Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software helps businesses manage day-to-day operationsl activities; something especially useful to manufacturing companies. From valuing $91 billion in 2018 to surpassing $93 billion this year and $97 billion in 2023 (according to Apps Run The World), it is obvious that adoption of ERP systems is on the rise- and for good reason.
Businesses across the globe are being turned upside-down by a global pandemic. ERP solutions are helping modern manufacturers manage the crisis and adapt to the new challenges now inherent in moving goods and products. ERP is proving to be essential to the modern manufacturer in 7 key ways
A very important aspect of an ERP soultion is that it centralizes important information like:
This means that companies can easily access the supply and demand information that they need to make a plan for their own business. As the pandemic is revealing the flaws in just-in-time inventory systems, it is more important than ever for the businesses served by manufacturers to know what is happening on the supply side of things. ERP allows manufacturers to give consumers the service they expect by properly preparing for demand by staying connected to suppliers.
While most manufacturers still need to have workers onsite to oversee the equipment, front-office employees who work in administration or customer service can perform their jobs remotely and often need to do so as many businesses switch to remote working solutions. These employees need access to production data and customer/supplier communications in order to do their jobs.
ERP solves this issue with ease as it provides all the real-time data these employees need, making it possible for more people to work from home and reducing health risks onsite.
Predicting demand has never been harder than during the economic crisis that the pandemic has fostered. Fortunately for manufacturers using ERP, these systems analyze the current sales figures and, using that data, predict the pattern of future sales.
This demand forecasting makes it incredibly easy to adjust factory output to match the demand which means that fewer supplies go to waste and ensures that only the necessary amount of workers are onsite.
With the demand forecasting detailed above, there can be a lot of shifts in the amount of workers needed onsite, especially now. Without the help of ERP systems, rescheduling any significant number of employees could take several weeks to do manually which is simply not an option because of the delays that would cause. With the help of an ERP system, however, rescheduling is nearly instantaneous. It allows businesses to schedule the exact amount of personnel needed.
When scheduling, the following are also taken into account by ERP systems:
All of this is increasingly helpful during this pandemic because it protects the health of employees and reduces strain on administrative resources.
Disrupted supply chains don’t just affect retailers; manufacturers need raw supplies in order to continue production. With ERP, companies can keep track of the raw materials they have in stock which allows them to plan out their production processes and distribute the resources properly. This helps businesses make sure they only have the necessary amount of personnel onsite, helping them to optimize their output and keep up with demand.
One concern with administrators working from home is that the quality of products could deteriorate if left unchecked. Fortunately for manufacturers with ERP, administrators and other remote-working personnel can access quality check points from anywhere. This ensures that customers receive the same grade of goods that they are used to and informs the company if the reduced number of workers onsite are still able to keep up with quotas without sacrificing quality.
This pandemic has highlighted flaws with just in time inventory systems, and supply chains struggled to keep up with the sudden demand of some items and reduced demand for others; ERP systems offer solutions to these issues. Inventory visibility is one solution, as supply chains can know exactly what is available to them and plan accordingly. ERP systems also offer warehouse and transportation management tools that can further assist the supply chain in getting products from manufacturers to retailers.
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