Time to market is vital to configuring new products. A man holds an hourglass while sitting by a laptop.

Speeding Up Time to Market

Competitive pressure can put a strain on your project’s performance, but you shouldn’t let that slow you down. Ensuring the development of your concept to it hitting the market is a gigantic boon to your business, which is why you need all the right tools and the best strategies to streamline your project’s time to market.

Time to market is the duration needed to bring a product to fruition. This starts all the way back with the initial idea for the product, involving its advancement into the design cycle, its steady development, and ultimately its successful launch on the market. Time to market is important because it gives your company the advantage of being the first one to drive a change in the market.

Being the first to market also has a larger impact on your customers, resulting in greater sales and profit margin compared to slower competitors. There is a constant desire from customers to be early adopters and to want the newest features, and being able to reach your customers before anyone else comes from being able to streamline your development process.

There hasn’t always been a connection between innovation and speed, but now it is easier than ever to get your big idea out to the masses. Companies also want to shorten their time to market for reduced research and development costs, as well as revenue growth and share growth. Customer satisfaction is another essential reason for that drive.

You can speed up time to market by creating a well-defined workflow. By starting with defining a clear goal, you can move onto taking advantage of either outsourcing or automation. No matter how development goes, you should also have ways to track your results effectively. 

Time is money, and reducing your time to market not only gives you a competitive edge, but it will also help the growth of your business. For more information on accelerating your project’s time to market, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

Three team members work on a production planning meeting for an industrial company.

Planning and Execution in the Manufacturing Industry

Maintaining a competitive edge in the market requires hard work. All across the globe, manufacturers keep pushing themselves to become more efficient and more successful. In order to achieve both, you need to have the right knowledge on some key components, production planning and production control.

Production planning and control does precisely what it says, allowing manufacturers to come up with a plan for production, execute and carry out that plan, and to have control over operations by continually improving initiatives. These processes are related, but are also defined by four stages: routing, scheduling, dispatching, and follow-up. The first two stages relate closely to production planning, while the second two relate to production control.

Routing refers to the path where materials flow within the facility. This stage tracks both quantity and quality of materials, the resources involved, the order of operations, and the location of the job. By optimizing how resources are utilized, they can be sure to get the best results.

After knowing the “where” and “what”, you need to determine the “when.” This happens with the scheduling phase. It measures more than just when the process comes to completion, but when to begin every step along the way. Scheduling should be used for daily tasks as well, not just for larger projects.

To ensure that operations have been completed successfully, dispatching orders must be seen through. This includes issuing orders for initiating work, determining what materials are important for the production, maintaining records from beginning to end, controlling the procedures, and letting work efficiently flow from one stage to the next.

Finally, is the follow-up, when you want to measure how well the performance has gone. If you need to find any faults, defects, or slowdowns, then following up will allow you to reflect on what went well and what needs improvement. Follow-up also will guarantee that with the kinks worked out, the next time the process is run, it will move much more smoothly.

Optimizing the production process does not come instantaneously, but involves planning and control, so everything will be at the right place at the right time. For more information on improving the production planning and control of your business, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

manufacturing execution system graphic featuring a robotic arm.

Enable Multiple Elements at Once Through MES

Increasing your business’s efficiency can mean doing more with less. It also means improving communication between sites so information can travel more quickly and with ease. The best way to ensure this success is by incorporating a manufacturing execution system.

Manufacturing execution systems are computerized systems used in manufacturing for tracking and documenting the transformation of raw materials and finished goods. One of the primary goals of this system is to make sure that every level of your operations is producing at maximum efficiency and for production output to be improved. 

Setting and achieving goals can come much quicker after getting your business involved with its own manufacturing execution system. You will synchronize all manufacturing activities across each facility, and with real-time data checks you will eliminate many areas where human error can be a risk.

For larger operations, a manufacturing execution system provides a flexible model to change processes and to enforce them instantly. Order details and instructions can be dispatched and reach personnel instantly. Plus, real-time feedback will help those involved to identify and resolve issues without delay.

However, a manufacturing execution system is not the answer for all businesses. Smaller manufacturers with smaller production will find it difficult to justify an additional system, where the profit margins are not wide enough to invest in a process that is built for connecting even the most complex manufacturing systems.

Both long-term and short-term benefits will become clear with a manufacturing execution system in place. Robust strategies lead to improved yields, lower costs, and better adherence to compliance. For more information on implementing an effective manufacturing execution system within your business, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

Digital Transformation Strategy represented through a digital tree evolving over time.

Adapting to the Modern Markets Through Digital Transformation

To be successful and stay competitive in today’s market, both your business and your employees need to adapt. This means accepting and adapting to a digital transformation strategy. Throughout the generations, industries and manufacturers have evolved as society had, and it is no different today.

Digital transformation refers to the change that affects business processes, ecosystems, and models and they each integrate newer digital technologies across all facets. It even goes well beyond business practices, and people and society have changed their behaviors as well to accommodate the shift. 

In the business world, digital transformation also applies to adapting technologies to affect customer expectations, the shift in society, and how industries might disrupt one another. Learning and understanding how digital transformation can boost your business to the forefront is only the beginning in the ever-changing world of the global economy. 

These days many shoppers are looking to online purchases for the ease of being able to buy things from the comfort of their couches. Not only are they buying more online, but they are using those outlets to do research on what they will next buy in store. In either scenario, shoppers seek instant gratification, and when your business can adapt to digital transformation, you will see your brand increase in value.

But it’s not only retail that is thriving in the digital age. Software and telecommunications are constantly growing, and the ability to connect with businesses and customers around the world is something you would not be able to do as easily just 10 or 20 years ago. The health and pharmaceutical industry also provides instant information between doctors and patients, allowing them to receive results or diagnoses faster.

This shift means a lot less if you are not able to get your employees on board. Training and involvement is crucial for digital transformation, and even though it may take your employees out of their comfort zone, the new challenges will help them grow, which in turn allows your business to grow.

Digital transformation is not just about technology, but also about people. Businesses, customers, employees and clients all need to adapt for this world to progress. For more information on digital transformation and its important role in your business, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

A woman details her company's business strategy to a small group

Effectively Converting Strategy Into Action

Taking action means very little without a solid plan. In business, you need to prepare for any and all circumstances, meaning it is wiser to be proactive than reactive. Developing a business strategy is only the first step, but turning that strategy into action is the goal.

Developing a strategy involves the alignment of operations and improvements, not only goals and objectives. Identifying the processes helps propel a strategy into action, but you must first have the right measurements and accountability in place to determine the desired outcome.

Some businesses try to create a broad strategy, and then create their own definitions along the way. Instead, try to uncover all of the questions that need to be answered. Figure out what is important and then incorporate additional analysis to elaborate on the specifics.

Before taking the initiative, confirm what your priorities are and where they lie. Challenge management to discover the essential processes that need advancement. With those clear goals in mind, try to break them down even further so the team can manage their time better, helping to achieve milestones and other expectations.

Engaging the organization means educating the participants on key initiatives. This process can be very straightforward in its complexity, as long as there is a focus on the volume of initiatives. As this strategy is rolled out, be sure to measure and monitor progress. This strategy does not need to be set in stone, as minor adjustments may be made along the way to adapt with the process.

The true value of a strategy is only realized when the organization understands its priorities and how they can lead to achieving their goals. For more information on effectively converting your business’ strategy into action, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

RFID tags illustration

What Makes an RFID Tags Different Than Barcodes?

Tracking inventory via barcodes can be tedious and might even lead to inaccuracies. Each barcode must be scanned, but only after properly aligning it with the optical scanner. An easier, more accurate, and more efficient method is through the use of RFID tags.

RFID stands for “radio-frequency identification,” and it refers to the technology where digital data is encoded into RFID tags, and then captured and read through radio waves. Keeping track of inventory and assets can now be done without line of sight, and can even range from just a couple centimeters to over 20 meters.

Only three components are needed in an RFID system: an RFID tag, an RFID reader, and an antenna. The RFID tag contains an integrated circuit and an antenna, which transmit data to the RFID reader. The RFID reader then converts radio waves to more useful data, and that data can then be collected and transferred through different computer systems or databases.

Looking at the electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves fall below both visible light and infrared waves. Radio waves fit in the range between as few as 3 hertz  and as high as 1 gigahertz. Within that range fit three different usable frequencies for RFID tagging: low frequency (125-134 kilohertz), high frequency (13.56 megahertz), and ultra-high frequency (300-3000 megahertz). 

Low frequency RFID tags have a short range, reaching as far as 10 centimeters. You will probably find one of these applications in your pocket, within your car’s key fob. Other uses include access controls and even animal tracking. RFID tags in the low frequency all adhere to global standards, and work well near liquids and metals.

High frequency RFID tags have an increased range of up to 30 centimeters. These also follow global standards and have larger memory options when compared to low frequency uses. These days you can find high frequency tags in library books, personal ID cards, and in NFC applications like your smartphone or credit card.

Incorporating RFID tags into your business applications might take time and money, but you should inspect the advantages. First, consider the return on investment when deploying a new system. If both the application and cost feasibilities fit for your work environment, then it might be time to take that first step toward progress.

RFID tags can help streamline any process within your business, helping increase efficiency and increase profits. For more information on RFID systems, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

Elements of a warehouse management system

Implementing an Effective Warehouse Management System

Tracking what comes in and out of your warehouse gets trickier as both your business and inventory expands. Keeping track of goods or materials is vital to your operations, and to keep those counts accurate, you need a reliable warehouse management system. Without one, you could lose a lot of time and money.

Warehouses are essential to business, as they are the center of manufacturing and supply chain operations. These vast spaces are used to hold materials or goods until they are moved either to the manufacturer or to the customer. Incorporating a warehouse management system to your business will allow you to better track inventory, picking, receiving and putaway.

In keeping the supply chain moving, you know that all the facets involved are relying on your processes and how they can continue to work smoothly and efficiently. Warehouse management systems give you the right tools count inventory accurately, ensure that goods are stored and sorted, and track shipments.

Today, as countless people are relying on online shopping and being able to make purchases with a touch of their finger, you need to have real-time updates to keep up with the supply and demand. In shifting to a cloud-based warehouse management system, you can keep tabs on that information from anywhere, anytime.

Many industries have adapted quickly with the advances in technology, and there is no reason that your business should lag. If your goods or materials are spread out across multiple locations, then it is even more important to upgrade your warehouse management system to connect the logistics of every work site. 

To keep the proper and uninterrupted flow of the supply chain, your business needs to work like the well-oiled machine it is. Increase efficiency, lower costs, and improve customer experience by upgrading your warehouse management system. For more information on warehouse management systems and how they can be a real game changer, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

A test environment is vital to experiment on new software

Best Practices for Developing a Test Environment

As just a user of software, the normal person only sees the best product. If any new problems or bugs arise, developers can quickly patch their software, and the users can benefit from the updates. What the users do not see is the extensive work that goes on behind the scenes, or what it took for the developers to get to that final product.

To ensure that any software application works as intended, it must first go through a test environment where the software undergoes a series of experimental uses. Most testing strategies involve a test environment, which includes the hardware and operating system on which the software will be tested. 

During the software’s life-cycle, it is typical to move through four different stages, or environments: development, testing, staging, and production. During development, programmers are writing their first lines of code, and their application evolves from concept to the minimal viable product.

With a server set aside for specific test use, the test environment phase will begin. That environment must meet the minimum requirements for the application to function, and it is likely you will need multiple tests. These tests can run one after another, or concurrently across several test environments.

From there, sponsors can see the product during the staging phase, but users still have to wait. Staging means simulating production as much as possible, and is extremely limited to select people. Still, more tests will be required.

Last, things can move into production. End-users can finally get their hands on your software. During production, you can still run further tests, and these new features can be released safely and intermittently. 

Test environments are crucial for the success of your software and your business. With peak performance, you will see peak satisfaction. For more information on setting up proper test environments for your application, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.

Start digitizing documents to keep your records safe.

Backing Up Your Files: Advantages of Digitizing Your Documents

Storing and accessing physical records can be tedious, time consuming, and extremely inefficient. Rising storage costs are one issue, but having so many important documents in only one place could put them at risk, and would be near impossible to retrieve. That is why digitizing your documents is a sensible solution.

Now, scanning every single document is also inefficient, both in terms of time spent and money spent. You will want to organize all the documents that need digitization first, such as vital records, certificates, or other essential documentation. The most frequently accessed documents are always scanned, whereas ones that are rarely accessed normally would not be scanned unless or until they are requested.

Storing a bulk of backlogged paper records is difficult to manage, but these records can also be quickly and efficiently converted into an electronic form. Think of the immediate benefits of reducing on-site storage, such as simplifying the search for information to access or distribute. 

Still, many records are created initially on paper, but companies still need them to be converted quickly. Increasing the workflow process is possible by establishing a conversion process that is easily integrable, turning physical documents into digital documents almost in the blink of an eye.

Security is also a priority when digitizing documents. You need an electronic repository where you can find and share all the digital files that used to be your physical records, able to search and retrieve 24 hours a day, seven days a week., and from anywhere in the world.

Converting paper-based records into electronic documents provides incredible benefits, including streamlining access and distribution of information across your organization, and reducing records management costs. For more information on why digitizing your documents is the smart thing to do, call Cybergear today at (586) 531-7116. 

Because our mission is to help our clients improve, we treat your capital as if it were our own. By combining lean and factory physics concepts with digital manufacturing, Cybergear helps manufacturers remain adaptable in a constantly changing industry by increasing quality, efficiency, and ultimately—profits.