If you are using an ERP system in your glass business to manage your finances and commercial operations, you have probably considered whether it could also be used to bring about improvements in manufacturing.
When you look at the leading glass businesses around the world, almost all of them are using sophisticated computer systems to achieve cost savings in production, improve output quality and gather management information, often in real-time. However, these systems tend to be more specialised than the generic manufacturing modules from ERP vendors, providing capabilities that meet the unique requirements of the glass industry.
So, what is it that makes glass manufacturing such a challenge to manage, and what are the capabilities that you need to add to your ERP, to make it fit the way you need to work?
Unique ERP requirements of the glass industry
- Manage mass customisation.
In the glass industry we manage not only large volumes of work, but also substantial product customisation. Your manufacturing system cannot rely on the same predictability as other sectors.
- Work with fragility.
A key focus of glass production is working around the high risk of breakages. Your systems needs to be flexible enough to remake anything that gets broken or scratched, as well as providing detailed data to help you see where this is happening and how to reduce it.
- Support complex quoting.
Because every order is different, you need pricing systems that can quickly work out prices based on all of your different treatments, custom cutting and marking, sizes, thicknesses and even the expected waste.
- Capture detailed orders.
All the different glass manufacturing processes require a lot of product-specific information. To avoid errors and inefficiency, your systems need to capture all the details in one place, without people having to rekey the specifications and measurements that are needed for each stage of design and manufacture.
- Simplify specialised designs.
If you use a generic CAD package for glass design or Georgian bars, it takes a lot of skill and is excessively time-consuming. Systems like Gtrak have integrated CAD tools, which pull all the measurements from the order, give you easily reused templates and create designs that can be fed directly into your CNC equipment.
- Make optimisation smarter.
With the rising cost of raw materials and energy, your systems need to optimise glass cutting and furnace utilisation, but without compromising the efficiency or priorities of your production. Stand-alone tools tend to create solutions that need extensive manual adjustment, taking time and wasting more resources.
- Track and measure in real-time.
Glass production is rarely predictable or linear, for example as sheets from the same product are separated for different treatments. It is essential that you can track where every piece of glass is throughout your factory, so you know where the parts are for each customer order, can assemble everything quickly and efficiently, and measure where performance needs to be improved.
Gtrak from Jotika
Gtrak is the leading software solution for the glass industry. It provides the most capable and flexible management of a glass business, working perfectly with the real-world constraints and challenges presented by this industry. It has been developed over 30 years and the latest version is used by glass businesses worldwide.
Gtrak integrates seamlessly with financial packages and ERP systems, so you have a single point of entry for all your order data; you benefit from sophisticated, in-built estimation and pricing; you have the best glass design and optimisation tools built-in with no inefficient rekeying; and you have instantly available, real-time management information covering your entire manufacturing operation.
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