Production management is the process of keeping track of your manufacturing jobs, supply chains, personnel, and assets. Another essential part of production management is to monitor sales and other trends so you don’t wind up with too many or too few finished goods to meet demand. To keep everything running smoothly, many manufacturers use a software solution to automate and standardize their production processes. Fishbowl Manufacturing is a production management solution that helps manufacturers accomplish all of these things and many more. Let’s go through them one by one in greater detail.
Advanced Work Orders
Every manufacturer knows that work orders are one of the most basic tools that they use on a daily basis. They are at the heart of production management. Work orders in Fishbowl Manufacturing are versatile, and they can be used for many types of manufacturing jobs, including assembly, disassembly, subassembly, repair, replacement, and custom jobs. Not only that, but you can split them up into as many steps as you like, or you can keep things simple.
Work orders are able to be generated in large batches or on an individual basis, so there is plenty of flexibility in how you create them. Plus, build-to-order work orders allow for finished goods to be manufactured to make sure you have exactly the right items and quantities to fulfill sales orders. You can put work orders into different categories and levels of priority in order to keep them organized. You can even add images, notes, and other files to work orders to clarify things that are in them and offer detailed instructions to your workers.
Multilevel Bills of Materials
Bills of materials list all of the raw materials that will be used to create finished goods. Just like work orders, bills of materials are able to be separated into a great number of production stages to facilitate a smooth manufacturing process for complex jobs. You can also create bills of materials in batches or one by one and update the parts and quantities contained in them whenever you like. If you have a certain item that you make a lot of, it’s easy to save a bill of materials for it and then replicate it whenever you need to make more.
Not only can you add physical items to a bill of materials, but you can also add nonmaterial things like employee time. A bill of materials is supposed to help you add up the costs of everything that goes into a finished good during production so that you will know how best to price it to cover your costs and make a profit. Labor is part of the production process, so it makes sense to add it to the bill of materials. We will get into how this is done a little later in this article, but for now we will just point out the importance of doing this.
Supply Chain Management
There are many supply-chain factors to consider, such as the timing and quantities of the items you receive. A good way to obtain the proper number in a timely manner is to use automatic reorder points. You will be prompted to order more of a certain item when it reaches its minimum quantity, and a purchase order will be created with the default vendor and the reorder quantity you previously set to avoid the extremes of having too much or too little inventory in stock.
Managing supply chains involves more than obtaining new items to replenish your warehouse shelves. A good production management solution will allow you to monitor the performance of your vendors over time to ensure they are keeping up their end of the deal. You can also check payment terms so that you will know when your payment is due to vendors for shipments. And you can integrate with your accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Xero, to track your finances and confirm you have enough cash flow to pay invoices.
Scheduling and Personnel
In conjunction with the production stages we mentioned earlier, you can use a calendar feature to schedule each task so that one will naturally follow the other in the correct order. Workers can be assigned to tasks to facilitate an orderly production process. So you will know when tasks are to be completed and who is responsible for them. This creates a timetable and accountability for getting the job done on schedule.
Fishbowl Time is an online timekeeping solution that allows employees to clock in and out, work on projects, and much more. It integrates with Fishbowl Manufacturing to add the cost of labor as a line item to a bill of materials. That way, you can tell how much employee time it takes to manufacture each item, and you may even be able to see if there are ways to increase efficiency and cut costs.
Analyzing sales, seasonal trends, and more will help you plan ahead and vastly improve your production management. You can do this by generating detailed reports using the data in your inventory software. For example, Fishbowl Manufacturing offers a Production Report, which lists the total number of finished goods that have resulted from the work orders that have been completed over a certain period of time. This shows you exactly what you have available to sell so you don’t have to guess. The Bill of Materials Report estimates the cost of goods before you manufacture them. You can use either the lowest-level raw material’s average cost or the top-level subassembly average cost to make that estimate.
There are numerous other reports, too. The Forecast Report plugs in all of your work orders, sales orders, purchase orders, etc. to estimate future sales and stay one step ahead of demand. The Gross Sales By Product Report tells you how many products have been sold in a certain date range or in total since you began collecting data. In addition, there are two reports that are useful when it comes to avoiding product spoilage and other waste. The Aging Report shows you how old your goods are, and the Turnover Report displays how often you sell everything in your inventory. You can use those figures to adjust production so that you maintain the right balance of finished goods in your warehouse(s).
Fishbowl Manufacturing is a useful production management solution that allows you to do everything we have discussed above. Work orders, bills of materials, supply chain management, scheduling, employee assignments, and reporting help you make the most of your resources and gain a competitive advantage to overcome even the most insurmountable difficulties. Start producing the results you want to see by signing up for an online demo of Fishbowl today!