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Written by the Open Sky Staff

As a manufacturer, you need to track your raw materials and supplies, keep up with your work in progress, and maintain a list of completed items ready for shipment. And failing to have an adequate amount of parts and equipment on hand can lead to production slowdowns or shutdowns, which can cost you time and money.

What is Manufacturing Inventory Management Software?

Manufacturing Inventory Management Software assists manufacturing businesses with optimizing their supply levels and automating their workflows. The right software allows manufacturers to order physical assets as needed, depending on par levels and client orders. Each item needed for production and repair is coded, so users can instantly note the on-hand balance for items and estimate completion times for orders.

Tracking raw materials, stocked completed items, and works in progress (WIP) helps business owners with accurate financial planning, including collecting real-time data to forecast sales, plan orders, and determine adequate staffing levels.

Common Uses of Manufacturing Inventory Management Software

The best manufacturing inventory tracking software helps your company have the supplies on hand to complete orders accurately and swiftly. And in a similar fashion to Parts Inventory Management Software, one main benefits of manufacturing inventory software is to ensure that anything the maintenance team needs is readily on hand, thereby reducing downtime during repairs.

The most common functions include the following:

  • Manufacturing Order

    This is the summary of the production process, which includes the number of goods to be produced, materials needed, a project overseer or manager, and the production routing.

  • Work Order

    This feature records the production process requirements, monitoring the progress of semi-produced WIP goods and making it easier for manufacturers to record the progression of the order. As a sharable document, it enables authorized users to make needed changes, including materials used and an estimated time for completion. This feature integrates with the inventory list of all materials used by the plant.

  • Bill of Materials

    The BoM includes all raw materials and parts needed to produce finished goods.

  • Routing

    Routing is the process by which producers arrange the phases of the production for finished goods. This allows manufacturers to plan the timeframe for each stage of production.

  • Reporting

    The best manufacturing management software should have an advanced reporting tool that gives owners and managers real-time insight into the amount of raw materials on hand and the finished products in the warehouse or storage facilities. It also tracks product transfers between locations similar to Warehouse Inventory Management Software.

Benefits of Manufacturing Inventory Management Software

As a manufacturing business owner, you likely have systems in place for order and production management, but perhaps you need something more focused towards organizing your inventory. Automating your inventory processes with industry-leading technology will provide multiple benefits.

  • Reduce costs

    Improving efficiency and reducing waste, including both physical products and downtime in production, are the two keys to a better cash flow for your business. A dynamic inventory program reacts immediately to changes and reduces common errors including over-purchasing supplies or underestimating the requirements for a certain project, resulting in a production standstill until additional products arrive.

  • Boost efficiency

    Time is money, and with rising wages, ensuring that your labor force is used efficiently improves your bottom line. Automated software eliminates the need for time-consuming manual tasks, such as physically conducting inventory, or creating and placing orders for your vendors. Streamlining the inventory process ensures that your workers have everything they need on hand to complete each order.

  • Real-time data collection

    Tracking your sales using reports about goods sold allows you to spot possible business growth opportunities and areas where you may be able to drop unpopular products. Measuring increases in orders from certain clients or for specific products may help you develop new leads among clients who use these products.

    Waste tracking measures the difference between the actual raw materials used versus the projected amounts of raw materials and parts to be used for a certain project. Tracking waste efficiently can indicate where you may need to modify your best practices for production. It may also indicate carelessness or employee theft.

    Tool life is also important for the maintenance division, as it ensures that they have everything they need for in-house repairs and preventive maintenance. Proper tool life management allows managers to be proactive, rather than suffer downtime due to the need for extensive repairs.

  • Increase customer satisfaction

    Even the most efficient manufacturing company can suffer if there are hiccups with customer service. When you automate your procedures, you can more accurately quote prices and lead times for your clients. Plus, many software programs offer a client portal that lets your customers track their orders from initial placement through production status, shipment date, and estimated arrival.

  • Consistent production rates

    Lean manufacturing practices include effective inventory management and optimizing the manufacturing process to increase productivity. This happens through a controlled flow of parts around the workspace and effective waste management practices. Inventory management results in a more organized workspace and warehouse, from the raw materials storage to the collection points for individual client orders.

    For example, a warehouse can be organized so that the most commonly used parts are located in the most accessible areas, while the client shipment areas can be arranged in a first in, first out system, which reduces delays in shipping the finished products. While these changes may seem small, over the course of a month or a year, reducing the time your employees spend fetching more supplies can end up in a higher production-per-hour rate.

Key Considerations for Manufacturing Inventory Management Software

Selecting the best inventory management software for your manufacturing company involves an assessment of your needs. However, the best inventory management systems all share several key features:

  • Intuitive easy-to-use interface just like any good Simple Inventory Management Software
  • Real-time inventory reports of raw materials, WIP, and finished products
  • Reorder alerts and automatic reordering with your suppliers
  • Barcode technology (or UPC/SKU), assigning each item a discrete code and location
  • Customizable reports on everything from cost management to item history

List of top inventory management software for manufacturing

  • FactoryLogix includes the key features of quality management, product lifecycle management, manufacturing execution, supply chain management, and customer profile building and management. Users can configure the sequence of operations for their assembly line, and these processes can be confirmed across different assembly lines. It also provides ERP visibility for authorized users factory-wide or within each department.

  • IFS Applications is cloud-based ERP software for enterprise clients with different modules for supply chain management, asset protection, and customer profile management. This particular software is best for large-scale companies, and also includes modules for financial management, document management and templating, and human resources modules, offering users a one-stop-shop for company management.

  • DELMIAworks was developed specifically for batch process manufacturers and SMB companies. It combines manufacturing software with ERP and MES software to allow users to track and communicate among different departments, plus create financial reports in real-time.

  • Brahmin Solutions Fast-growing SMB companies will appreciate this cloud-based inventory and MRP software. Wholesalers, manufacturers, and retailers can all benefit from this product, which has modules addressing the needs of purchasing, sales, inventory, and manufacturing, all from any supported device.

  • Skyware Inventory offers a highly simplified solution for manufacturers of all sizes, from small businesses to companies with multiple locations and product lines. Using our leading-edge software, you can track every part and product in your company, as well as achieve real-time usage and data reports that provide insight into your profitability. With our inventory management system, you can access company data anytime, anywhere on supported devices. We offer flexible solutions and scalable software to allow you to seamlessly grow in a new directions.

Leading Inventory Management Software for Manufacturing: Skyware Inventory

The best manufacturing inventory software programs integrate multiple aspects of the manufacturing process and allow users to quickly and accurately order parts and supplies. This results in greater efficiency and reduces waste.

When you need the best software for manufacturing, including scalability and user-friendly interface, Skyware has you covered. Visit us online to learn more about our custom programs for manufacturing business owners.