Doing business in the digital era has opened doors for many smaller enterprises which, thanks to advances in technology, are now able to compete with their larger counterparts on an even playing field. However, failure to keep abreast of the latest tech developments can leave manufacturers lagging behind the competition, so it’s in their interest to take action to ensure this doesn’t happen.
One way in which manufacturing businesses are ensuring all processes run smoothly and effectively is by rolling out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Doing so can temporarily cause a shift in focus, and take away resources from operations, but those enterprises that implement ERP properly can almost guarantee their operations will improve significantly as a result.
In this post, we’ll start from the beginning, taking a closer look at the reasons why your manufacturing business should consider investing in ERP.
As your business expands, it is essential that you take the time to ensure all of the processes you have in place are capable of growing with you. In a competitive market, there is no room for improvisation, and the most successful businesses will always take steps to put processes in place that ensure the smooth running of operations.
ERP solutions are designed to help businesses streamline their operations, giving you more time to focus on what’s important, rather than the administrative functions involved to make sure these things can happen.
Are your processes managed with manual systems, or even spreadsheets? As businesses grow, what previously worked may prove to be ineffective, so it is vital that you roll out new ways of working in order to make sure everything is working correctly.
Whether you are tracking production on a whiteboard, or passing a clipboard through a specific job lifecycle, manual errors are likely to happen, and these mistakes can prove incredibly costly for your business.
ERP helps to reduce the likelihood that human errors will go unnoticed, allowing individuals from across the company to collaborate and view progress easily and efficiently.
If the complex nature of your processes have resulted in some of them being swept under the carpet, your business could face spiralling costs and even more problems when the extent of the issue eventually comes to light. If you have forgotten about important operations, it is time to take a step back because identifying these unmanaged processes can make for more efficient and reliable operations.
As businesses expand, it can be increasingly difficult to ensure communication remains as simple as possible, particularly between departments. If your manufacturing team is failing to communicate with its counterparts across the business, you face a disconnection, leaving your employees attempting to connect the dots, rather than getting the job at hand completed.
It should go without saying that you cannot improve the performance of your business without being able to properly measure the successes and failures you endure. Without key operational information, or accurate cost reports, how can you view whether you are achieving your goals?
ERP gives organisations a much needed overview of the business performance as a whole, giving you valuable opportunities to spot where mistakes are happening, and put processes in place to avoid them.
Old, inflexible and cumbersome systems can leave you frustrated, struggling to keep up with your competitors. Take some time to consider your existing system, does it really work for you? If it no longer fits, it is time to make some changes.
Overall, making the decision to upgrade to ERP can be daunting for businesses that may have become set in their ways. This is not a process that can be carried out half-heartedly, and organisations must put in the necessary legwork to ensure the switch is a success. However, those that do take the bold leap, and dedicate the necessary time and resources to it, can benefit from more streamlined, organised and easy to understand operations, which means they can focus more time on what’s important.
Lauri Klaus is the Founder and CEO of KeyedIn Solutions. With 20+ years of ERP software experience, Lauri understands that technology can transform a business. During her tenure at Epicor Software, Klaus advanced from development to EVP, Worldwide Sales and Service. She managed more than 1,400 sales and service professionals and mentored them to prioritize valuable client relationships. In 2011, Kl identified a gap in business software and formed KeyedIn Solutions, a company driven to enable business success with Cloud software, including Cloud ERP. Vision. Execution. These are the things that Lauri is known for and believes in.