The manufacturing industry has been facing various disruptions forcing organizations to rethink their strategies and make their value chains more resilient and integrated. No-code manufacturing platforms have emerged as a powerful tool in this quest, offering a fresh approach to production efficiency.
This article explores no-code manufacturing, its top use cases, and vendors on the market to help you successfully leverage the technology.
What are no-code manufacturing platforms?
No-code platforms represent a new paradigm in software and application development. Traditionally, creating a software solution meant understanding coding languages, creating algorithms, and often a prolonged development phase. No-code solutions turn this convention on its head.
They offer a visual interface where users can drag, drop, and integrate various elements without writing a single line of code. No-code platforms continue to become important as the number of citizen developers grows1 and IT departments continue to tackle the talent shortage problem (Figure 1).
For the manufacturing sector, this means bespoke solutions tailored for specific needs without the baggage of extended development timelines or hefty IT budgets.
Figure 1. Business areas with greatest talent gap issues2
Top 10 Use Cases of No-Code Solutions in Manufacturing
The adoption of no-code platforms in the manufacturing sector can streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and foster innovation without the need for extensive coding expertise. This democratization of application development allows more stakeholders to contribute to digital transformation actively.
Here are some use cases to help business leaders decide on the application of no-code solutions.
1. Inventory management dashboards
Manufacturers can create custom dashboards to monitor stock levels, reorder thresholds, and product lifecycle status. With no-code platforms, managers can drag and drop widgets to visualize data tailored to their specific needs.
For instance, a car parts manufacturer’s procurement team uses a no-code dashboard to monitor inventory levels of specific gear parts. Since the team has more knowledge of inventory management, they can adjust the dashboards by themselves if stock levels dip below a certain threshold or other changes occur.
UCBOS offers a no-code platform customizable for manufacturing, supply chain, and other business operations. Read how UCBOS helped a company improve inventory visibility through its no-code platform.
2. Quality control reporting
Using no-code platforms, manufacturers can develop applications that allow quality control teams to input data about product batches, identify defects, and generate reports on quality trends, thus enabling timely corrective actions.
Suppose a company producing plastic moldings uses a no-code application for its QC team. After inspecting a batch of moldings, the team inputs data on defects like air bubbles or imperfect shapes. Monthly defect trend charts are automatically generated, highlighting potential machinery or process issues.
3. Maintenance scheduling
Manufacturing heavily relies on machinery. With no-code solutions, facilities can create custom applications to schedule, track, and monitor machine maintenance, thereby reducing downtime and ensuring optimal productivity.
4. Supplier collaboration portals
Since a no-code platform allows for a higher level of integration, manufacturers can set up portals where suppliers can update their delivery schedules, product availability, and other essential information. This transparency and level of integration help in maintaining supply chain fluidity.
Learn more ways of supply chain collaboration through this guide.
5. Employee training modules
As manufacturing processes evolve, employee training becomes vital. No-code platforms can be used to develop interactive training modules that incorporate videos, quizzes, and simulations, ensuring that employees are up-to-date with the latest procedures.
6. Production workflow automation
By leveraging no-code platforms, manufacturers can automate repetitive tasks in the production process. For instance, an application could automatically assign tasks to specific teams when a new order is received, ensuring efficient work allocation.
7. Safety compliance checklists
In manufacturing, safety is paramount. Custom apps can be built to offer digital safety checklists for various tasks, ensuring workers adhere to protocols and minimizing risks. Since site managers have more knowledge about the risks of working in a production facility, through no-code solutions, they can contribute to building safety apps.
8. Resource allocation and optimization
No-code applications can help managers allocate resources like manpower, machinery, and raw materials effectively. Using real-time data, these applications can suggest optimal allocations to ensure smooth production flows.
9. Product lifecycle tracking
From initial design to disposal, no-code platforms can help in monitoring a product’s lifecycle. Stakeholders can get insights into stages like prototyping, mass production, distribution, and after-sales support.
10. Customer feedback collection and analysis
Manufacturers’ CRM teams can create their own digital platforms to collect feedback directly from end-users or distributors. This real-time feedback, when analyzed, can offer insights into product enhancements, quality improvements, and market demands.
Comparing the top vendors on the market
Working with a no-code platform vendor can help resolve various business problems (Figure 2). If you are convinced about leveraging no-code in your manufacturing processes, in this section, we provide a vendor comparison of the top vendors on the market.
Figure 2. Business problems solved by no-code tools3
How we chose the vendors
There are several no-code and low-code solutions and vendors on the market. AIMultiple relied on public and verifiable data to identify the best ones. Low-code is a more mature technology for business applications; therefore, low-code vendors tend to be larger (more number of employees) as compared to upcoming no-code vendors. Therefore, we used a different inclusion criteria for each type of vendor.
The inclusion criteria are:
- The number of employees is correlated with a company’s revenues which is a good measure of the success of its product.
- No-code vendors: 25+ employees on Linkedin
- Low-code vendors: 1,000+ employees on Linkedin
- Claims to offer a no-code or low-code solution
- Includes building blocks for supply chain management
Table 1. No-code platform vendor comparison
|Type of solution*
|Integrations Capabilities*, **
|# of employees on Linkedin as of August 2023
– SAP – Oracle SCM – Mercury Gate TMS – Manhattan – Blueyonder – Coupa
– Siemens Teamcenter
– Microsoft SQL server
Vendor selection criteria for no-code platforms for manufacturing
Choosing the right platform involves balancing the following criteria with the company’s specific needs and operational demands.
1. Type of solution
Check if it’s a low-code (some coding required) or a no-code (zero coding needed) platform. Checking if a system is low-code or no-code is crucial to determine the required skillset, development speed, and customization capabilities.
No-code platforms cater to non-technical users and enable rapid deployment but may be limited in deep customization. Low-code platforms offer more flexibility and deeper integration but might need some technical knowledge and take longer to develop. This distinction helps companies align with their resources and goals.
2. Integration capabilities
Evaluate its ability to integrate with systems like Oracle, SAP, and other key systems essential for manufacturing operations. This ensures streamlined data flow and consistent operational efficiency. Without proper integration, companies risk data silos, inefficiencies, and potential disruptions in their manufacturing processes.
3. Number of employees
Consider the size of the company. Platforms should cater to the company’s scale, ensuring adequate user licenses and scalability features.
If you need help finding a vendor or have any questions, feel free to contact us:
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