The ERP Agility Checklist for Manufacturers
Agile manufacturing is crucial for any organization aiming to secure prosperity and success in today’s fast-moving markets. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can help with this by collecting an organization’s shared transactional data from multiple sources and business processes in order to enable the flow of this data and provide a single “source of truth.”
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Today, organizations that can think strategically and implement an ERP system and/or any new processes in order to meet upcoming challenges and market changes, have a better chance of long-term success. In this light, we’ve provided an ERP agility checklist for manufacturing companies to keep up with. Hopefully, it will provide some insight as to what manufacturers should see from their ERP system and how it can overcome certain challenges.
Making Informed Decisions from Real-Time Information
If you’re making operational or strategic decisions from various departments or siloed programs, how accurate is the data driving your decisions? And how long does it take to collate? If the information is recorded on a variety of incompatible systems, you will find inevitable delays.
To combat this, you should evaluate your decision-making process to make sure the data driving them are accurate and timely. An ERP system provides companies with real-time information so you can be sure you’re getting the best and most relevant data to make the most informed decisions.
Visible Supply Chain Management
It’s becoming very important for manufacturers to have a complete picture of who their suppliers (both direct and indirect) are, for reputational and regulatory reasons. Being able to integrate your supply chain into your own IT systems will make your procurement activities more efficient and productive.
If you don’t currently have a transparent supply chain management module in your ERP system, ask your supply chain managers how clear their partner visibility and communications are and provide reasons why you need to upgrade or replace it.
Once decisions are made, how soon do you see them being translated into action? The way instructions are broadcasted across an organization, especially a manufacturing organization, can have a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of the original decision.
To combat this, make sure your manufacturing business is using an ERP that your employees feel comfortable using to act on directions right away. Read tips for ERP training.
Managing Shifts in Customer Demands
Product customization have become a key development in recent years. With more and more clients seeking bespoke configurations, the most successful manufacturers will be those which can live up to these changing requirements without sacrificing profitability. Is your existing ERP system giving you sufficient support?
If not, combat this by assessing how quickly your existing ERP can deliver accurate quotations and lead times for custom orders.
Your organization cannot rely on outdated or legacy IT systems. If it is, what issues are you facing ensuring these old systems continue to operate effectively without the employees currently responsible for them? As experienced workers start to see the end of their careers and think about retiring, manufacturers face the loss of the expertise and top talent necessary for running the business smoothly.
To combat this, identify any and all legacy systems in your manufacturing business and make sure they aren’t holding you back, maybe upgrade your existing ERP but if needed, replace it with a newer system. A modern manufacturing ERP system ensures all business processes and data from different business departments are integrated into one, so that you’re always getting accurate and relevant information.
Looking for more? Download our ERP Buyer’s Guide for free to compare the top 24 ERP software vendors head to head! The guide also includes 4 key capabilities to consider while selecting a new ERP solution and 10 questions to ask yourself and the software vendor before purchasing.