The manufacturing industry is highly dynamic and competitive. It relies on the efficient management of inputs and outputs more than almost any other type of sector. Companies in this sector must pool resources from suppliers, track their current inventory, and adjust their orders according to sales forecasts—the more people involved in a process, the more margin for error.
Fortunately, now you can get a digital solution that unifies the entire process, automating many of the "back office" functions and improving reliability and efficiency. This digital solution is called an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system—taking over various processes that were previously labor-intensive (and error-prone) and streamlining the entire business.
Let’s take a look at why manufacturing businesses are turning to ERP systems for greater efficiency and a boost to their competitive advantage.
1. Streamlining processes with greater adaptability
A complete ERP system streamlines business processes and drives automation for manufacturing companies. All data is available in a centralized location with complete visibility across all functions – development, design, inventory, procurement, production, finance, sales, delivery, and more.
Furthermore, staff can monitor production status in real-time, without reliance on individuals or teams. For example, the design team can monitor production progress and update purchasing and finance departments on additional raw material requirements.
It's not just large-scale operations that are automated by ERP. Specific tasks are often automated in manufacturing environments. This usually takes the form of reporting, where it is necessary to understand what is happening on a day-to-day basis.
By automating processes with ERP for the manufacturing industry, companies also reduce their dependence on manual processes. This not only speeds up the production process but also minimizes errors and increases profitability significantly.
2. Improving your entire supply chain
Given the importance of supply chains, having full visibility of your supply chain is mission-critical. If your supply chain fails, production stops, and your factory effectively shuts down. This is often catastrophic for a manufacturing business.
Thankfully, modules in ERP for the manufacturing industry (e.g., inventory management, procurement, warehouse management, etc.) can greatly help manufacturers improve their entire supply chain. These modules not only store and track logistics data, supplier contracts, and warehouse operations but can also be set up to optimize inventory and supply chain logistics through real-time reporting, automated alerts, and advice gleaned from data analysis.
With an advanced ERP system, you can generate sales forecasts and reports based on historical transactions, increasing the accuracy and dependability of production and purchasing levels. This minimizes out-of-stock and overstock situations, keeping stock levels in line with rising and falling demand.
Overall, ERP allows you to see every aspect of the supply chain, allowing you to make decisions in real-time, minimizing costly delays, and keeping everything running as it should do. A sound ERP system can handle even the most sprawling supply chain across countries, languages, and currencies.
3. Enabling manufacturers to respond faster to market conditions
ERP for the manufacturing industry provides real-time data analysis that helps businesses better forecast, plan, adjust and respond to changing market needs. ScaleOcean, for example, offers real-time data analysis that allows your company to forecast future resource requirements more accurately. It also integrates information from consumer buying trends, giving you insight into when and exactly how much to order.
4. Reducing costs of manufacturing operations
One of the main drivers to deploy an ERP system is cost reduction. Powerful ERP software helps manufacturing companies reduce overall operational costs as time-consuming manual processes are replaced by simplified, automated processes with real-time business information.
In addition, by increasing worker productivity, ERP software minimizes labor costs, increases precision, and reduces error rates, thereby reducing losses. The ability to accurately track inventory and efficiently integrate it with production planning eliminates excess inventory and warehousing costs. And finally, increased organizational visibility helps management make savings wherever possible.
5. Keeping the bottom line healthy
ERP allows you to reschedule your workflow as needed and increase your production capacity whenever you want. Actionable business intelligence makes for better decision-making and prevents potential problems from becoming real problems. The wheels very much stay on the track. In today's competitive world, this makes a real difference to the performance of your manufacturing company.
6. Enabling the industrial internet of things (IIoT)
On the production floor, ERP for the manufacturing industry is increasingly incorporating IIoT technology. A simple example is sensors embedded in machines and components to communicate with production controls in real-time. IIoT technology can also improve maintenance management, with immediate alerts when equipment needs attention or repair. This is just the beginning of how IIoT ushers in new possibilities for efficiency and ingenuity.
On the consumer/IoT side, manufacturers can equip their finished products with internet connectivity to assess customer usage patterns and track malfunctions. In some cases, updates can be delivered directly to the item, improving how it works without needing the customer to return the item or walk to a brick-and-mortar location to resolve minor issues.
7. Enhancing customer satisfaction
Your customers benefit from all of the above. Accurate production planning, better control over inventory, simplified process scheduling, and distribution channel coordination enable you to improve on-time product delivery, which is an important performance metric to maintain customer satisfaction. Moreover, an ERP system designed for the manufacturing industry can include features like self-service customer portals, automated orders, and the customer relationship management tools your staff needs to handle inquiries and problems accurately.
Final thoughts on ERP system benefits for the manufacturing industry
For a manufacturing company to be competitive, it must be able to maximize productivity and workflow. It can't afford to waste money and time. Now that you understand the benefits of ERP software for the manufacturing industry, it's time for your organization to take a step closer to becoming the best.
However, simply deploying any software will not help you achieve your organization’s goals. You must partner with the right ERP software provider like ScaleOcean. We provide you with the very best ERP solution the way you need it.
Connect with us to learn more about our automated solutions. Our friendly experts are always ready to answer your questions or help you learn more about the benefits of ERP.