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Manufacturing is the process of transforming raw materials into useable and sellable products. Manufacturing spans across countless industries: food, electronics, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, etc. Manufacturing in itself is ‘simple’, but there are many processes involved and extensive industry terminology to learn.
THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
This involves the manufacturing equipment and personnel, managing inventory, and supply chain management. Lean manufacturing is the process for eliminating waste and having efficient procedures and systems in place.
Manufacturing Equipment – This would be the molds, tooling, conveyor belts, and any necessary machinery. The molds are what form the actual products, usually being plastic, metal, or other moldable materials. The tooling is needed to complete the manufacturing process and make modifications, such as welders and traditional tools. Conveyor belts are common in moving parts and products to the next stage of the manufacturing process.
Manufacturing Personnel – Much of the manufacturing process can be automated and done by machines, but you need staff to manage these machines and conduct quality control. Manufacturing has become a much more complex process than in the past. With technology being integrated and a more global supply chain, personnel need to be more educated and trained than ever before.
Inventory Management – This entails keeping track of the product components as well as the finished products. Monitoring stock levels and knowing when to produce more - and how much to produce. Software is often needed to manage so many parts and components. The inflow and outflow of inventory needs to be tracked to exactness and you need an inventory management system to do so. This helps prevent stock-outs, which will lose customers. An accurate system also helps track re-order points so there isn’t excess inventory on the shelves, which will hurt your revenue bottom line.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Today’s marketplace is global and supply chain management spans beyond continents and oceans. As manufacturing is often a global operation, there are various parts to keep track of: multiple warehouses, transportation, and delivery to the customer.