for your manufacturing process.

There are many options on the market today, ranging from custom solutions that provide a business with tailored and specific management that suits their company, and also out of the box solutions that are more of a standard management software solution.

What is Custom Manufacturing Software?

Manufacturing software that is customized is a unique form of software that is tailored to the businesses needs.

The software increases productivity by specifically doing what your business needs. That could be something as simple as automating a task or keeping track of cost and inventory.

This can involve specifications in inventory management and enterprise resource planning. ERP, for short, is the management of those business processes through technology and software.

Custom manufacturing software includes many applications that manage, store, and collect data from various data points in the manufacturing process.

An ERP’s development differs from a traditional development system, or out of the box solution, with it running on several different configurations. This repository of configurations can be suited to fit your needs if you chose to go with a custom software solution for your business.

A custom software solution is for you to be able to look at the functionality and usability of the software that can be provided to you. Basically, it lets you know what specific areas you can monitor and then from there you can decide if it’s right for you.

The ERP System and Workflow

The ERP system covers some standard areas in the manufacturing process. It keeps track of a multitude of information. While an ERP maintains several different points of information, in the manufacturing process it normally focuses on things such as:

  • Engineering

  • Bill of materials

  • Scheduling

  • Workflow management

  • Quality control

  • Product life cycle management

A workflow management system provides the setup, monitoring, and performance of certain tasks, which is necessary in the manufacturing process.

A customized workflow management system allows the business to specifically state what each procedure in the manufacturing process will need along with allowing the software to monitor its progress, along with several other data points that are custom to your business

What does custom software provide?

There are a lot of options here since the whole premise behind the fact it is custom is making it unique to the businesses manufacturing needs. Some examples of areas that a custom software can provide are:

  • Correct size and pricing

  • Serial Lot Tracking

  • Accounting Integration

  • Remote Data Entry

  • Inventory Control

  • Job Cost Visibility

  • Material Requirements Planning

A traditional out of the box software solution will only provide certain areas for your business to monitor the workflow of your company. Custom manufacturing software allows you to really handpick what types of data you are wanting to receive at the end of the day.

Which is Right For You?

After researching standard out of the box solutions compared to customized solutions, the process will dictate which path to take

There is so much both solutions have to offer. A straight forward manufacturing process will lend itself to an out of the box software solution. The more complicated the process the more likely a custom software build will be the right option. The amount of information you can retrieve from a customized software solution far outweighs other solutions.

The return on investment to a business is often orders of magnitude larger than the cost of implementing a custom software.

This post was last updated on: Apr 12, 2023.