We have talked a lot in the past about centralised content management systems, and how beneficial they can be to businesses when managing their paperwork. But what we’ve not talked much about is how these solutions actually work, and what real world problems they can solve. This month, we want to change that, and explain not only how centralised content management works, but how that relates to one of the most complex and paper intensive business environments in existence. The manufacturing industry.
How It Works
Whatever flavour of content management solution you opt for, you will find that most operate in a similar way. They take electronic documents from several digital workflows, sort and tag them according to your pre-programmed preferences, before storing them on an external, centralised server. This server forms the central repository for your content management system, and is the key to the success of the system. Once the document is stored in the central repository, users can access and use the file from any remote location with the correct permissions. The repository then acts much like a library – users check out the document for use, and saves it back to the repository when done. Comments can also be added to the document when in repository, allowing for maximum collaboration across the company. But while users can see and work on the document in real time from multiple locations, there is only one copy of the document in existence. This means that the same document can be referenced and used multiple times, but only exist once, removing the risk of duplication errors.
What That Means For Manufacturing
For manufacturing businesses, a lot of paperwork is produced around each individual order. Whether that’s an order for a customer, orders for parts or related paperwork, each job will generate over 30 documents that all need to be stored. Naturally, keeping track of all of this is a challenge. But with a content management solution in place, manufacturers can take advantage of the centralised server in a way few other businesses can. This is because for most other businesses, this serves as a useful backup and archive point for their documentation, whereas in manufacturing it can be the tool to improve collaboration and significantly reduce duplication errors.
Let’s look at an example. A new order comes in for a mid-sized manufacturing company. Associated with that unique order are:
- eBOM and As-designs
- 3D CAD models
- Manufacturing resources and standards
- Internal resources and external supplier lists
- Parts and assembly processes and plans
- NC/CMM programs
- Tooling requests
- Time and cost estimates
- Change requests
- Material masters
- Work instructions
- Invoices, purchase orders and purchase lists
- Approval paperwork
Of course, this is just an overview, with multiple documents being produced under each of those sections. There is also all the legal paperwork associated with the manufacturing process to consider. When managing that order, workers need to be able to quickly find and access that paperwork to ensure everything stays on schedule. In previous years, this all would have been done on paper and stored in a filing cabinet, eating up a lot of time and storage space. But with a centralised content management solution, all of this paperwork has been digitised at source, and has been tagged and stored in the centralised repository. This means that workers in different plants can find all of the documentation related to that order with a simple search (thanks to the tags) and view it in real time without risk of duplication.
At Tipac, we work closely with manufacturing companies across the UK to help them see the true benefits of centralised content management in their business. We offer free, no obligation demonstrations and can provide case studies that prove just how valuable this simple, flexible solution can be. For more information, or to book your demo, get in touch with the Tipac team today.