In the world of business, your ability to shine often depends on the strength of your operational processes. While many gurus seem to think the pathway to success is paved with software technology, that view may be a bit idealistic for non-techy manufacturers. After all, not everyone has armies of technical geniuses at their disposal or wallets flush enough for infamously expensive ERP solutions which makes No-Code solutions something worth evaluating.
However, there’s some good news for manufacturers wanting to make an impact: non-code processes improvements are now an option—allowing them to upgrade systems without needing developers onboard. In high stakes industries, this kind of non-code power could just mean the difference between thriving and non-existence!
No-Code Applications in manufacturing
Manufacturers today face immense pressures to modernize so they can keep pace with changing customer demands, market volatility, and supply chain risks. Using low-code and no-code tools, manufacturing leaders can adapt existing IT software, add functionality, combine workflows, tailor prerequisites, or extend compliance requirements allowing them to focus on business process improvement.
New solutions can also be built starting with a blank canvas. Either way, the company takes control of the holistic use of technology—and data. Beginning with process mapping strategies, companies decide how “standard processes” should be modified by streamlining steps or adding steps to improve quality and compliance. Some examples:
1. Embrace highly distinct operations
This can include the many highly specialized activities unique to discrete manufacturers, beyond the basic financial management and ledger sheets. Low-code/no-code tools can help refine processes for the different departments, business units, or functions, such as product lifecycle management, asset maintenance, data mining and sharing, customer order input, bill of materials, shop floor scheduling, inventory planning, shipping, and scheduling of work crews—from quality inspectors to delivery drivers to the whole company.
Manufacturers—depending on the vertical—may also face numerous regulatory compliance issues that call for process audits or performance reporting. Adjustments to existing software may need to be made to capture relevant data and submit forms.
2. Manage departmental needs
Different departments and users have multiple applications, enjoying the flexibility and ability to tailor workflows, the knowledge base, or automated triggers for a supervisor’s approval. For managers, reporting on the use of resources—from raw materials to labor—may be the priority. For front-line workers who engage with customers, easy access to data so they can quickly answer customer questions or expedite service might be the high priority. For engineers, tracking specifications and material standards may help with timely quotes on special orders.
3. Empower individuals with No-Code solutions
Individuals in the organization often have personal Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) they track. This can be part of the organization’s formal performance review program, or an individual’s own goal setting for professional growth. In either situation, individuals will appreciate tools to help them monitor specific critical points, making comparisons over time, and allowing them to drill into data points for specific dates or incidents that may require further analysis. When this information is well organized and easily consumable, the business user will be more efficient at leveraging the information and more likely to have a meaningful user experience. When individuals improve performance, the entire company benefits from these business process improvements.
4. Maintain proprietary machinery
Manufacturers often run machinery that is highly proprietary, often developed by their own engineers or R&D team. Processes related to the machinery will require monitoring and tracking, such as a schedule for preventive maintenance or instructions for replacing consumables, like ink or glue. This type of proprietary information needs to be recorded and accessible by team members.
The industrial engineers who design and build the unique machinery may have limited code-writing skills and will appreciate low-code/no-code tools to help them create unique software to help run, monitor, and maintain the equipment. These tools help specialized teams take advantage of software capabilities—without needing to consult with the IT team or hire developers. They get do-it-yourself convenience and control of how the solution will display information and what security precautions are needed for access.
5. Solve unusual pain points with No-code solutions
The organization likely has highly specialized issues or pain points that can be improved by identifying, capturing, tracking, and analyzing relevant data. These pain points may be unique to the company, the product, or the way the team is organized. If the need is highly specialized, the existing business solutions on the market will likely be too generic to cover the unusual process or problem.
Managers can take existing software and enhance or boost capabilities to solve even the most unusual issues. Tracking screens, reporting forms, guidance for users, or modules for quality control or regulation compliance can be added and highly useful. New functionality can be easily defined, created, and integrated to existing solutions, through low-code/no-code tools. New stand-alone solutions can also be developed, without developer-skills required.
6. Connect the dots—and data
Every manufacturer has silos and pockets of disparate data. It happens, despite the best efforts of intelligent people armed with average software. Manufacturers often need help connecting the dots and finding correlations between cause and effect. Different teams may view the same data differently, creating confusion or duplicated efforts.
Different apps may be used by different teams, making collaboration difficult. Easy-to-use no-code/low-code tools can help integrate solutions, combine data sources, and create shared visibility. The proper interface can help teams who were disagreeing about data integrity come together to share insights and solve problems. Tools can also help connect robotics, machine-to-machine data sharing, and internet of things (IoT) use cases. Breaking down silos is a critical step in creating company-wide efficiency.
7. Avoid over-solving
Manufacturers no longer need to buy costly enterprise-wide solutions when they only need one or two process improvements or new functionality to solve a single issue. Many software solutions are big, sprawling solutions with multiple modules, providing more features and functions than a start-up or mid-sized organization needs and could disrupt manufacturing processes.
Other solutions are too simplistic or consumer-like for manufacturing operations. Finding the right-sized solution can be a challenge—when shopping for software off the shelf. Low-code and no-code solutions allow organizations to build focused solutions on blank canvases. They can be highly selective in setting goals and applying new process improvements, expanding the solution to match their growth plans, scaling as they want, how they want. As these solutions are implemented they quickly identify opportunities for improvement in existing business processes.
8. Refine the process
Workflows in the manufacturing process can become complex, especially when the company offers make-to-order and engineer-to-order options. Highly configured products, too, can add to complexity of operations. Highly engineered or capital-intensive products also add potential complications, from extra quality control steps to collaboration with the customer, and processes for change-orders, costing, and managing margins.
Business processes built into the enterprise solution or MES system will likely need to be tailored to manage the workflows. Process automation is critical to optimizing productivity in manufacturing. Careful documentation of the desired process helps everyone within the organization follow standardized steps. Tools for process mining and process documentation can be applied to existing solutions.
Cadynce is a no-code workflow automation platform that helps manufacturers streamline operations, improve internal communication, increase customer satisfaction, speed onboarding and consuming data insights. If continuous improvement is what you need, Cadynce will help you achieve continuous process improvement while aligning your business goals.
Users improve productivity and gain efficiencies and improve company culture. Tools includes a powerful workflow engine, document management and infinite elements and collections that can be combined to tailor solutions.
Learn more about specific features here.