During the product life cycle in manufacturing industries, minor as well as major changes are required. They can involve everything from new marketing materials, price adjustments, to complete engineering reviews. These tasks can become very difficult to manage and track. Collaboration is complex because it involves several areas, from technical specifications to marketing, operations, etc.
A cloud-based BPM Suite allows you to automate these workflows, and thus automate the processes related to changes in manufactured products. The low-code/no-code approach allows to do it in a very short time, without IT requirements or external consultancy.
In this previous post, we described the processes associated with the creation of new products in manufacturing industries. In this article, we will cover the changes in manufacturing products that will naturally occur throughout their life cycle.
The complexity of product changes
The first difficulty that appears during the life cycle of products in manufacturing industries is changing. Moreover, it is the breadth of options and complexities that these changes may have.
We can imagine some simple changes, such as a price adjustment, or a new label. These changes can certainly be implemented with a limited (and small) number of tasks. The coordination required will be between a few departments. Review and approval levels will also be simple.
On the other hand, we can need changes that are extremely complex. For example, changes that affect the technical specifications of the product, so they require detailed engineering review and analysis. Its price will change, so the commercial team must intervene. Including changes to specifications, all marketing materials and technical documentation must also be reviewed.
And it can get even worse. Can current suppliers provide the components for the new design? If not, do we have suppliers who can provide new ones? Do distributors need to be retrained?
Considering the entire caseload of manufacturing product changes in Excel spreadsheets is almost impossible. Following up and coordinating all the necessary tasks by mail, is inhumane. Formally modeling this process in BPMN (even if it is complex), and then automating it in a BPM Suite, will always be the most effective and efficient way.
Automating the Product Life Cycle
Once you have the process model (expressed in the BPMN standard), you can automate it using Flokzu Cloud BPM. This implies that the assignment of tasks, the control of deadlines, the sending of reminders and alerts to prevent delays, will be done by the BPMN execution engine.
Additionally, it is possible:
- Define tasks in parallel. Using the inclusive gateway you can assign different tasks to different people or roles to work simultaneously. It is also possible to wait for all those tasks to be completed before moving forward.
- Automatically calculate performance indicators (KPI’s), to measure the performance of the process and the people involved.
- Export detailed information, to issue reports and perform data analysis with specialized tools.
The benefits of automating the product change process in manufacturing industries are very similar to those presented for the new product process, and are summarized as follows:
- Reduction of the time needed to implement the changes. Shorter time-to-market, with the consequent competitive improvement.
- Lower costs of administration and management of the tasks involved in the changes in products. Eliminating manual tasks and automating everything possible allows you to focus on tasks with greater added value.
- Analyze the execution of the product change process through objective indicators, avoiding perceptions that could lead to bad decisions.
- Centralize in one place all product changes, pending tasks and documentation.
Managing changes in the products of the manufacturing industry is complex and costly. Collaboration becomes complex because it involves different areas, such as engineering, marketing, operations, etc. The associated documentation becomes unmanageable if it is not centralized and organized. Automating these processes with Flokzu Cloud BPM allows a major control, reduce costs, time to market, generating a sustainable competitive advantage.
Dozens of manufacturing companies in the United States and Europe have already significantly improved the complete life cycle of their products with Flokzu. Our technology has proven to be remarkably useful, with a minimum implementation time. Immediate results lead to a fast return on investment.
We invite you to learn more about these experiences by scheduling a joint work session.