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Are these 3 things on your manufacturing ERP Christmas list?

With the festive season approaching, what manufacturing ERP features should be on that all-important list for Father Christmas?

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Is your manufacturing ERP system perfect for your business’s needs? If you’re fortunate, then the answer will be ‘yes’. But not every business is in that happy position.

Not necessarily through acquiring the wrong manufacturing ERP system in the first place, of course.

Often, a business outgrows its manufacturing ERP system, or finds itself wanting to take advantage of features and technologies that hadn’t been developed when the original decision to acquire a given ERP system was taken.

As a result, it’s surprisingly easy for a business to find itself with a manufacturing ERP system that is fully functional as far as it goes, but which could certainly offer the business rather more.

So with the festive season approaching, what features might it make sense to put on that all-important list for Father Christmas? Here are some suggestions to think about.

True end-to-end process capability

For businesses whose manufacturing ERP doesn’t quite do everything that they want, a common failing is an incomplete match between the ERP system and the business’s core processes.

Sure, the major pieces of business functionality will be there: sales order entry, forecasting, MRP, manufacturing works orders, and so on.

But where things go wrong is when processes go ‘off system’, or lack integration with other critical business systems such as CRM.

Not only does this mean that the business lacks visibility into critical activities, it also means that there’s a greater propensity for mistakes to happen, with these same activities taking place through paper systems or spreadsheets.

So if your manufacturing ERP system isn’t delivering this true end-to-end process capability, it’s time to think seriously about obtaining it.

Business intelligence, reporting, dashboards, and analytics

Fairly obviously, a decent manufacturing ERP system will generate lots of data. But on its own, locked away inside the system’s database, that data is of little value.

Of course, all manufacturing ERP systems contain a basic reporting capability. But often, that basic reporting capability is just that—basic.

And in today’s competitive environment, it’s vital for businesses to have more insight into operations than the basic reports that their manufacturing ERP system produces.

In short, a modern business is likely to want to have a modern manufacturing ERP system—one that delivers built-in Business Intelligence, built-in analytics, a good level of reporting, and (ideally) dashboards as well.

So if those are capabilities that your business lacks, then it’s perhaps time to think hard about acquiring them.

Room to grow

A final capability to add to your Christmas list is manufacturing ERP scalability: the ability to grow as your business grows.

Perhaps your business has recently branched out overseas, for instance. In which case, a multi-language, multi-currency capability is important.

Or perhaps your business has recently acquired or developed a manufacturing operation outside your normal sphere of activity—taking your (perhaps) discrete batch manufacturing company into process manufacturing or engineered-to-order manufacturing, for instance.

In each case, it’s vital to have a manufacturing ERP system that can handle these new requirements—requirements that once weren’t important, but which have now suddenly become extremely important.


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