Production Control System (PCS) - An overview
The concept of a production Control System (PCS) is actually initiated by production management in the manufacturing industry. "Production Management" has a fundamental history of more than a decade. We will talk about the whole development of PCS just in a while after parallel understanding the relative products Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
Supply Chain (SC) is the network of activities, organizations, people, information, and resources involved in sourcing, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, and delivery of products and services to customers. And in simple terms, the management of the supply chain is Supply Chain Management (SCM).
Supply Chain (SC) is a well-known concept that existed even before computer systems appeared. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the gradual identification of the need for the management of Supply Chain (SC) in manufacturing processes. Hence, Supply Chain Management (SCM) is coined in the 1980s era. With the advancement of technology, the new Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) was introduced as a software tool in the 1990s to automate Supply Chain Management (SCM). SCMS also standardized various production line workflows and established standard rulesets in the industry.
On another side, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) was conceptualized based on Supply Chain Management (SCM) in 1960-70. ERP is widely adopted by manufacturing industries in 1990 and flourished for decades with a rock-solid foundation of technology. ERP made everything easy from procurement, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, sales and marketing, consumer services, administration, and financial management, to human resource management. ERP even started to claim SCM to be a component of ERP.
It may not be fair to compare ERP and SCMS since both were designed to achieve dissimilar goals, though, they do have a lot of overlapping functionalities. Hence, In the last decade, ERP became the first choice for manufacturing industries, and SCM remained an academic tool encompassing theoretical concepts attracting academicians, economists, and development activists.
However, even with the rapid acceptance of ERP by manufacturing industries, it had limitations in terms of wider accessibility and providing opportunities to onboard external collaboration. As such, SCM is dragging attention with its scope for the manufacturing industry from production planning and scheduling, remote management of inventory, raw materials, warehousing and distribution, branding and packaging, post-production management, collaboration and partnership, risk management, to performance management.
in summary, ERP establishes itself as a rock-solid stable platform for the manufacturing industry whereas SCM kept developing itself philosophically for the betterment of people's life.
In the meantime, an exclusive tool "Production Control System" was being evolved during the whole history of technological advancement. A production Control System can be understood as an Operation System (OS) for the manufacturing industry.
Production Control System has a long history of its existence than ERP and SCM. The need for a control mechanism in production was already been identified by industries in the 18th and 19th centuries. But, it was actually deployed as a "System" in the 20th century by many large enterprises like Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Boeing, etc.
SCMS and ERP have mostly specific sets of tools, but PCS is conceptual, and every PCS is designed to achieve totally different goals in an industry. For example, Toyota focuses on in-time production and automation whereas, Ford focuses on mass management of production. On another side, General Motors focuses on the management and optimization of production processes, whereas Boeing focuses on tracking and managing the production of aircraft and its components.
PCS fundamentally focuses to schedule production, tracking and monitoring batches and progress, real-time data collection from production units, and improving operational management of the industry. In the last couple of decades, Production Control System is the foremost tool for every manufacturing industry. A new-age Production Control System is fully transformed to be a hybrid system that brings all the goodness of ERP and keeps eying on the advancement of SCMS's process optimization.
Currently, we are in an age where mid-large production and manufacturing industries cannot even imagine being operated without a Production Control System. It is worth mentioning here again that every Production Control System may share the same fundamental concept, they are indifferent to others. They are made to do their own things, like the one that DreamWork Solution co-founded, i.e. Production Control System (PCS). And, this time for governance; as ambitious as a system that manages the entire nation.
As of 2023 A.D., DWS conceptualized Production Control System (PCS) half a decade back. Before then, we already had more than a decade of working experience in agriculture and livestock development. We quote it as a learning decade, and interestingly we were being paid for it. We got the biggest exposure and opportunities to develop solutions to cope with the inconveniences of agriculture (issues, inconsistencies, problems) that exist in agricultural development in Nepal.
Meanwhile, we were realizing that everyone knows what inconveniences exist but no one was thinking why those inconveniences exist. Literally, everyone was trying to patch the inconveniences of agriculture rather than focusing to develop solutions. Eventually, we realized that It was not possible to solve the inconveniences from a single unit or agency. Moreover, political instability will never allow someone to execute a holistic top-down module for a decade.
During our study, we started from the initial understanding that everything beneath governance can be imagined as a network of production units. We convinced ourselves that, if the software can support the operation of a farm, then it is also capable of management of the nationwide farm. We planned real-time management of farmer, cultivation, and even their commodities.
To achieve it, the government needs an ultimate farm management system, and all the agencies are connected with each other. With this motto, the Production Control System (PCS) was introduced half a decade back as of 2023 A.D.
We were totally focused to provide the system to the government but every agency has customized needs. Then, we initiated the solution with side by side approach with a plan to connect them later.
On the technical side, PCS can operate relying on two major existing technology; IoT and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). In the commercial industry, Production Control System heavily relies on IoT hence it was not feasible and affordable for our project. Thankfully, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) exists to support interoperability, decentralizing data across the network of all government agencies. DLT adds more excitement for the development future of PCS with its potential of traceability under the governed administrative framework.
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) can roughly be understood as Blockchain. Hence, unlike Blockchain, DLT has no legal implications. Blockchain itself actually is a subset of DLT but Blockchain has a bad reputation due to cryptography and not being regulatable in nature. However, DLT on the other hand, opens up a whole new avenue of DLT-based governance systems that has all the potential for the flourishment to scale extensively. DLT, the top-notch technology helps the government operate under transparency, efficiency, traceability, accessibility, and of course interoperability.
PCS is currently being introduced to the Local Government of Nepal, under the exclusive power provided by The Constitution of Nepal to Local Government under Schedule-8: "Management, operation, and control of agricultural extension services". PCS, is gradually being evolved to establish inter-governmental coordination of all three levels of government; federation, Provience, and local.
Currently, PCS is being operated at 20+ municipalities, yet how they are being operated is subjective to their needs. PCS is equipped with 50+ integrated apps to opt-in that empower extension officers to take better decisions. PCS is currently being deployed for local government similarly as an operating system that makes government support and services efficient, effective, and mainly responsive.
Production Control System (PCS) is purely an innovation for the agriculture and livestock sectors. It is developed based on decades of our experience providing ICT-based support and services to government and non-government institutions. More than software, PCS is thoughtfully designed as a solution that helps disrupt most of the current challenges like low productivity, lack of access to credit and government support programs, fragmentized and small landholding, climate change, natural disasters, traditional farming methods, access to market, etc.
The ultimate vision at PCS is the establishment of a comprehensive digital infrastructure for better governance. With PCS, we clearly envision prosperous governance, delivering support and services to the citizen through the decentralized applications (dApps) under a unified service chain maintaining inclusivity for everyone.
With thanks, we welcome you all to provide your valuable inputs for the betterment of the Production Control System (PCS).