A flexible ERP system is key to efficient manufacturing operations and faster decision-making. Since there is no one-size-fits-all, it is important to understand what an ERP system should provide to enable manufacturers to gain a competitive edge. We have listed six criteria, based on which you can evaluate ERP solutions.
Innovative disruptive technologies are changing the way ERP systems are operating. A purposefully engineered ERP system needs to be accommodative to fast-paced changes in the manufacturing sector, with support for all discrete manufacturing types. More importantly, it should provide for integration with other enterprise applications like CRM to enable faster access to information.
2. Accuracy of BoM
Customers are choosy and expect customization at every level of production. It is not feasible to maintain Bill of Materials (BoM) for customizable products on Excel or paper-based systems, anymore. It is important for ERP to provide multi-level BoM, to cater to customer-specific production demands, and for shop-floor managers to generate lists as soon as the customization is signed off.
3. Visibility Across the Pipeline
In manufacturing, resources need to be allocated to the right production line, in order to ensure a company’s tactical and strategic goals are met. Therefore, ERP needs to provide clear visibility to know where resources are moving within the supply chain at any given point of time. Visibility also includes daily updates on warehouse movement, and alerts for refills and returns.
4. Anywhere-Anytime Access to Real-Time Data
A robust ERP system should be able to provide for cloud deployment, as opposed to legacy stand-alone system implementation. Cloud software comes at monthly or annual subscription rates, while providing the benefit of zero capital investment. Cloud-deployed ERP enables managers to get easy and fast access to real-time updates on the production floor, even while attending a client meeting in another location.
5. Customizable Processes
Customization acts as a catalyst to increase the customer satisfaction index. ERP should provide customizable features that will cater to the organization’s and stakeholder’s specific needs and requirements. It includes customized reports, screens, dashboards, and accessibility based on rules set during the implementation process.
ERP software needs to scale in accordance with a manufacturer’s diversification needs. Although change is inevitable and cannot be predicted, the ERP system should not limit the manufacturer’s growth due to its limited scalability capabilities. Scalability factors include data storage capacity, quality of software code, and the platform on which the ERP is built.
Manufacturing processes improve with the implementation of a robust ERP system. The above-listed points can also guide you in selecting the right ERP solution, while keeping in mind the current organizational scenario, and taking into consideration organizational changes and training requirements.
Infoways has deep expertise in implementing world-class ERP business solutions for manufacturers across the globe. Our flag-ship product, Infor LN (previously Baan), can be tailor-made to suit your discrete manufacturing processes. If you’re interested in an ERP solution for your organization and would like to know more about Infor LN, please schedule a demo with us.