It’s no surprise that a majority of manufacturers are using an ERP system. In fact, research by Aberdeen Group show that 74 percent of manufacturers are using ERP. This doesn’t mean that these companies are using manufacturing ERP correctly, however. The Aberdeen Group found that a majority of manufacturing companies weren’t using their manufacturing ERP to its fullest potential, resulting in these companies not reaping the full benefits.
The research resulted in some disappointing findings. Most companies were using out-dated manufacturing ERP and manufacturers were using a smaller percentage of their applications overall capabilities. The Aberdeen Group concluded that companies were “essentially leaving money on the table” by not taking full advantage of their manufacturing ERP.
If you’re using manufacturing ERP, make sure your following these 6 basic guidelines to ensure you’re getting the most out of your ERP.
Take Your Time
Manufacturing ERP is not a magical fix to all your company’s problems. It takes time to implement and if you rush through the process you are certain to miss out on a lot of the key functions that will increase productivity and efficiency.
Training for manufacturing ERP doesn’t end once the system has been implemented. Ongoing training should occur for both executives and end users to ensure the system is being used to its fullest potential. This is especially crucial once the system goes through an update to be sure all users understand new features or changes in functions.
Manufacturing ERP cannot do everything it is expected to do if it is only being used by two departments of the company. ERP software works best when data from every department is being used. The system cannot give an accurate picture of demand planning when inventory data isn’t included.
The Right ERP
This is an area that can only be fixed from the very beginning. Not every ERP system will work for everyone. For example, if you are working in process manufacturing, your manufacturing ERP system should have the ability to process lot tracking and batch production. It is crucial to pick the right ERP software from the beginning or you will have a system that simply cannot work for you.
The first step to nailing this portion of your manufacturing ERP is to go through all of your previous data before the ERP implementation. Make sure that there is no duplicate, outdated or incorrect information in the system. The second step is to ensure you check up on this on a regular schedule, whether you choose to do it once a month or annually. It doesn’t matter how new, intelligent or expensive your manufacturing ERP is; if that data you input is bad, it simply won’t work.
Your manufacturing ERP system should not be working all by itself. It should be able to integrate with other business applications that will allow you to manage documents, increase efficiencies in accounting, handle advanced planning and scheduling, warehouse management and other important processes. If your manufacturing ERP can’t integrate with those other applications, you’re missing out on a lot of vital information and productivity.
A lot of ensuring that you’re using all of the manufacturing ERP options is simply handling upkeep, such as getting rid of useless data and continual training of employees. You don’t want to be part of the majority of manufacturers who have invested millions of dollars on an ERP system, only to use 30 percent of the software capabilities. Make your manufacturing ERP work for you by taking care of it.