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Marco has explained the benefits to companies of having in place an effective factory-floor profitability system to provide real-time data for their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The company said that more of today’s manufacturing companies are becoming reliant on ERP systems to co-ordinate and control their operational activities.

Benefits of this include a single system to support, rather than several small and different systems; a single applications architecture with limited interfaces; and access to management information unavailable across a mix of applications.

In principle, more integration should mean lower costs.

However, factory-floor profitability experts from Marco believe many companies are not able to optimise the effectiveness of their ERP system.

Marco claimed it is confident that it can deliver advantages by providing crucial and often hidden information for ERP systems, directly from the factory floor.

The notorious ‘unaccountable losses’ usually emanate from the inability of the system to access and use essential factory-floor data in real time.

The food industry is a classic example where a lack of accurate information, right through from goods-in to goods-out, can cause a serious ‘profit-sapping’ problem.

In such fast moving, ever-changing environments, keeping the finger on the pulse is critical.

Companies typically manufacture their products based on pre-defined recipes.

ERP systems normally work on preset targets for the batches and all subsequent upstream and downstream calculations assume that during the process these targets are met precisely.

Under normal circumstances they have no real-time information to contradict this assumption and under these circumstances unaccountable losses can occur.

Murray Hilborne, managing director at Marco, said: ‘In many applications where we carry out profit-finding audits, it is as though there is a thick fog permeating across the factory floor, keeping critical data away from the ERP system.

‘Unfortunately many ERP vendors do not fully appreciate or understand the practical issues of key factory-floor processes.

‘In fast-moving processing environments, real-time information is essential.’ Hilborne added that Marco’s Trac-IT system ensures that data from all key performance locations is instantly available to the ERP system so that it can react to actual, rather than assumed information.

Marco Trac-IT is said to bring true integration that continually fine-tunes and improves overall equipment effectiveness.

The ‘improve’ factor allows processes to be optimised exactly where and when it is needed, making full use of dynamic data.

This approach is said to be highly effective in improving productivity, optimising raw material usage and minimising wastage, thereby ensuring ongoing profitability and, above all, end-customer satisfaction.

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