Modern times call for modern ERP

A big issue for manufacturers’ IT is the efficient integration of different IT systems. One of the battlegrounds for enterprise resource planning software is between traditional legacy ERP solutions and more modern enterprise applications, where there is a tradeoff between cost, functionality and suitability to the business. Adam Prince, senior director of product marketing at Epicor, makes the case for a modern ERP system.

Don’t just tick the boxes

Manufacturers take employee satisfaction and performance appraisals seriously. But a recent survey of appraisals shows that manufacturing consistently scores the lowest in a range of industries. Why? Sarah Coles investigates.

Analysing the benefits

Lean and six sigma are not mutually exclusive business improvement strategies, rather the efficacy of one is reliant on implementing the other, says Joe Goasdoué, CEO of the British Quality Foundation. A recent survey by YouGov provides evidence that a combined Lean Six Sigma strategy is highly effective.

Risky business keeps insurance down

In a recessionary environment it would be reasonable to expect insurance costs to fall, given the competition among insurers for business. But there is evidence that insurance costs for manufacturers are rising. Risk management, meanwhile, should not be axed as a non-essential luxury when cash is short, say insurers. Alistair Dawber reports.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Eli Goldratt looks at the success of production techniques that enabled car companies to become some of the biggest companies in the world – despite their contrasting fortunes. Henry Ford and Taiichi Ohno revolutionised manufacturing by first developing flow lines and then modifying this system to environments where each work centre produces a variety of components, as at Toyota.

Blown away – Can wind energise British industry?

The UK should reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 80% by 2050, according to advice from the Committee on Climate Change. It also needs to bolster exports to assist economic recovery. Surely the time is ripe for a renewable energy manufacturing bonanza? says Will Stirling. - Part 1 of a three part series

Outsourced and on-site

Ian Ritchie, managing director of Brammer, a leading supplier of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products and services, examines how having an outsourced maintenance spares stores on-site can deliver significant financial and operational benefits to manufacturing companies.