Building the Case for Paperless Manufacturing: Eliminating the Cost of Paper

By September 26, 2018 Blog No Comments

Progression to paperless manufacturing is a considerable resolution that delivers many advantages to its environment. Industry leaders adopting this trend are cutting costs on paper, paper storage and paper security.  The elimination of unnecessary paper products creates a more streamlined process in the entire lifecycle of a product as well as the storage and security of information, eliminating the need for paper storage later. Many companies have over 100 years of paper in storage. Federal guidelines require that paper is stored in such a way that the information will not become degraded – meaning facilities that store paper need to be climate controlled and secure   – further adding to the cost of storage.

Going paperless is more than just moving information from paper to its PDF counterpart, it is taking real-time data and creating sequences to prevent production errors. This paperless revolution leads the way to better allocation of labor. Case in point: a client employed eight people to process customer complaints, including the research of paper-based DHR. This client had a paper-based DHR of around 250 pages per work order and nine staff to verify the manufacturing steps in the paperwork were being followed. Additionally, there were eight to ten reviews that took place in the manufacturing process. Implementing a manufacturing execution system lowered the headcount of staff performing reviews to one person. Such a drastic drop in the need for labor allowed for the utilization of staff elsewhere to achieve other goals and increase efficiencies.  This client experienced an 18th month return on investment on just these paper related cost eliminations alone after they implemented their MES.

As one begins to look at the possible ROI with manufacturing execution systems, the case for going paperless becomes clear.  The reduction of paper storage and maintenance costs are key competitive advantages for industry leaders when progressing to a paperless manufacturing environment.

Seabrook Technology Group will continue to build the case for paperless manufacturing by delving into the accuracy of order processing in our next blog.