Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software adds a considerable amount of value to manufacturing companies. With the click of a button, employees and managers can get access to instant, real-time reports on all facets of the business. From operations to warehouse management, the ERP system of today offers a view into the heart of the manufacturing business, providing critical data from strategic planning and implementation.
As with all things technological though, ERP is constantly changing. Jenny Garbuzova, project manager for Sage ERP and Sage X3, provides a sneak peek into the trends of the future for ERP software. What can manufacturers expect from the world of ERP as it meets ever-changing technology? And what does the future hold for ERP? Garbuzova discusses the three hottest trends in ERP for manufacturing:
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things, is defined as the interconnection of data from devices that normally would remain disconnected from the Internet. With IoT, companies can gain valuable insights into how their products perform – how and where they are used. For example, companies that connect household items to the IoT receive error reports when washing machines malfunction, energy usage reports from HVAC systems, and updates from other electronic components connected to the Internet.
Although the IoT provides valuable data, many still don’t know it is used. That’s where ERP comes into play. The latest trend, according to the author, is to blend IoT data with ERP systems to add valuable information to the ERP big picture.
For example, shipments of raw materials can be tagged with devices that report transportation time and current location information. Manufacturers can then use this info to better plan production schedules and plant locations. With all of this data, an ERP system will be essential for manufacturers to run an efficient and successful business.
2. Big data analytics
In the past, the only companies who really benefited from big data were large companies and enterprises with the ability to build their own hardware infrastructure to manage data. Cloud computing in today’s world has made it possible for companies and organizations of all sizes to manage more data faster and better than ever before. Greater access to powerful analytical tools allow companies of any size to benefit from the new data derived from the IoT and from other technologies, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and warehouse technology.
3. Wearable Tech
We’re all familiar with wearables, you know, like Fitbits or the latest Apple Watch. Or what about Virtual Reality (VR) headsets that allow you to see 3D reality beamed from somewhere else? These technologies are being used for entertainment, but have also made an a place into medicine, where they can be used for consultations and to view surgeries for residents in training.
For manufacturing, wearable technology may be used during assembly to run robotics that can manipulate tiny objects too small for human hands. Wearables may also integrate with ERP at some point to produce data feeds from wearable technology through the manufacturing process.
The future of ERP software holds many promising developments with these and other technologies forthcoming. They will improve efficiency and enable business owners to make better strategic business decisions based on accurate and real-time data. Although the author did not mention cloud-based ERP systems in her article, it is another extremely popular trend that is already changing ERP technology. Read the benefits of cloud ERP for manufacturing here.
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