Discrete Manufacturing: Why Software Matters


SMe Software, Inc. Discrete Manufacturing Why Software Matters

What do yachts, smartphones, children’s toys, and refrigerators all have in common? They are all products of discrete manufacturing. Discrete manufacturing creates items that are easily distinguishable and can be broken down into their component parts. Discrete manufacturing is distinguished from process manufacturing, which creates a product that (as you probably assumed) is not easily distinguished as separate items, and cannot be broken down into component parts. Examples of process manufacturing include gasoline, salt, milk, and fertilizer.

Categorizing Discrete Manufacturing

Though discrete manufacturing vs. process manufacturing is a helpful distinction in the broadest terms, there is an enormous diversity within the field of discrete manufacturing. Perhaps the most important distinction to make one of complexity vs. volume.

Though there are certainly exceptions to this rule, it can be generalized that most discrete manufacturing processes produce large quantities of low-complexity items, or else they produce small quantities of high-complexity items.

Many companies that perform discrete manufacturing perform some amount of both high and low complexity manufacturing. Think of a company that manufactures smartphones: there will be both processors and plastic cases to build.

The Business Side of Discrete Manufacturing

Each of the two possibilities discussed above presents its own challenges and requirements. In order to produce large quantities of low complexity items effectively and efficiently, companies must carefully control and monitor their inventories and their lead times. In order to produce high-complexity items, on the other hand, organizational flexibility is paramount.

Inventory control, lead time, and organizational flexibility are the products of a well-run business—and, in turn, they promote long-term success. Well-trained employees, cutting-edge equipment, and smart, attentive management are all musts in order to begin this positive cycle. Manufacturing Management Software can also play an important role. If you believe your company could benefit from SMARTer software, visit SMe Software online to learn more about the software solutions that we offer or contact us today in order to try a free demo.

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