What Discrete Manufacturers Need In An ERP
It is no secret that Manufacturing companies usually have a difficult time selecting an ERP system. ERP selection has become even more difficult for Manufacturers now that Cloud ERP is becoming increasingly more popular. More options have emerged for a discerning manufacturer that are faster to install, easier to implement and often times cheaper. There are plenty of times circumstances present themselves that relying on social media and others recommendations to help in the selection process of goods and services is appropriate. Selecting an ERP system may or may not be one of those circumstances. Before you go down that path solely, there are some basic discrete manufacturing ERP requirements that you should be looking for when selecting your new software.
- Production Scheduling. In order to make your production lines as effective as possible, scheduling plays a key role in that happening. This also means less wear and tear on your equipment, which in turn means less money spent on upkeep and replacement of machinery. You need to look for an ERP system that has a sophisticated scheduling model that can be integrated quickly and smoothly into your current production processes, while still working to improve those processes.
- Supply Chain Visibility. Anymore, the supply chain is made up of not only raw materials, but products purchased from other manufacturers as well. It can be dense, spread out over multiple countries, and pass through multiple organizations before it ever reaches a consumer. Because of this, the supply chain can become weak and communication can be poor. With poor communication, recalls become hard to carryout and the quality of the product is usually affected. When you select an ERP system that specializes in Manufacturing, you allow for transparency in your supply chain. With the use of bar code checks, scanning systems and universal tracking across all your facilities, this information flows into your ERP system and you can alter the way you operate your supply chain.
- Inventory Management. Much of your success as a Manufacturer is based on the right inventory management strategy, especially when your business relies on receiving and shipping products. The goal is to limit shipping items that will just get returned to you, as well as limit the amount of inventory you keep on hand. Getting a handle on these 2 items alone can save you money in shipping, storage costs, as well as employee expenses when dealing with them. An ERP system allows you to gather all of your inventory and shipment data into a single source and gives you better information to make decisions and fulfill orders.
- Customizations. Every business over time creates their own systems that are necessary for their business to function. There is a very slim chance that the ERP system you select can exactly mirror the systems you are already using to run your business. Choosing an ERP system that allows you to customize it as your business sees fit is very important in ERP selection. Even though you may be manufacturing the same product as someone else, the way you go about it is unique to your business and you need a system that can reflect that uniqueness and not cause you to lose it. You need to keep in mind that customizations are usually complex, require in depth knowledge of software and will require outside expertise if you don’t have someone on staff that can carry out the work. You need to choose a system that is the closest fit for what you need and reserve customizations to help sustain the unique business processes.
You need to fully understand what you need out of an ERP system, including the features you need for your business processes. Understanding this can help protect you from sales pitches and recommendations that may not have your best interest and the interests of your company in mind. Epicor specializes in ERP systems for the manufacturing sector. 2W Tech is a Certified Epicor Consultant and would be happy to discuss if this solution is the best one for your organization.