Manufacturing is an industry with hundreds of nuanced procedures, from inventory and production to distribution and warehouse management. Thus, manufacturing companies have to deal with complex supply chains and workflows on a daily basis. Fortunately, managing technical and logistical processes can be performed seamlessly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
However, just like there’s a vast assortment of manufacturing companies and products, ERP software also comes in different shapes and sizes. To make sure your company picks a suitable ERP tool, it’s important to look for the following characteristics.
When making an ERP investment, manufacturers must find the right solution that drives down cost and maximizes revenue. Traditional ERP deployments may have all the inventory and order management features you’re looking for, but the upfront cost is often too great for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Cloud-based ERP solutions, on the other hand, are easy to deploy, constantly updated, require minimal maintenance, and can be deployed by managed services providers for a low monthly fee. On top of that, cloud solutions provide real-time access to data and eliminate error-prone manual data entry.
Manufacturers must also protect the data they host, meaning ERP software that meets the highest security standards is non-negotiable. Cloud-ERP software like Dynamics GP and Sage Intacct have advanced role-based access controls and security systems to prevent catastrophic breaches. And since ERP data is hosted in the cloud, manufacturers won’t have to worry about issues like downtime, data redundancy requirements, and physical security.
Manufacturing responsibilities within your company may vary from employee to employee. For instance, production managers and purchasing departments require different, role-specific information from the ERP database. In this case, your chosen ERP solution should have customizable dashboards so that only the most relevant information is presented to the right employees.
ERP solutions that support third-party integrations are also beneficial. When your ERP system is compatible with best-of-breed document management tools like PaperSave, you can streamline inventory tracking, data processing, and retrieval. And don’t forget the importance of design. ERP with a user-friendly interface can greatly speed up employee onboarding.
In an industry where processes need to be perfect, ERP software with workflow automation features is a must. Simply put, workflow management helps businesses keep track of and automate approval, shipping, and other inventory-related procedures.
For example, you can set workflows to automatically order manufacturing materials when your ERP detects that supply is low, and send emails to the appropriate managers for approval. When you find ERP that can create these workflows, you can eliminate routine, manual processes.
Of course, you need to look for ERP that can scale with your business. Traditional deployments can be a hefty investment since you have to purchase software licenses, servers, and install them on different workstations. With cloud solutions, you can access your ERP over the internet with any device, whether mobile or desktop.
The takeaway is this: Manufacturing companies deal with many technical responsibilities that can’t be managed by spreadsheets or traditional ERP. To make things a lot easier, choosing a modern, cloud ERP is the way to go.
ERP solves a number of manufacturing challenges, but only if you pick a solution that fits your company’s needs and budget. Here at WhiteOwl, we offer various ERP services that not only complement business processes, but also ensure your company’s continued success. Contact us today to find the best ERP for you.