What Companies look for in Manufacturing ERP Software
Manufacturing ERP software is a complex issue, and different organizations want their software to serve different functions.
The leading companies that develop such solutions take into consideration all the needs of manufacturing businesses and provide them with the functionality they are looking for.
To make it easier to choose the right manufacturing ERP software for your business, check out the following list of features that manufacturers enjoy with off-the-shelf systems.
More robust inventory management
In manufacturing ERP software systems, inventory management is much more robust than in an entry-level system.
The solution will help you manage your inventory levels, reorder points and bills of materials. You can also track inventory by serial number or lot number and perform cycle counting if you need to.
Many of them also support drop-shipping capabilities with customers, vendors or other locations.
Improved production: Manufacturing ERP software will help you track production in real time, right down to the number of units that are completed and being processed at any given moment. It will also show you where your products are in the assembly process and how much work-in-progress there is at each stage.
Better quality control: If your company needs to track production quality, you can use an ERP solution’s data collection tools to record scrap rates and defects per unit of measure. If a product doesn’t meet quality standards, the system can tell you the root cause of its failure.
Lower costs: A manufacturing ERP system can reduce costs by tracking inefficient manufacturing processes using parameters such as downtime, capacity, compliance and lead times.
Greater visibility across multiple plants: For companies with multiple facilities spread over a wide geographic area, a manufacturing ERP system provides its executives with full visibility over every plant’s operations from an easy-to-use screen viewable on any computer or mobile device.
Raw Material Control
You have better control of your raw material, better procurement, better supplier management, better quality control and you have better raw material inventory control. With a manufacturing ERP software, you can also create process plans for your products and semi-finished goods.
Improved insights and reporting
If you want to understand what your company has done in the past, how it is performing now, and what it will do in the future, then you need accurate data. But data is only as valuable as its accuracy and integrity.
If you have faulty data, that’s like trying to drive with a flat tire. You can move forward for a little bit but eventually you are going to break down.
Accurate and reliable reporting gives you the ability to make informed decisions based on facts instead of guesswork.
It also helps keep departments from operating in silos so that everyone has access to the same information and can work together more efficiently.
Better decision making
The first thing most people think of when it comes to ERP solutions is how they can help you make better decisions. And that’s true—better software will give you more accurate, real-time information about your company so that you can take action from a position of strength.
But what many people don’t consider is how much the solution itself can make decisions for you.
For example, certain ERP systems have built-in safety stock calculators and tools designed to help you determine just how much finished product to keep in inventory.
You don’t have to rely on your own expertise or your gut instinct; instead, the manufacturing ERP software takes into account historical data and industry trends, recommending exactly how many units should be stored in each warehouse.
Manufacturing ERP software that helps manage workflows
Factories are complex environments. From the shop floor to the front office, there are many pieces that need to work together in order to get the job done.
There are suppliers, resources, products, and of course, customers. To keep all these moving parts together manufacturing firms need some kind of software that helps manage workflows.
There are several types of software features that can solve the main problem areas of any manufacturing business:
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can be used to handle a wide range of tasks necessary for running a successful business, including accounting/finance, human resources (HR), customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management and sales force automation.
Many ERP programs need to be customized in order to fit with a company’s unique needs, so it’s important to look at several different manufacturing ERP software systems before deciding which one is right for you.
The old way of doing business involved lots of paper. In order to keep up with sales, production and other key metrics, you had to constantly move paper from one place to another. If you weren’t careful, you could lose track of a critical piece of information or not see it at all.
That meant missed opportunities, missed delivery dates and lost sales due to late shipments.
Workflow management enables manufacturing companies to organize their workflows, eliminating bottlenecks and increasing efficiencies.
By using tools like workflow mapping and analytics, managers can see where improvements need to be made within their operations.
For example, if your engineers are overbooked with too many projects, then you may need to hire more engineers or train existing ones so they can handle more projects.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
As your company grows and attracts more customers, it becomes increasingly important to be able to identify them as they approach life cycle – when they’re considering new purchases or renewing their contracts – so you can be sure of filling the orders and increasing your revenue.
CRM functionality allows manufacturers to provide better customer service by giving them a 360-degree view of every client interaction.
This way, your team can see which clients have specific needs or requirements that must be met during each phase of production so they can ensure successful delivery.
Supply chain management
Many manufacturers rely heavily on the supply chain, including raw materials suppliers and third-party manufacturers. Given the potential of problems with this approach, it is essential to use software to help manage supply chains.
Supply chain management (SCM) is designed to help manufacturers improve their operations in a number of different ways.
It can decrease production costs by reducing inventory levels, increase customer satisfaction by improving product delivery times, and increase profits by reducing errors in order fulfilment.
Decision support and analysis
Manufacturers also need to know what to do with all that data about their resources. They need to predict outcomes, see trends, and make decisions.
Manufacturers do this by analysing the data generated from your Manufacturing ERP software.
Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing software assists companies with implementation of JIT strategies by managing inventory levels within the organization. The JIT approach involves planning for inventory needs based on customer demand rather than maintaining large quantities of stock at all times. This allows companies to keep their operating costs down while still meeting consumer needs.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, the features listed above highlight what manufacturing ERP software should provide. With these necessary functions in mind, companies should find it easier to choose a system that provides manufacturing ERP in a way that matches your needs.
Do you have any questions about manufacturing ERP software? If so, please feel free to reach out to us on Twitter @Signumsolutions and we’ll do our best to answer them!
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