The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted several major industries, requiring an increase in costs and lower operating margins that leave many businesses struggling to keep their heads above water. With staff reductions that inevitably followed, business management systems and processes have taken an expensive hit.
Because minimizing costs and maximizing productivity is the name of the game for manufacturers, there has never been a more relevant time for manufacturing companies with outdated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to modernize.
In light of recent setbacks created by the crisis, modern ERP solutions can mitigate the effects of strained management resources and help manufacturers focus on what they do best: manufacture goods. While modernization can require a capital investment, substantial ERP ROI is undeniable in both the short and long-term future.
Here are some of the short and long-term returns that a manufacturer can expect by modernizing their ERP systems:
Short Term Benefits of a Modern ERP
One of the most immediate benefits to a modern ERP system is a direct response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic recession. Reductions in staffing levels and an increase in the need for remote access to critical systems have been crucial ERP factors in the past year. Businesses relying on manual ERP processes have struggled to compete with those who already have modern systems in place.
Remote Access: Manufacturing employees need to access the systems that keep a business running. Modern ERP solutions deliver convenient access to keep employees safe, productive, and efficient. Device independence and enhanced digital security provided by modern ERP solutions mean that remote access for employees is low risk and high gain.
Systems Integration and Automation: As soon as a manufacturing business implements a modernized ERP solution, processes begin to run smoother. Issues arising from cross-platforming between departments are largely eliminated by systems integration into an all-in-one solution. This helps ensure the continuity of data accuracy, saving time and money. Inventory management, payroll operations, bank reconciliations, sales, production, etc., can all be monitored automatically, with dramatic increases in efficiency where manual systems can’t compete.
Long Term Benefits of a Modern ERP
Manufacturers know that in order to stay competitive, advancements in technology must be integrated and operational as soon as possible. This is true for ERP solutions, as more and more manufacturers rely on cloud-based ERP software that centralizes systems into a more streamlined operation. Over time, the benefits of these systems far outweigh the initial investment cost.
Enhanced Security: With an increase in business done digitally, the need for digital security continues to grow. Vulnerable systems are rich deposits of wealth for unscrupulous cybercriminals, so manufacturers need protection to prevent devastating breaches. Data theft can ruin a business’s reputation and ransomware can hijack systems, holding them hostage. Modern ERP solutions minimize risk where vulnerable systems fall short by ensuring that only the authorized users can access the system.
Advanced Analytics: Modern ERP solutions take advantage of the incredible power of smart analytics by using the latest in AI innovations to predict market trends, respond to fluctuations, and promote operations. Artificial intelligence interprets more data and learns more about your business with every successful completion of a task, drastically reducing older systems’ forecast inaccuracies. These operational improvements ensure that manufacturers remain competitive, particularly those working on low margins, minimizing the risk that manual predictive errors can pose over time.
Cost Reductions: In addition to streamlining manufacturing processes that typically require labor costs, modern ERP solutions minimize costs over time by reducing the need for costly hardware maintenance, IT staff, software upgrades, and dedicated on-site hardware storage. Instead of housing ERP hardware on-site, cloud-based ERP solutions offer remote access to critical hardware systems. The resulting long-term savings can free up crucial financial resources so manufacturers can further reinvest into their company. By virtually eliminating ERP hardware upgrade costs, manufacturing companies protect themselves from planned device obsolescence to take advantage of new innovations as quickly as possible.
Take control of your manufacturing business with Sage
The bottom line is that manufacturing companies are already integrating advanced modern ERP solutions. The time is now for manufacturing businesses to control costs, increase profitability, and guarantee product quality. Any manufacturer hoping to stay relevant moving forward will struggle against the competition without the latest technology.
Sage Cloud ERP systems let you manage your business processes, seize new growth opportunities, and deliver consistent quality. Manufacturers who have already integrated Sage are taking advantage of their cloud ERP utility, not to mention a competitive edge that further distances them from companies running legacy systems.
Consider the options for your manufacturing business and make the decision that will keep you relevant and competitive. If you have questions about whether Sage is right for you, talk to one of our cloud manufacturing experts today.