Manufacuring is an extremely competitive industry, and firms have a number of challenges to contend with from all sides. In addition to competition in the marketplace, manufacturers are struggling with automating processes, coping with changing regulations and continued economic uncertainty. To weather economic challenges and stay competitive, manufacturers need to design new products and constantly improve business processes. Enterprise resource planning can help firms meet these exact challenges and achieve sustainable growth in
the following four ways:
1. Product innovation
As technological processes introduce new capabilities into the manufacturing sector – such as additive techniques like 3D pricing – creating innovative new products is critical for firms. To foster innovation, manufacturers will need tools that allow them to collaborate and share information in real time. ERP can help firms improve these processes with web portals for sharing data to speed up problem solving with employees, suppliers, partners and customers. Organizations can develop new products with increased collaboration and streamlined processes.
2. Improve processes
Manufacturers could be missing opportunities to boost efficiency. If processes are optimized, firms can move products from factories to shelves faster, which enables them to respond to consumer demands more quickly.
While manufacturing isn’t usually seen as a consumer-focused industry, ERP with an integrated CRM can help firms improve their relationships with suppliers, and this helps processes run more smoothly. Service levels are becoming more of a competitive differentiator, so ERP can help automate production processes and streamline interactions with customers.
3. Increase visibility
As manufacturing firms grow, they often expand into global markets, which can present huge opportunities for growth. However, global operations require longer, more complicated supply chains, and this creates a higher potential for disruptions and delayed shipments if manufacturers don’t have visibility across the value chain.
With ERP, workflows can be automated and streamlined, and this improves supply chain management. Firms lose out when supply chain disruptions occur, but ERP allows managers to better monitor shipments. Business intelligence and analytics tools also give managers real-time visibility into ways to reduce costs, optimize order and inventory management and production control processes.
4. Comply with regulations
Manufacturers face a variety of regulations they must meet or risk significant penalties. ERP solutions automate and standardize processes to ensure compliance, and audit trails enable documentation and reporting. It is much easier for manufacturers to stay competitive and profitable if they are meeting regulations.
With a constantly changing business environment for manufacturers, it’s more important than ever to leverage an ERP system to streamline processes and improve relationships with suppliers and customers. Success often depends on whether firms have innovative products and how quickly they can produce and ship orders. Modern ERP can help manufacturers prepare for growth and increase collaboration across the organization. For more information on how ERP can help manufacturers meet their top challenges, watch the video.