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The Value of Custom Software in Manufacturing

In today’s increasingly digital environment, companies must be able to properly leverage the mass amounts of data at their disposal – and manufacturers are no different.

The latest industrial revolution has provided manufacturers with ample opportunity to both generate and leverage mass amounts of data. Using sensors and hardware, manufacturers can generate deeper insights into their machine performance and overall efficiency. Using software, that data can then be interpreted and visualized in an easy-to-digest manner that lets management make actionable, educated changes to their process.

Whether it is design and implementation, production and shipping, or invoicing and scheduling – why shouldn’t your software work the way you do?

The Value of Custom Software in Manufacturing

Purpose-Built

Most manufacturers have unique processes specific to their organization, so logically speaking, shouldn’t their software be just as unique? Because custom software is built around your requirements, it doesn’t include redundant or unnecessary features that could bog-down performance.  Rather than obtaining a once-size-fits all solution, manufacturers can obtain a solution built specifically to tailor fit their processes—and designed to grow alongside their business.

Integration Capabilities

Another advantage of custom software is its capacity for integration. Between ERP’s (Enterprise Resource Planning), MES’s (Manufacturing Execution Systems) and QAS’s (Quality Assurance Systems), the average manufacturer juggles at least 3 different enterprise applications at once, all with their own unique sets of data. This is why FreePoint Technologies has developed an API to help manufacturers get the most out of that data, making it work the way they do. With the new ShiftWorx API, FreePoint is enabling manufacturers to connect outside resources with their ShiftWorx Machine Monitoring Platform.

Mobilization Capabilities

Mobility is another advantage of custom software, allowing you to access data from in the office or on the go – all from your mobile device. By mobilizing your systems, you can access PLC devices to better manage your machines, or communicate with customers and staff. In manufacturing, communication is vital, and mobilizing your workforce can make communication easier and more effective.

Scalability & Adaptability

In addition to its capacity for integration, custom software is more scalable and versatile than its off-the-shelf counterpart. Features and functionality grow alongside your business, as your solution is built specifically around your needs and requirements. Manufacturers can add or remove features as they need, and use the system on any platform or device they desire—greatly improving accessibility.

With the growing demand for make-to-order manufacturing and personalized products, custom software can also help better allocate company resources, so your processes run more efficiently. Staff, materials, and machines can all be more efficiently managed to ensure that your workflow is not only optimized but constantly improving.

Final Thoughts

Custom software has never been more valuable and attainable for manufacturers. Because technology is one of the most important competitive advantages in manufacturing, custom software gives you a competitive edge with features and functions not necessarily found elsewhere in the industry.

Before embarking on a custom development project though, you should ask yourself a few questions: What do you need the software for, and what do you want out of it? Depending on what you come up with, you will be much better positioned to assess the value of custom software within your organization.

If you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. With +30 years of experience in software development, we can help you determine what the right approach is for your shop.

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