The process of selecting the right manufacturing ERP solution to fit your business can feel like just as intimidating a challenge. While it’s always beneficial to have multiple options to choose from, it’s often overwhelming to examine through them all – especially when not all cloud manufacturing ERPs are created equal. Top performing manufacturers approach the selection process with a clear plan in mind and come away with solutions that implement smoothly and help drive business immediately.
Whether operating a make-to-stock or make-to-order production environment, manufacturers are looking to optimize daily operations, remove waste, simplify processes, and improve manufacturing flexibility. ERP solutions designed specifically for manufacturers come in all shapes and sizes, and often businesses make their selection based on the effectiveness of the vendor’s sales engineers; rather than the true effectiveness of the solution.
Four ERP features every manufacturer needs
An ERP solution is an essential component to manufacturing businesses. The process for an ERP solution should be a top priority for manufacturers whether implementing a new ERP solution or upgrading an already existing one.
Mentioned below are the four features manufacturers should look for in an ERP solution:
- Big Data Analytics
Ease of use should definitely be among the top selection criteria for an ERP solution. Also, an ERP solution must offer room for future expansion. In other words, the ERP solution should be scalable and have the ability to add functionality as the company or organization grows. A manufacturer may currently sell to the domestic market, but may reach a global market in the future. Business processes will need to be able to adapt to global compliance, and the ERP application should be scalable to handle customs, shipping, and other regulations associated with global manufacturing.
The purpose of an ERP system is to contain all the information critical for running a business. This is why manufacturers have an interest in solutions that offer integrated suites. The benefits from an application that seamlessly performs together with others is plentiful. Employees can find and access the data they need to do their jobs better and more efficiently; while at the same time, make better decisions from the streamlined processes and real-time data they collect. An integrated ERP platform can also serve as a system of record, making it easier to look back and spot any order or inventory changes.
The consumption of mobile devices these days makes it clear that the future is mobile. This makes mobile one focal point manufacturers should look for in an ERP solution. Along with mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, the demand for wearable technology is growing too. Smart watches continue to evolve and are constantly being developed to become more user friendly and capable of syncing with other mobile devices to enable hand-free operations.
Manufacturers have become more and more dependent on IT and accumulated vast amounts of data and information that can quickly become underutilized. Manufacturers can begin to use data for more accurate forecasting by selecting an ERP solution that has the capabilities for analytics, as a part of the approach to building business strategies for the future.
Your business may function the exact same as all other manufacturing business; but in reality, it’s totally different. You may do all the same things, but no business does them exactly alike, and that’s part of the reason why there is no one ERP system on the market. The size, complexity of processes, value of added features, and requirements of your business are just some of the major factors that are at play while determining what the best ERP system for your business actually is.