There are many different systems out there. There are some really great ones too!  But, what is the best system for you?

What if I tell you that there are five main things to look at when choosing a manufacturing plant management system? These five criteria work in any situation. Let’s take a look at them below:

Automation

Is automation included with the software? Can it be integrated?

You want to look for a system that offers complete automation.¬† Now, there are some companies out there who have the best of intentions, but their product is not always easy to use or it may not integrate well with other parts of your business. ¬† So how do you know whether or not the new AMP system you’re thinking about will work for you?

Well, if it is fully integrated and easy to use, then chances are, it’s a pretty good software.   If the software does not integrate well with your back-end systems such as purchasing or accounting then that could be a red flag.   You don’t want to jump into buying something without taking the time to understand the ins and outs of it!

Does it help with automation? The system should be able to take in data from different machines, enter that into the software, then give your employees an easy way to read that information.   The system should then suggest any necessary actions or even complete those actions for you.    How many hours a day do you spend looking at data?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have the software look for any trends on its own so you don’t have to?

User Experience

Is the user experience good? Is it easy to learn how to use it?   

Yes, automation is important (and we just talked about that) but what if you can’t actually use the software?

Think about what would happen if you were to implement this system across your entire company.  Everyone will have to learn how to use it, so ease of use is very important.   If the software takes a long time for employees to figure out, sometimes they may even give up before ever learning how to use it.  

You want to look for a system that has an intuitive interface, with the most commonly used functions available on the main screen.  This way, your employees can easily use this software from day one and any training time is cut down significantly!

Preventative Maintenance

These problems can be expensive, so you need to make sure your system offers preventative maintenance!   The goal of this feature is for the software to help you catch issues before they turn into full-blown catastrophes. For example, if there is a water leak on an assembly line then that could mean thousands of dollars lost- not to mention the headache!

The best way to use preventative maintenance is for the software to check sensors on your equipment, alerting you if there is any issue.   If your system cannot do this automatically then it’s probably not the best choice for you.

Machine Learning

Yes, it would be convenient if the software could collect data and sort through it by itself!   This is known as machine learning! One example of where machine learning can be useful is in production monitoring. If you have a complex manufacturing process, complex data is generated. So, the software might need some time to collect this data and sort through it.

The best system will be able to do this without your help!  However, if you are using an older or less sophisticated system then it may not have that capability.

What you want to look for is machine learning, which refers to the system’s ability to make decisions based on data it has collected.   This could be one of the best features your software may have!