Manufacturing businesses were already complicated before the pandemic – or at least more complex than resellers. The recent events, social distancing, and the difficulties of traveling and transportation have complicated things even more.
Most manufacturers had to re-imagine how they used to work, adopt new technologies, embrace remote work, improve team collaboration, optimize processes, and enhance productivity.
For these reasons, ERP systems – which were already crucial for the smooth functioning of production firms – have become even more critical. But what are ERP systems,s and how do they help manufacturing businesses specifically?
ERP systems: what are they?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP software is a robust tool that allows entrepreneurs to manage different categories of information within their company to achieve a 360-degree overview.
Simply put, ERP systems are a centralized database that provides information about different functions within the company, such as sales, inventory, personnel’s work shifts, and payroll.
In the past, there used to be two ways to go about managing this information for manufacturing businesses:
Adopting a robust ERP system: an expensive, complicated tool with different functions, often on-premises, requiring a long implementation time and a slow learning curve; this tool is most suitable for large manufacturing organizations, ready to spend both time and money to implement such software;
Excel: using good old Microsoft Excel templates for small business owners, makers, and crafters, to keep track of inventory
But is Excel the best option? What happens when small manufacturers start to scale and need more automation to optimize manufacturing processes and make quick decisions based on real-time data? The intelligent manufacturing revolution brings modern ERP software designed for such needs, offering features like real-time inventory management, an intelligent auto-booking engine, integrations with popular e-commerce software, accounting tools, and more.
Why should you adopt an ERP system for your manufacturing business?
With manufacturing ERP software, you can manage your daily activities, sales, accounting, and inventory in one place from a single visual dashboard. When you save time on one activist,y you can dedicate it to others: those that generate income (selling, promoting, and manufacturing).
Streamlining your operations, inventory, and sales orders helps you sustainably scale your business, keeping things organized and focusing on what matters most: growing your business.
As collaborating and working in teams becomes more complicated due to the recent events that have disrupted the world, manufacturing ERP software comes to the rescue. When your data is spread through different databases, maybe even used by different team members, it’s beneficial to have a central dashboard as a reference point to guide and monitor your workflows.
Furthermore, when every employee can access this information remotely without being physically present in the same warehouse or lab, the importance of having the right system becomes even higher. Managers, sales teams, and the employees on the shop floor can keep their operations synchronized and data updated, but they need access to the same information. ERP software helps everyone stay on top of their job, removing mistakes or missed deadlines.
The use of software within a business is also essential when it comes to creating and sharing reports. Reports are usually automatically generated, the different team members or collaborators are granted access, and you can always export those reports in different formats to store or share them.
ERP systems, however, are capable of improving reporting even more: not only can they gather all data in one place, but they are also capable of integrating and interpreting them to provide outcomes that keep all the different aspects into account, such as multiple inventory locations, different e-commerce channels, marketplaces, accounting systems and so on.
Forecasting is one of those things that you can’t do manually. To make predictions, you need software that gathers data and can provide reliable forecasting.
Why would you need forecasting? It helps you make rational decisions when choosing where to invest money (e.g., new processes, machinery, or teams), when you need to understand the stock and raw materials necessary for the next season, how to mitigate waste, and so on. ERP systems can quickly help with accurate forecasting considering multiple databases integrate.
Other than automating processes, the software tools you use within your company also store important data for you. Security,s therefore,e another one of the most important benefits of modern ERP systems.
You shouldn’t store data locally on your computer, as you’d risk losing it if it is damaged, stolen, or hacked. Cloud-based ERP software is constantly maintained and updated, and your data isn’t only safely saved and stored and encrypted to protect your privacy and security.
When you have many different aspects of monitoring within your business, your best ally is software that can gather all the information in one place, giving you real-time insights to base your decisions on. ERP systems are becoming necessary for modern manufacturing businesses looking to scale in the digital world.