Modern ERP Solutions for Manufacturing
As a manufacturing company, it is likely that you already use software to support some or most elements of your operation. The decision to invest in a modern ERP solution is the next step in your digitisation strategy towards greater velocity, flexibility, and longevity, as it brings with it powerful automation, data processing, and integration capabilities.
A critical factor in the success of a company is rooted in whether different departments can communicate and exchange data easily between each other. A unified, integrated software system stores all information in a central location, making it easy for various departments and entities to access and share information.
What’s the Difference Between MRP and ERP Systems?
MRP, or Manufacturing Resources Planning systems, focus primarily on the production cycle of a business. They handle the production planning, scheduling and inventory of components, raw materials and assemblies needed to produce finished goods.
ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning systems, include all the elements of an MRP system, along with additional functionality such as CRM, sales, and finance. ERP systems can be customised and configured specifically for a manufacturing environment.
ERP systems, like Sage X3 or Sage Intacct, integrate all the information and transactional data of the business into one system, and leverage the power of automation and real-time data analysis towards an optimised, efficient, profitable organisation.
Why Would Manufacturers Need an ERP System?
There are typically two strategies to software systems: legacy systems, or patchwork systems. If you have a custom-built legacy business system, these are often difficult to upgrade, and as a result cannot cope with the pace of work or the volumes of data generated in a modern manufacturing concern. Or, if you have a patchwork array of applications for each business function, it is difficult for these applications to communicate or integrate with one another. Both strategies cause the following issues:
- There is little to no clarity into daily or departmental metrics.
- Only the accountants understand the business’s financials.
- Clients are unsatisfied due to deadlines being missed.
- There is no insight into staff or machine productivity or potential/actual bottlenecks.
- Cashflow is a concern.
- Estimating is a manual, specialised, and lengthy process.
- You have many manual admin processes and a bloated admin team.
- Employees need to work overtime to complete their task.
- There is a rise in human errors in sales, production, or services.
- Management reports take days to generate and accuracy is uncertain.
- Your organisation has multi-locations, multi-warehouses, and deals in multi-currencies and you have no cohesive system to manage this.
The Benefits of ERP Solutions for Manufacturers
Contrary to its name, an ERP system is not just for enterprise-sized companies. Almost any sized business can benefit from an ERP solution, particularly manufacturing companies, as an ERP solution can provide the competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive industry.
ERP systems bring tangible benefits to a business over time, such as reducing waste, improving productivity, providing information flexibility, removing departmental and divisional silos, automating admin, accounting, and other business processes, and providing business leaders with real-time metrics for accurate and rapid decision-making.
Other benefits for manufacturers who have an ERP solution:
- Business leaders have greater control over their business and complete visibility into the entire organisation.
- Increased productivity in staff and stations.
- Better analytics for continuous improvement strategies.
- Important production-related data is available for the appropriate internal employees and can be shared with vendors, suppliers, and distributors to facilitate better communication.
- Business processes are automated and standardised, guiding staff activities and ensuring a predetermined, desired outcome.
- Fulfilment processes are streamlined by the system providing instant insight into operations, inventory, supply chain, and external market demand.
- Serial and lot tracking and traceability are automated, facilitating swift product recall.
- Improved control over components inventory.
- More accurate demand-planning.
- Streamlined production scheduling.
- More effective coordination of distribution channels.
- Improvement on on-time delivery of products.
- No more data duplication, discontinuity, and redundancy.
- Real-time information can be shared across departments.
- Clarity into an order’s progress ensures happier customers.
Fundamentally, manufacturing ERP software will help your manufacturing company grow faster and run more efficiently. It grows with you, ensuring less disruption in the future and smoother transitions as you scale.
As the manufacturing industry in South Africa continues to evolve and firms of all sizes and sectors seek to gain and retain their competitive advantage through designing, building and delivering the highest quality products in the timeliest manner and at the lowest cost, ERP solutions provide the foundation and tools for future success.
Talk to T3T about Deploying a Customised ERP Solution in Your Manufacturing Concern for Greater Flexibility, Clarity and Control.