Manufacturing News

February 8, 2018

10 Lessons Learned after 30 Years in Manufacturing

1. Disrupt or be disrupted. In 2017, the manufacturing industry experienced game-changing opportunities. This competitive landscape will only continue in 2018. Manufacturers agile enough to capitalize on these emerging technologies…

February 8, 2018

Technology’s Role in the Manufacturing Revolution

When you have money to improve operations, what is the best use of that budget? Do you hire more workers? Buy new equipment? Or do you invest in software technology?…

February 6, 2018

How Manufacturers Can Turn Data into Insight

“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” This line from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner aptly describes how most manufacturers feel about their data. Despite drowning in…

December 19, 2017

5 Questions Auto Supply CFOs Should Be Asking

As the CFO of an Automotive Supply company, your role is to be equally visionary and pragmatic. How will you build the business of tomorrow, while ensuring you have the…

Business Transformation
December 18, 2017

5 Ways to Reduce Your Manufacturing Inventory Costs

Do you feel constant pressure to reduce manufacturing inventory costs? You’re not alone!  On one hand, if you don’t have enough of the right inventory on hand when it’s needed,…

December 11, 2017

Better, Faster, Cheaper ERP for Manufacturers

I’m sure you’ve seen that old saying about services. There are only 3 types of services: good, cheap and fast – and you can only pick two: Services – Pick…

December 8, 2017

The Top 5 Automotive Trends for 2018

Big changes coming in 2018! Changes in consumer demand are trickling down to provide new opportunities for automotive suppliers. Some of the trends include: 1.  Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars As…

December 5, 2017

How Manufacturing CFOs are Preparing for 2018

What’s in store for 2018? Changes are ahead for the manufacturing industry, largely due to new technologies that are becoming more affordable, and provide significant strategic advantages. Some of the…

December 5, 2017

5 Myths Busted about ERP for Manufacturers

Manufacturing and ERP systems have had a rocky relationship, one filled with big promises, missed opportunities and lots of misinformation. Companies trying to leverage manufacturing technology for competitive gain first…

November 14, 2017

Automotive Manufacturers Sell More with a Better Bid Response System

Do you want to win more bids? You need a better bid response system. Without a strong automotive manufacturing bid response system in place, your team is going to be…

November 3, 2017

What do CFOs like about Dynamics 365?

CFOs are constantly balancing the company’s limitations of today with the possibilities of tomorrow. They look for hidden risks and ways to capitalize on unseized opportunities. With these priorities in…

October 31, 2017

3 Ways Engineers are Staying on Top of Auto Regulations

Automotive engineers involved in the sales process have a responsibility to ensure that your automotive supply company stays on top of the latest regulations. Changes in regulations often drive design…

October 20, 2017

Bridging the Gap Between Current Processes & Future State Lean Models

When we work with clients to implement lean manufacturing principles, we typically use a software tool called LeanCONNECT (formerly called Areteium). With this tool, we can use existing manufacturing production…

October 2, 2017

5 Ways to Increase Quality Without Increasing Production Cost

Razor thin margins leave little room for production errors. Because product recalls and customer refunds are so expensive, you want to be able to consistently deliver quality products, but without…

September 20, 2017

When Lean Manufacturing isn’t Worth the Effort

As a company who has been doing manufacturing ERP implementations and has been evangelizing lean manufacturing principles for a long time, we believe in lean principles, and believe they can…

September 11, 2017

Even old-school CFOs are demanding modern manufacturing technology

“How do you achieve better profit margins?” That’s the bottom line question for every CFO. Your job is to make sure there’s enough money in the bank to keep operations…

September 6, 2017

What is Manufacturing CONNECT Accelerator?

Since manufacturing enterprise management software (ERP) was first developed, a truth that “everyone knows” is that implementing new MRP / ERP software is a long, expensive and complicated process. Worth…

September 1, 2017

5 Secrets to Improving Bid Responses for Auto Suppliers

Automotive supplier sales reps and engineers spend a lot of time responding to RFPs (Requests for Proposals). With so much time and energy going into formulating each response, what can…

August 28, 2017

Life After Moving to a Modern ERP System

Anytime you switch out your ERP system, you can expect a certain amount of grumbling. Change doesn’t come easy to most people! But if you are moving off an older…

August 24, 2017

Starting your Lean Manufacturing Journey

Every journey begins with a first step. And the first step is deciding, “Where do I want to go?” Lean Manufacturing is a process that is designed to take your…

Internet of Things
August 4, 2017

3 Technology Trends Giving Manufacturing Executives Shop Floor Insight

In a rivalry as old as time, management and workers each think they know what’s REALLY going on in a manufacturing plant. The manufacturing management team has business analytics and…

August 1, 2017

The Fastest Way to “Go Live” on Dynamics 365!

A typical ERP implementation may take months, even years, to deploy. But Microsoft has made it possible for companies choosing Microsoft Dynamics 365 to go live in just weeks! Go…

July 27, 2017

Top 5 Engineering Auto Supply Trends

As the auto industry embraces brave new technology like driverless cars, what does that mean for auto suppliers? How is the engineering department being impacted? What trends will be embraced…

June 15, 2017

How Automotive Manufacturers are Bucking the Profit Erosion Trend

Are your profits eroding slowly over time?  For automotive suppliers and other manufacturers who sell to giant corporations, profit erosion is a common problem. There’s no one big issue that...
June 2, 2017

Still running MAPICS?

At some point, companies still running MAPICS need to decide… should we upgrade to the latest version? Or move to a different manufacturing solution altogether?

May 12, 2017

5 Ways Your Automotive ERP System Is Keeping You From Increasing Revenue

Automotive suppliers who manufacture and sell their products to large automobile manufacturers can sometimes feel squeezed. Automobile manufacturers can be demanding clients – they can request lots of changes, which…

April 27, 2017

Automotive Suppliers: Learn How to Shorten the Bid Process and Get More Deals Closed Faster

As a company that frequently works with automotive supply manufacturers to implement technology systems, we find that while some companies have mastered the manufacturing production process, very few have a…

April 13, 2017

How Top Auto Supplier CEOs Use Technology as a Competitive Advantage

The best CEOs have a firm grasp of the big picture and understand enough of the details to know how to adjust course to meet the company’s goals. Your success…

March 22, 2017

The 5 Things Every Automotive Supply Should Be Doing in 2017

Most of the automotive parts manufacturers we work with have a pretty efficient shop floor.  Lean manufacturing has its roots in the automotive industry and most OEMs and parts suppliers…

March 1, 2017

6 Ways Manufacturers Can Improve Business Agility

Business agility is the name of the manufacturing game! How do you keep agile so you can capitalize on opportunities, while making sure you have enough finished product to meet…

March 1, 2017

Is your biggest manufacturing constraint your ERP system?

Recognizing and overcoming manufacturing constraints is one of the main jobs of running any manufacturing operation. You have your standard: Materials constraints Equipment constraints Labor constraints And the list goes…

March 1, 2017

5 Costly Manufacturing KPI Mistakes CFOs Make

Being a numbers-driven manufacturing CFO is a good thing – in fact, it’s essential. But as a CFO, you probably know finance and operations more than you know the ins-and-outs…

Business Transformation
January 24, 2017

Value Stream Mapping: Do your materials move by magic?

Does your lean manufacturing value stream map include movement of materials between processes? Value stream mapping is one of the most common and powerful tools used in lean manufacturing ….

January 24, 2017

HBD Industries Selects Microsoft Dynamics 365 and mcaConnect to Enable World-Class Manufacturing Operations

HBD Industries Selects Microsoft Dynamics 365 and mcaConnect to Enable World-Class Manufacturing Operations  Leading Diversified Industrial Manufacturer Upgrades Technology to Improve Business Performance January 19, 2017 (Denver, Colo.) – mcaConnect,…

December 9, 2016

Getting to the Aha Moment Faster

The Way Things Work Around Here Most manufacturing employees are comfortable in their routines. They are used to what they do and have become as productive as they can with…

September 28, 2016

Lean Production Scheduling in Dynamics AX

]Let’s look in some detail at production scheduling for lean manufacturing in Dynamics AX.  If you haven’t read my blog series on production scheduling supporting lean principles, I encourage you…

August 31, 2016

Production Scheduling – Level the Volume

This post is part of our series discussing the 7 lean manufacturing guidelines. In this post we’ll discuss supermarkets as a way to design a lean future state. Post 1:…

Business Transformation
July 26, 2016

Production Scheduling – Supermarkets and Pull

This post is part of our series discussing the 7 lean manufacturing guidelines. In this post we’ll discuss supermarkets as a way to design a lean future state. Post 1:…

July 26, 2016

5 Ways Manufacturers Can Increase Customer Loyalty

Most manufacturers and distributors don’t place enough focus on driving customer loyalty. Sure, if you are a manufacturer, you want repeat business, but where customers get the most frustrated is…

July 14, 2016

Production Scheduling – Building to Takt

This is the second post in our series discussing the 7 lean manufacturing guidelines. The first guideline is to design a lean future state by producing to your takt time….

July 12, 2016

Production Scheduling – 7 Lean Principles

The other day I came across an early version of the Lean Enterprise Institute’s “Learning to See” workshop from 1999. The workshop listed seven guidelines for the design of a…

July 8, 2016

Manufacturing Re-Imagined

How can manufacturing ERP systems and related technologies solve manufacturing challenges using new approaches? That was the question our manufacturing experts answered at “Manufacturing Re-Imagined,” a joint Microsoft and mcaConnect…

July 6, 2016


Why is it that every time I am out with customers I end up with something new to blog about? Probably because I am insanely curious about each customer as…

March 30, 2016

Configurators: NPI Every Time All the Time

Maybe it’s because we specialize in high mix manufacturing or maybe there are just more of them out there but we are increasingly working with companies with highly configurable products…

February 19, 2016

Kanban Cards or MRP?

OK so the title of this article was incendiary and just a ploy to get you here. Sorry.Instead of another vitriolic diatribe on the glories of kanban over MRP I…

September 4, 2015

Using an LTS to Sustain Lean Manufacturing Benefits

What’s an LTS? It’s the acronym for Lean Transformation Software. While LTS is not as well-known as other acronyms in our industry like ERP, CRM, MRP, BI, etc – it…

July 13, 2015

6 Features Manufacturers on Dynamics AX Should Explore

You may not be a retailer, but you don’t have to be. You can still take advantage of these retail functions to improve your manufacturing operations. The Microsoft Dynamics AX…

July 6, 2015

Lean Physician Heal Thyself

I was struck by an excellent blog post on The Lean Post by Richard Sheridan, founder of Menlo Innovations, a software company using lean principles for software development. Richard makes…

October 24, 2014

AXUG and Beyond with Technology for Lean

Phil Coy @leaniac Managing Director of Strategic ServicesLast week’s AXUG Summit in St. Louis was a great opportunity to check in on the state of lean in the Dynamics AX…

September 22, 2014

When Lean Needs a Technology Assist

Phil Coy @leaniac Managing Director of Strategic ServicesLean is often portrayed as “common sense” for manufacturing. Indeed, lean tools emphasize simple visual practices that are easy to learn and easy…