With talk of increased manufacturing capacity, increased plant efficiencies and reduced labour costs, CDC Software's CDC Factory is the first packaged manufacturing operations management solution all in a computer software application. Described as an "out-of-box solution", the enterprise software application company, headquartered in Hong Kong, has been able to integrate real-time finite production scheduling, manufacturing executing systems (MES), real-time performance management, quality control, maintenance and analytics processes. Speaking to in-PharmaTechnologist.com, a CDC Software spokeswoman said there was an unmet need in the pharmaceutical industry for something which was able to combine all aspects of manufacturing. "It benefits pharmaceutical manufacturers by enabling companies to find more capacity on the factory floor by pinpointing plant inefficiencies and managing production scheduling in real time; by providing real-time operating metrics - rate, yield, utilisation and per unit cost - that allows immediate decisions to be made on the plant floor and by managers, ultimately improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and reducing waste; and it provides consistency in quality and standards in multi-plant operations," she said. While there was current MES systems available aiming to do the same thing, the spokeswoman said "MES fails to deliver the results more affordably, timely and with the same efficiency". The key aspect of the CDC Factory was the immediate feedback that was generated so changes could be affected immediately and control of the system was maintained, she said. "Compare CDC Factory with a typical MES system that produces reams of analysis data that requires days to process. Providing feedback to factory workers several days after a shift run is essentially useless and de-motivating. It is like driving a car blindfolded and two days later getting a report of all the accidents you caused. What good is that information? You can't do anything with it other than become frustrated because you know that you should not be driving blindfolded in the first place. "CDC Factory on the other hand, provides immediate, actionable feedback that helps factory workers avoid the accidents in the first place. CDC Factory in effect, removes the blindfold and immediately becomes the catalyst for performance improvements." The spokeswoman claimed the system was easy to install and could be up and running within eight weeks. Because the software was "an inside the four walls factory solution", it was unable to detect counterfeit or tampered products, which would be more applicable to the supply chain than the factory floor, the spokeswoman said. While in some cases administrative jobs would be lost, thousands of dollars could be saved by eliminating weekend shifts and making more products with the same number of workers, she said. The cost would be dependent on the configuration. The spokeswoman was unable to comment on how the software would affect manufacturing facility approval by authorities. The company has already signed up US-based pharmaceutical packaging company Anderson Packaging and an undisclosed world-leading biotech company, and is in discussions with at least a dozen other pharmaceutical manufacturers. CDC Software, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation, provides enterprise software applications designed to help organisations deliver a superior customer experience while increasing efficiencies and profitability. The company also provides software for enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and warehouse and order management.