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Digital work instructions

Manufacturing Software.

Companies use a wide range of manufacturing software to increase efficiency and product quality for their frontline teams. Below, we'll explore the finer points of these powerful tools.

What is Manufacturing Software?

This is a broad term that describes a digital tool that allows manufacturers better manage their operations. There are a number of very effective manufacturing softwares available - and they each have a part to play in your operations.

Some are very effective storage solutions, some coordinate raw materials, and some provide us with niche data solutions. These systems (and your processes) thrive when they're used as designed - working in harmony to improve efficiency, quality, and safety.


swipeguide platformManufacturing software can help teams create and manage visual checklists for the frontline.


So what is SwipeGuide, exactly?

SwipeGuide is the frontline "how-to" platform for connected work at scale. The SwipeGuide platform places a premium on usability at the frontline, crowdsourcing improvements, and delivering knowledge in the moment of need.

It's a tool designed to coordinate instructions, checklists, and training in order to standardize 50 different ways of doing the same thing. However, it doesn't accomplish some things that other manufacturing softwares do - like organizing back-office documentation or tracking raw materials.

We've gathered a shortlist of the most popular manufacturing softwares used by teams around the world. We'll explain how they're designed to be used and how they're different from SwipeGuide.

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Quality Management Systems (QMS)

A QMS is: a software that allows manufacturers to manage the granular aspects of:

  • Document control
  • Audit control
  • Materials quality management
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Audit management
  • And much more

Essentially, a QMS is an effective storage system. It’s an essential system for compliance, but it's difficult to use on the factory floor as a knowledge-distribution tool because it lacks the mobile interface designed to integrate standards into day-to-day work.

SwipeGuide is not: a dedicated system to document quality standards.

Read more about QMS


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Learning Management Systems (LMS)

An LMS is: a Training Management System mainly focused on office and desk workers. 

These are apps that deliver pre-set courses and topics administered and updated by the HR or Learning and Development team. 

An LMS will help teach the way-of-working and systems of the organization for continued education, but primarily focuses on tracking coursework. This training is typically delivered on a desktop, either in person or online. 


lms manufacturingThe bulk of an LMS' functionality occurs during classroom training.


SwipeGuide is not: a tool to deliver and track all kinds of formal training and e-learning throughout an organization.

Read more about LMS

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Document Management Systems (DMS)

A DMS is: primarily a storage tool to improve back office efficiency and eliminate paper-waste.

A competent DMS can be used to distribute company documents in a value chain, but still lacks the features such as:

  • QR code mobile access,
  • Crowdsourced feedback
  • Pre-made templates
  • Skills support
  • Drag & drop editing

These are the features that make SwipeGuide stand out as a crowdsourced content creation and delivery system. Rather, a DMS focuses on properly managing, storing, and tracking documentation to improve back office efficiency and eliminate paper-waste.

SwipeGuide is not: a system to store company documents in many formats.

Read more about DMS

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Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

An MES is: a digital system that coordinates manufacturing goods from raw materials to finished products. 

Essentially, an MES  uses the power of digitization to track materials and usage across an enterprise or global supply chain.

An MES can also act as an effective ‘middleman’ between an ERP and manufacturing processes, giving “decision-makers the data they need to make the factory floor more efficient and optimize production.” 


mes manufacturingAn MES can track raw materials like billet metals throughout their journey in a supply chain.


SwipeGuide is not: a system to manage a manufacturing process.

Read more about MES


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Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality (AR & VR)

Augmented Reality is: an overlay of virtual information over the real world. 

Virtual Reality: uses a headset or viewscreen to completely replace a user's perceived reality.


_CAP4210-1AR allows users to view essential information, integrated with their normal view.


AR is an additional heads up display that can let a worker know more about an object or process in her field of view. This allows workers to access operational knowledge, hands-free.

VR is a similar concept, but taken even further. Motion control devices often allow users to manipulate virtual environments as if they were really there. 

SwipeGuide is not: a VR platform and not 100% AR (although we also augment reality with knowledge on smart glasses).


Read more about AR & VR

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Low-Code solutions: are a tool to solve niche problems in a manufacturing supply chain.  

While powerful and adaptable, low-code system architecture first needs be designed, created, tested, and improved in-house.  Low-code solutions can be incredibly demanding for IT teams to implement and manage.


low code manufacturingManufacturers need to be sure they have the IT architecture necessary to manage a low-code solution.


SwipeGuide is not: an infinitely configurable low-code system.

Read more about Low-Code

Learn more about frontline 'how-to' knowledge.

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