Whether you’re a manufacturer looking to replace outdated software, switch to a new provider, or you’re just starting out on your ERP journey, selecting and implementing a broad-reaching system can feel like a high stakes commitment.
To help you tackle the challenge of investing in or upgrading your ERP software, we’ve created this guide to manufacturing ERP: what is it, when do you need it, what should it do, and when is it time to upgrade to a more advanced ERP solution? We’ve got the answers.
What Is ERP for Manufacturing?
Manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software solution designed to help manufacturers digitize and automate your business operations. So, you can run your enterprise more efficiently, save time and money, and increase your accuracy and speed of production.
One of the major reasons that manufacturers invest in ERP technology is to leverage more data, to manage critical aspects of the manufacturing process, utilize resources effectively and make stronger strategic decisions.
There are many different types of manufacturing ERP solution available on the market – we’ll talk about this in greater depth in a moment. However, most ERP platforms include a core set of features that support front-office, back-office and shop floor operations, including:
- Order management
- Inventory management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Warehouse management
- Supply chain management
- Finance and accounting
Some ERP for manufacturing solutions will also include business intelligence (BI) reporting tools, to help you analyse performance and progress.
What Types of Manufacturing ERP Are Available?
There are three different types of ERP solution available to manufacturers.
- Generic ERP Software, which can be used by companies in multiple sectors – not just manufacturing. These offer most of the features we mentioned above, but they’re not designed for manufacturing use. So, while it may be tempting to choose generalist software if you’ve never had an ERP system before, you will miss out on valuable functionality if you choose to buy generic software. And if your business is using a general manufacturing ERP solution already but if it’s not delivering the specific functionality you need, then it’s time to upgrade to something more specific.
- Broad Manufacturing ERP Systems that can be used in any sub-sector. These provide more value than generic ERP software because they include features built specifically for the needs of manufacturers. For example, tools for managing shop floor process changes, and machine maintenance scheduling capabilities.
As we mentioned, general manufacturing ERP delivers more value than a software designed to work in any industry. However, if you decide to go with a generic or broad ERP system, you could end up needing to bolt-on additional software or customize your platform to get the exact functionality you need – which makes deploying and running your ERP software more complex, and impacts ROI.
For true investment value, your business should be looking for ERP technology that delivers functions specifically for your sector. Speaking of which…
- Industry-Specific Manufacturing ERP Solutions such as process manufacturing ERP, discrete manufacturing ERP, and food manufacturing ERP. These are the most popular choices for manufacturing organizations, as they provide you with specific features needed to run your business efficiently. For example:
Process manufacturing ERP software includes formula/recipe management modules, to calculate and scale ingredient quantities for batch manufacturing control. Process ERP systems also include lot traceability, to support accurate labelling, industry compliance and quality control processes, and help with product recalls.
Discrete or industrial manufacturing ERP software enables manufacturers to turn quotes and estimates into a bill of materials (BOM), to streamline the sales process and accurately match upcoming orders with component availability.
Food ERP software includes complete traceability tools, quality assurance capabilities, built-in compliance and food safety functionalities and inventory management features that reduce perishable food wastage. It also facilitates automated real-time data capture to ensure the integrity and accuracy of your records.
We offer a suite of industry-specific ERP solutions including process manufacturing software, industrial manufacturing software, food and beverage ERP and more. And we have extensive experience working with manufacturing organizations in a diverse range of sectors including automobiles, beverages, chemicals, cosmetics, electronics, fabricated metals manufacturing, food manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
Combining our extensive industry experience and technical expertise, we deliver advanced solutions to help you conquer your most pressing challenges and ensure you continue to thrive as your industry evolves.
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