EFFICIENT PRODUCTION, FALLING COSTS: THE ERP SYSTEM FOR METAL PROCESSING COMPANIES
Companies in the metal processing and metalworking industry are essential to the manufacturing sector: they make forged, pressed, drawn and punched parts, finish surfaces and fabricate tools, tanks or boilers – to name just a few of their products. Without them, cars would vanish from the assembly line and pens would disappear from our desks. Even so, the small or medium size of industry companies makes them ‘invisible’ – weakening their negotiating position in relation to suppliers and customers. As a consequence, the metal processing industry is exposed to a “price-cost squeeze”, as described in a study report from the EU Commission.
CUTTING THE COST OF ENERGY AND RAW MATERIALS
Where these companies have leverage is the output side – and especially in terms of prices for raw materials and energy. Not least because these are the two primary cost factors, with prices having skyrocketed over the last few years. Companies in metal processing must therefore take action on two fronts. First, they need to keep a weather eye on price developments and respond quickly to changes. Second, consumption needs to be reduced to an optimal level – by increasing production efficiency. This is an area with plenty of potential.
EFFICIENT PRODUCTION NEEDS SOLID DATA
The starting point for significant gains to production efficiency is a solid pool of data. Companies in both metal processing and metalworking must have clear information about which resources they are using where. Only in this way can wastage be both identified and resolved – only this approach achieves continuous improvement in production processes.