CDC Software launches packaged manufacturing operations system

June 25, 2007

HONG KONG, ATLANTA –June 25, – CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation, announced today the launch of CDC Factory, the first packaged manufacturing operations management solution that integrates finite factory scheduling, manufacturing execution systems (MES), real-time performance management, quality, maintenance and analytics processes so all users -- from shop floor operators to executive management -- can make real-time actionable decisions throughout the plant and across the enterprise.

By standardizing the best practices of lean manufacturing, OEE, (overall equipment effectiveness) and continuous improvement, CDC Factory provides a real-time framework for managing production scheduling in real time, pinpointing the causes of plant inefficiencies and providing immediate feedback on key operating metrics including rate, yield, utilization and per unit cost. The system focuses on unlocking the potential of human capital on the shop floor by providing pre-defined workflows for the environment of the workplace and a highly intuitive kiosk-style interface for real-time performance tracking. This enables factory-floor operators to act on information in real time and make immediate decisions to adjust production schedules, improve OEE and reduce waste. This role-based design extends to middle and senior management where information is summarized to make the daily operations of all plants throughout the enterprise transparent.  Since CDC Factory is a packaged solution specifically designed for process manufacturers in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods industries, it is typically installed and producing results in eight weeks or less.

“With CDC Factory, we are setting several new industry standards,” said Mark Sutcliffe, general manager of CDC Factory.  “This is the industry’s first and only out-of-the-box manufacturing operations management system.  It has been repeatedly proven to deliver results in weeks rather than months or years.  This is also the first system that combines real-time finite scheduling with real-time operations management.  Doing so enables rapid and cost-effective adjustments to improve efficiency and customer service, even in industries characterized by highly variable demand.  Additionally, CDC Factory is uniquely designed to address not only the efficiency of plant equipment, but also the efficiency of a company’s most valuable asset, its people. Factory floor workers are empowered to make immediate decisions, production managers are conducting timely productivity meetings at the end of every shift and company executives have visibility into the performance metrics for each plant across the enterprise. With CDC Factory, our customers are measuring huge improvements in terms of higher productivity, reduced operating costs and waste, and ultimately, higher operating profits.”

“People make the difference between a well run factory or plant and one that is less competitive,” said Andrew Hughes, Manufacturing Research Director for Gartner, Inc. “Empowering people to use their intelligence rather than just follow rules should be a primary goal of any plant management team. By thinking about how to do things better, those with the most knowledge of the processes, those that operate them every day, will be able to bring about the fastest improvements.” 

Marsan Foods Ltd., a CDC Factory customer, is one of Canada’s top processors of frozen entrees, soups and other products for retail grocery, foodservice and healthcare customers in North America.  The Toronto-based food manufacturer was recently recognized by the National Post as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. Marsan attributes this recognition and its competitive differentiation to its focus on productivity and quality.  Part of the reason for its continuing successes in productivity and quality is its use of CDC Factory.  “CDC Factory has given us complete visibility and transparency within the four walls of the factory,” said Kristoffer Soderlind, director of Operations at Marsan.   “It was the most holistic and the best solution we saw that connected our boardroom to what was happening on the shop floor. 

“CDC Factory helped us increase our average OEE from 65 percent to 74 percent, within eight months, which has allowed us to reduce our direct labor costs on all products run through the line,” Soderlind adds.   “It has allowed us to increase throughput and raise production standards twice.  We also can spread fixed costs across more units, driving down cost per unit and making our products more competitive.”