Clients can have very particular needs. United Press International recently shared the story of a pair of businesses that had to manufacture a new rib cage for a cancer patient. Australian companies CSIRO and Anatomics used 3D printing technology to scan a 54-year-old man’s body and create a customized replacement skeletal structure out of medical-grade metal. Traditional implants can loosen over time, creating a product that fits perfectly into an individual’s body alleviates this problem. Customized medical implants are an example of make-to-order manufacturing, and while not every company has a 3D printer, many businesses use technology and data processes to create personalized products. Make-to-order procedures offer manufacturers many advantages but require a constant flow of information.

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The benefits of make-to-order manufacturing
Instead of stockpiling inventory for potential clients, companies utilizing make-to-order business models wait for a request before they begin production. Supply Chain Market said manufacturers use this type of process when they want to reduce inventory costs and improve customer satisfaction.

Make-to-order manufacturing is about eliminating waste. If a company creates a warehouse full of products, they have to find buyers for each item or get stuck with surplus. Certain merchandise could become obsolete over time and manufacturing may spend resources on materials that don’t bring in revenue.

There is also the cash flow issue. Companies spend money on manufacturing goods and then wait an unspecified period of time to get a return on their investment. If the product doesn’t sell, the business may act on funds they never receive. In make-to-order manufacturing, there is already a purchase agreement before work begins and the company receives a more dependable cash flow.

Flexible fabrication and assembly allows businesses to make products specifically for clients. Instead of trying to sell consumers on features they don’t need, a company produces merchandise based on the exact desires of each client. This type of customer responsiveness leads to greater satisfaction. Make-to-order manufacturing can follow customer demand and keep up with shifting markets.

Make-to-order manufacturing needs dependable data
Responsive manufacturing needs information before it can begin. Production line workers must know the exact details of work orders so they can create materials based on specific client demands. Communication tools should provide real-time data so all parties can respond to any changes.

Make-to-order manufacturing, however, can’t match the speed of traditional assembly line options. The Software Shortlist suggested companies learn to prioritize procedures to improve manufacturing productivity. Employees and managers must compare the data from multiple projects. Each work order should contain product specs and client schedules so job shops can determine which projects go first.

Companies that want to adapt work-to-order solutions into their daily activities must have the right tools. They need manufacturing equipment that can create specialized products. Businesses must also have a software solution that makes all the necessary data visible to every staffer. Mobile devices allow manufacturing workers to check details on the production line and communicate how the project proceeds. A convenient data solution that provides information flexibility and rapid communication helps companies keep up with make-to-order manufacturing.

Manufacturing managers can check out the Features & Benefits: Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Job Shops to learn more about data procedures for production.

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