Uncover Digital Tools to Tackle Manufacturing Challenges

February 13, 2023
Padma Raghunathan
Padma Raghunathan
Product Marketing Manager
Uncover Digital Tools to Tackle Manufacturing Challenges

What do manufacturers within the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) who design and assemble complex products have in common? Across the board, they recognize and understand that their reputation and industry standing hinges on their ability to consistently deliver quality products to their customers. Manufacturers must adhere to compliance requirements in the highly competitive world of government contracting while delivering superior products. Otherwise, poor production standards or noncompliance could lead to penalties, contract suspension, and in extreme cases, debarment from future contracting opportunities, which all could adversely affect an organization’s industry standing and potentially cause the loss of future business.

Companies in highly regulated industries, such as aerospace & defense (A&D), weapons systems, and subsystem manufacturing, to name a few, harness modern tools to manage end-to-end business processes— from finance and purchasing to manufacturing execution and quality assurance. An integrated digital system, which combines multi-disciplinary functionalities, provides:

  • Improved visibility with real-time process, equipment, systems, and product data
  • Optimized manufacturing processes by eliminating redundancies and avoiding costly errors
  • Expanded data transparency and ease of sharing and archived information
  • Accelerated pace of innovation in the era of “Industry 4.0”

Leveraging digitally automated processes can streamline product workflows, provide full-spectrum visibility into business operations, help develop a proactive approach to identify potential causes of disruptions, and, most importantly, ensure the highest product quality allowing businesses to improve their time to market and reduce operational downtime.

5 Market Conditions Driving Digital Transformation in Manufacturing & Quality

Post-pandemic, businesses worldwide were forced to recalibrate and shift their goals and strategies to stay in business and remain relevant. The DIB has seen significant challenges stemming from material shortages, inflation, and supply chain and logistics issues. Below, we'll review some ongoing obstacles organizations face and innovative ways to address these setbacks while adhering to compliance requirements, maintaining quality standards, and ensuring healthy bottom lines.

#1. Inflation: Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, rising costs of goods and services have presented significant concerns for manufacturers. While there are signs that inflation may decline in 2023, the threat remains, and has caused companies to re-evaluate their pricing strategies, re-assess their contract-type mix, and evaluate alternate suppliers and vendors.

A digitally integrated manufacturing execution solution (MES) and quality management solution (QMS) provide access to real-time cost data across multiple functions such as accounting, supply chain, inventory, quality, and the shop floor. With manufacturing functionalities tied to project accounting and quality, cost visibility at the project, part, and unit levels is available. When companies revisit their budget and pricing strategies, this increased visibility helps organizations make informed decisions when tackling internal challenges spurred by external concerns such as inflation.

#2. Lack of digitization and automation: In industries involving complex and precision manufacturing practices, it is widely acknowledged that digital transformation is no longer a nice to have but is a necessity to achieve a competitive edge. A lack of automated process flows, sustainable interfaces, and interoperability makes an organization's operations cumbersome and impedes progress.

By adopting digital manufacturing processes, companies can and have achieved the following:

    • Advanced manufacturing processes capable of identifying and reporting production anomalies— enabling timely corrective actions and automated workflow instructions that are detailed and time-bound
    • Real-time data extraction for various functions, allowing for process improvements and eliminating data silos
    • Government and regulatory compliance through validated data that has been reviewed, assured, and authorized within the system

    #3. Consistency in production: In an era of digitization and evolving technology, manufacturers are evaluating and, in many cases, upgrading their organizations' infrastructure and capabilities to become cutting-edge. However, their efforts have an underlying purpose; to ensure that the discrete parts they produce meet their industry's highest quality standards.

    #4. Enhanced government and regulatory compliance requirements: Manufacturers in highly regulated domains must comply with government and regulatory requirements and meet contract specifications. Any gaps in this could lead companies to fail audits and, in some cases, be found to be non-compliant causing loss of contracts and business.

    Manufacturers seek MES and QMS that are purpose built to be audit ready, which eliminates paper-based processes, integrates manufacturing and quality data, streamlines document management, makes non-conforming materials and products easier to identify and helps manage supply chain with visibility into product genealogy down to the specific manufacturer or vendor.

    #5. Managing supplier quality and performance: Navigating supply chain disruptions is on the top of the minds for manufacturers. The pandemic and war in Ukraine have exacerbated the impact of an already fragile supplier ecosystem, especially within the DIB. Disorganized vendor management systems and processes can also hinder manufacturing operations, leading to delays in product and service delivery. In effect, supply chain disruptions can be caused internally or externally, leading to work stoppages and increased downtime on the shop floor. By adopting predictive systems, manufacturers and suppliers can monitor the health of their supply chain and pre-emptively address potential roadblocks.

    Supplier quality and performance are critical requirements for delivering superior products in a timely manner. Customers need systems to manage supply chains efficiently and help plan, map, and execute a robust supply chain ecosystem. Effective supplier management increases quality and enables more efficient production, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. Tracking supplier performance and compliance ratings helps identify pain points and failures requiring immediate corrective actions, thus, helping mitigate risks and manage audits efficiently.

Global and economic conditions, in addition to unique industry challenges, have played heavily into Deltek's product strategy. As a leading provider of project-based business software, Deltek is at the forefront of helping manufacturers embrace and successfully overcome market challenges.

Acquisition of TIP Technologies – Accelerating Manufacturing with Quality

Manufacturers can respond rapidly to evolving business, government, and regulatory requirements with complete visibility into product and project lifecycles provided by Deltek's products and solutions. A robust, flexible, and scalable MES and QMS address an extensive spectrum of business operations and allow manufacturers to make proactive decisions about products, processes and quality. Deltek's manufacturing solutions enable companies to achieve optimal levels of performance and transparency, providing an advantage over their competition and ensuring an excellent reputation among their peers.

Late last year, Deltek announced the acquisition of TIP Technologies –the leading provider of quality, compliance and manufacturing execution solutions for the highly regulated A&D and government contracting industry. With this acquisition, Deltek added QMS and MES capabilities to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) portfolio and manufacturing solutions for fabricators in highly regulated industries. Deltek + TIP Technologies interfaces with Deltek Costpoint and other third-party ERP, MRP, or MES solutions. As a combined force, Deltek + TIP Technologies provide manufacturing solutions that integrate project accounting, purchasing & supply chain, materials & inventory, shop floor execution, and quality assurance into a scalable, secure, government-compliant solution.

Deltek's products, knowledge, and 40 years of experience combined with its expertise is the perfect go-to for government contractors and commercial organizations to embrace digital transformation and be a part of Industry 4.0.

Access Deltek’s Resources and Learn More

With Digital Transformation being a key topic across industries, Deltek invites you to attend our three-part webinar series where we talk about the need for digital transformation, managing compliance, and creating a paperless shop floor with Deltek + TIP Technologies.


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