As we’ve seen in recent years, things can change fast. The business world is ever-evolving and complex. For manufacturers, it’s critical to have a sharp eye on what is happening both with customers and across the company to keep moving in a positive direction.
Knowledge is powerful. The more data you collect and analyze, the more you understand how your manufacturing business is performing, what challenges it faces, what opportunities are available, and how to navigate all of it. Below are six reasons manufacturers benefit from using ERP to achieve unified business insight.
1. Give Customers a Great Experience
Nowadays, customers have more options than ever, so it’s essential to provide them with a great experience. An ERP system gathers data from across the company and beyond to help you forecast customer demand, keep an optimized supply chain, ensure a quality product, deliver on time, and assist customers as needed.
Manufacturing ERP takes data from the shop floor, vendors, procurement, shipping, and warehouses and compiles it into a single database. Having real-time information from each of these areas keeps inventory at optimal levels to reduce waste, decrease costs, and keep production on schedule. With inventory available for manufacturing, customer deliveries can be made on time.
Manufacturing ERP accesses data from business processes, departments, and vendors for a consolidated view of the entire supply chain. This information improves purchasing and procurement decisions. Supply chain issues get identified quickly, allowing you to be proactive and find solutions. And ERP lets you know exactly what is happening with inventory and work-in-progress to provide customers with accurate information.
Product quality can define your success with customers. ERP uses data from different areas to track quality and compliance. It helps to identify if shipments from suppliers meet quality standards; it also collects data, manages processes, and provides preventive actions for quality control. With data collected from tests and inspections, you can identify any issues to ensure products shipped to customers are of the highest quality.
2. Connectivity to Industry 4.0 Technologies
When Industry 4.0 technology is used on the shop floor, a manufacturing ERP system can collect data from machine sensors. This information lets manufacturers know in advance when machines need maintenance, or it can immediately notify you when a machine has a problem and where that problem is located to facilitate repair and reduce production downtime.
Data from Industry 4.0 technologies used in ERP helps manufacturing businesses recognize market changes so they can adjust accordingly. Industry 4.0 technologies and ERP software together streamline processes to make it easier to pursue new opportunities and handle greater demand.
When Industry 4.0 technology is used with ERP, businesses work smarter and faster. Manufacturers have access to more data for greater insight into business operations, customers, and vendors. This visibility promotes better relations with both customers and suppliers. It also lets your company focus on the areas of greatest revenue to help you grow quicker.
3. Make Smarter and More Informed Decisions
With an ERP system, you have immediate access to information. Because everyone is using the same platform, you can achieve greater accuracy and efficiency. Some decisions can be made automatically by setting parameters for specific situations, freeing employees to focus on other tasks.
With connectivity across the company, it’s easy for decision makers to gather information for whatever they need to examine. People in different departments all have access to the same database to collaborate on projects, customer issues, or other situations.
Being able to get prompt, accurate information helps you adjust to changing conditions more quickly, and to take advantage of opportunities that arise. These decisions are made confidently, knowing the information used is correct.
4. React to Situations Faster
ERP data is provided in real time, so it is always up-to-date. Instead of having to create manual reports – which may not be accurate– you can press a few buttons and have insight into whatever is needed. There are standard and custom reports, so preparing information for review is simple.
ERP also provides the opportunity to drill down into data to examine something specific. Managers can make fast, smart decisions with access to the right information. With ERP, employees can feel confident that they are accessing the latest data to help improve operational efficiency and business performance.
Change happens fast, so it’s important to have immediate access to the necessary data in order to seize opportunities or handle situations appropriately. Having information readily available helps manufacturers to get ahead of the competition, navigate the supply chain, and cope with other business challenges.
5. Visibility to the Shop Floor
Manufacturing ERP gathers information from the shop floor so you know what is happening with production at all times. Sales can stay informed on the status of customer orders. Purchasing can know the amount of inventory used. Customer service can tell if a product got shipped. Quality Control can see if materials are not meeting standards.
Plant floor managers can keep track of staff, machines, and operations to ensure things are running smoothly. Workstation operators can show when they start, stop, or if any interruptions occurred. They can check BOMs and see instructions for any job to ensure their work is correct. Sub-contracted jobs can also be viewed to see their status.
With all the data provided from the shop floor to manufacturing staff and other departments, manufacturing ERP keeps everyone notified of how things are progressing. Manufacturers use shop floor data to create practical schedules that optimize resources and keep production at capacity.
Information from the shop floor gets sent to vendors so they know when to ship additional inventory. And, manufacturers get insight into all areas of production for optimized performance.
6. Easily Adapt to Change
Changes in demand, new government regulations, shifts in the business landscape, the competition, and the supply chain are some of the many disrupters that make adaptability important. When you have unified business insight with a modern ERP system, it’s much easier to adjust to change.
Manufacturing ERP handles the complexities of business. With all information in a shared database, collaboration becomes easy, allowing your staff to determine the best way to resolve an issue or adjust to a new situation. ERP breaks down business intricacies to help you manage change.
With automation, unified insight, streamlined workflow, mobility, and industry best practices, manufacturing ERP gives manufacturers the tools needed to adjust to challenges or opportunities that develop. For instance, when the pandemic hit, companies using a modern ERP system could more effectively identify changes to demand, ramp production up or down, allow non-essential employees to work from home, create new ways to operate, and have visibility into the volatile supply chain.
With ERP and the insight it provides, you can see the big picture. It breaks down data silos and lets you build a data-driven culture within your company. It is much easier for everyone to work towards a shared goal of providing great customer experiences with everyone working from the latest information. Companies can easily adjust to changes in market conditions to improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and increase margins.
A modern manufacturing ERP system lets manufacturers take data from across the company and unify it for greater insight into business operations. For businesses that are on the path for growth, an ERP system makes navigating challenges and recognizing opportunities much easier.