Companies across the textile industry integrate advanced software applications to help with every aspect of production, from inventory management and logistics tracking to cash flow monitoring, quality control, and regulatory compliance.
A textile manufacturer’s range of duty obligations linked to imports may also mean they rely on software to manage customs declarations while ensuring their production processes remain profitable. Today, we’ll examine the most common types of software used in textile manufacturing, the challenges they can address, and some alternative solutions to increase cost efficiencies.
Prevalent Types of Software Used in Textile Production
Textile manufacturers use software in almost every part of their organizations, depending on the types of textiles produced and their client base. For example, a manufacturer of technical sports fabrics may use different software from a producer making medical-grade fabrics for use in the healthcare industry or producing safety-based materials used in protective clothing and PPE.
However, many textile businesses introduce software for one primary reason–to manage costs and extract reporting information to help executives and senior leadership teams make informed decisions.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Programs in Textile Manufacturing
ERP software provides organization-wide oversight, coordinating data from across a manufacturing firm. Where companies have several branches, plants, or subsidiaries, the ERP collates reports and metrics from all departments into one central place. Managers and owners use ERP for varied tasks, including automation, payroll processing, financial reporting, marketing, and production tracking.
Using Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Software
An MES system manages production and manufacturing to ensure companies maintain the best possible output levels while optimizing processes to avoid unnecessary expenditure. A textile manufacturer might use MES software to analyze the reports extracted from SCADA systems and help find ways to reduce cost, enhance production volumes, or cut back on waste byproducts.
Benefits of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Textile Production Programs
SCADA systems function behind the scenes of physical manufacturing, operating machines and devices with both human-led instructions and automatic programming. Manufacturing staff use the software to control production processes, maintain quality standards, and expedite outputs while minimizing the potential for error. These systems manage production quality with the scalability to store and manipulate large amounts of data as a textile manufacturing business grows or expands into new areas.
Additional Ways to Boost Textile Production Productivity and Cost Controls
Each software we have explored is intended to reduce cost and improve production times, quality controls, and profitability by making manufacturing faster, more efficient, and more resource conscious. Textile producers can use their software reports to spot bottlenecks, lags in productivity, excess waste generated, or areas in which they can improve their internal controls to reduce manufacturing costs or improve how they utilize raw materials.
Other solutions with a similar outcome can include looking at offshoring or shifting production to key locations with a strong skill base and established infrastructure that offers higher production rates and lower overall costs. Many global textile producers use strategic sheltering structures, setting up production facilities in regions around Mexico, for example, gaining the compelling benefits of lower raw material costs and accessing reduced tax and duty liabilities through abatement programs.
Software used in textile production can improve margins. Still, it can be further augmented by setting up specialist operations in regions with a plentiful supply of experienced staff and lower-cost materials, improving efficiencies by as much as 20%.
Combining Textile Production Software and Offshore or Nearshore Manufacturing
The optimal approach will, of course, depend on the manufacturer, their current base of operations, and the areas within their organization that stand to benefit most from improved productivity. However, for many producers, the ideal course of action is to adopt advanced and high-specificity software while considering options in which they can tap into regions with a high concentration of manufacturing and supply chain partners within their industry.
Sourcing materials, components, skilled labor, and logistics support services from an area with an established network of suppliers and manufacturers can significantly reduce direct manufacturing costs while providing assurances of ongoing cost controls and streamlined organizational administration. Coupled with software solutions that introduce automation, on-demand reporting, real-time costing data, and top-down oversights, managers can access better controls, faster production times, and ultimately more successful manufacturing outputs.
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