Manufacturing software categories include quality management, manufacturing performance management, lean planning and operations, manufacturing collaboration, product development and manufacturing, enterprise asset management, and batch/process manufacturing.
Most ERP and manufacturing software systems focus on either process- or discrete-based functionality, rarely both. Dynamics AX 2012 is an ERP solution capable of both these types of manufacturing. The mixed-mode capabilities allow lean techniques to be applied to inventories and for supply/demand management that can be catered to specific distribution processes and company practices. For production-related activities handled by a scheduling engine, a new resource modeling tool enables organizations to schedule vendors, people, machines, tools, and locations to specific jobs and operations, based on the level of skill required for the tasks. New lean manufacturing techniques built into the system enable organizations to trim and balance inventory levels between work centers, treat contractor labour as a service (not as a bill of materials [BOM] component), and support continuous improvements through deeper Kanban functionality. This later technique is useful for keeping raw materials inventory in check, managing interplant transfers, supporting JIT requirements, preventing over-shipping and keeping actual production in sync with supplier schedules.
A new constraint-based product configurator is now available—and delivers a competitive differentiator in a crowded ERP software marketplace. This change from a rule-based configurator allows a more granular level of control for each product, down to the SKU level. This capability enables creation and reuse of components, assemblies, product models, and attributes. Touch-enabled job registration forms can be created for employees to register quantities and status at each production station, through a stationary touch screen on the production floor.
Popular manufacturing software systems such as SAP, Oracle, QAD or even Microsoft Dynamics generally offers the traditional manufacturing software functions: production order management, backflushing and forward flushing, serial and lot number tracking, multiple order processing, multiple bill of materials (BOM) versioning for production orders, multi-location material requirement planning (MRP), forecasting and master production scheduling (MPS), production scheduling, multiple routings, capacity planning, subcontracting by work centers, work center resource planning and capacity constraints, parallel scheduling, scheduling ahead for just in time scheduling (JIT), scrap and stop codes, and finite supply management for constrained resources.