With mobile compatibility and functions for those creating limited-run, made-to order products, the new enterprise resource planning offering from Pronto Software has plenty that’s relevant to manufacturers.
“We spent more than 15,000 hours to develop this new version,” Paul Goepfert, Pronto’s marketing manager told Manufacturers’ Monthly.
Created in response to a number of user issues, last week's addition to Pronto’s flagship software line aims to put real-time business information in the hands of everyone in the company from warehouse managers to directors to those in the marketing department.
“Even the guy on the shop floor on the press machine, he wants access to the data,” said Goepfert.
“A guy that’s working on a press might have some scrap coming out of a different product but he may not be aware of it because such information is often only available to senior managers. If the manager doesn’t pass the information to the floor staff, it will lead to more scrap, more defects than in the past three or four months.
“So instead of just keep going, he’ll start thinking ‘what’s different? How can we reduce the level of defects that we’re producing?’ So that’s a big shift, to provide intelligence in all levels of the business.”
Among what the company says are “hundreds” of upgrades, the software adds to the growing number of products with mobile functionality. As well as being able to be used in various Microsoft Office apps, Xi 710 can be used on a smartphone or tablet.
“For example a manager walks into a workshop, he wants to walk with his tablet and know instantly the output of his production line, what the number of rejects are at this workshop, what are the orders that just came in that might change the schedule etcetera,” said Goepfert.
“So mobility is becoming extremely important and certainly we have issued in this release we have mobility components to see instantly what’s happening in a business and be able to react.”
Such functions, which help enable a business to be nimble and responsive, rather than clunky and bureacratic, can be an important competitive advantage, Pronto believes.
“And what we are seeing in Australia is that customers in the manufacturing industry come to us to differentiate. One thing on the product side is engineer-to-order,” noted Goepfert.
Another big boost for SME users, says Pronto, is the statistical forecasting tool in the new release.
“Statistical forecasting is actually looking at the past performance of products or product groups with manufacturing companies or even distribution companies or retail would be able to predict the future for a specific product and its future demand.
“Obviously you can imagine if you’re making a specific product and you foresee a bit further what the market will need you’re in a better place to optimise your production. So that’s something that is additional for manufacturing companies.”