Process manufacturers and discrete manufacturers have completely different manufacturing models. While discrete manufacturers are cutting, assembling or drilling, process manufacturers are mixing and blending based off of very specific recipes and ingredients. Based off these different ways of manufacturing, it wouldn’t make very much sense to be using the same ERP system for both. It wouldn’t be the best decision to try and modify a system to meet your process manufacturing needs either, which is why there are process manufacturing ERP systems on the market made for the industry’s needs.
When you start the search for a process manufacturing ERP system, look for these four critical functions unique to process manufacturers.
While discrete manufacturers are using bills of materials, a process manufacturer needs a way to manage their formulas and recipes. An ERP system with a bill of material function will not work properly for process manufacturing. Different units of measure such as gallons or pounds are used in the batch making process and once these are mixed, they cannot be unassembled. Further, the recipes will need to be scaled to order, affecting the ingredient ratio. This is why it is important that a specific process manufacturing ERP system is used and has recipe and formula management.
Labeling is a unique requirement for process manufacturers and extremely important. Improper labeling can cause harm to consumers and customers, which is why there are usually a lot of fines connected to the improper labeling of products. Downtime costs of mislabeling can add up to $10,000 an hour. A process manufacturing ERP system should have the ability to automatically create accurate labels with bar codes and lot tracking.
Most industries in process manufacturing are highly regulated industries that need to track processes through each step of the supply chain and assembly. Whether you are complying with regulations from the FDA, FSIS, USDA or EPA, process manufacturing ERP systems can automate the reporting process making compliance with these governing bodies quicker, easier and more accurate.
Whether you are a food and beverage manufacturer who needs to have visibility for recalls or a chemical manufacturer who needs to be able to quickly and easily track hazardous material, lot tracking is a unique need for process manufacturers. Lot tracking will allow process manufacturers to access real-time reporting for insight into safety, efficient storage for perishable items, insuring consistency in production and traceability.
These functions are all non-negotiable for process manufacturers. Without these, you can run into costly fines, reputation ruining recalls or wasteful manufacturing. Not every ERP system will have these capabilities, which is why it is crucial that a process manufacturing ERP is chosen for those in the industry.
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