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What ERP Software Is Good For Manufacturing

Posted by Roger Padgett on Apr, 26, 2021 07:04

Today, manufacturing companies are progressively absorbed in simplifying their operations to boost margins, drive profit, and offer superior quality to customers promptly. Some manufacturing companies utilize all tools imaginative while striving to stay competitive. However, there’s one tool that can genuinely help them. That’s where manufacturing ERP software comes into the picture.

Keep in mind that a powerful and dependable ERP system helps in manufacturing management by integrating and simplify interdependent departments efficiently and properly. For many organizations, that is essential. And, for manufacturing companies, that’s essentially critical for business performance.

Early efforts at making an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system could be traced back to the 1940s with the rise of calculating machines. That effort changed into an early version of the system in the 1960s with the partnership between IBM and tractor manufacturer J.I. Case. 

The challenge was to get a better grip on planning and scheduling materials for complicated manufacturing operations. Companies like Oracle, SAP, Lawson Software, and JD Edwards developed their ERP systems by the 1970s.

In manufacturing markets, ERP solutions are helping organizations in different sectors enhance their efficiency and support managers in delivering on the promise of improved revenues. 

Even though ERP systems were only so slow to change, the new technology trends have started a flood of advancements which will force manufacturers who have invested in the software to update or risk finding themselves trailing at the back of the competition. 

Manufacturing ERP software in 2021 will present more complexities, opportunities, choices, business intelligence challenges, and even a few risks.

  • Real-time data, no matter where you go

This 2021, an increasing number of workers will expect their employees to have mobile for their software. ERPs will be mobile, letting staff get access to real-time company data and customer communications. 

ERP mobile apps allow employees to see and approve sale orders and costs from anywhere. 

  • Sustainability in manufacturing 

Manufacturers are embracing the best practices for sustainability. Key motivators involve a desire to become a good steward of the environment, demands for regulatory compliance, the financial advantages of sustainable practices, or a mix of such drivers.

Sustainability initiatives in product engineering might involve entire product lifecycle improvements, the process to redesign to lower waste and packaging. For some, it involves the creation of recyclable packaging materials, lighter weight, and new biodegradable products. It starts from planning the products till the finished product

  • Compliance as an asset 

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, customers in regulated sectors value manufacturers with experience obtaining certifications, partnering with regulatory auditors, and keeping in good standing with compliance agencies. 

Compliance as a competitive gain occurs across different manufacturing, along with contract companies noticing the massive gains by presenting their compliance knowledge to brand manufacturers. 

ERP Dashboard

Few More

  • Automated pricing and quoting 

Need for faster time-to-market, better channel visibility, and more visually appealing quotes of custom-configured items through 3D images boost the use of CPQ (configure, price, quote) tools. 

The most efficient CPQ tools are accessible as a part of a modern ERP system because of the timeliness and accuracy of working from that same information. That converts into enhanced price management and controls across different channels, lowered order errors, and improved margins in the process. That will help quicken the time-to-market and restore margins. 

  • ERP for business continuity 

Keep in mind that ERP is no longer noncompulsory. It has arisen as the basis for guaranteeing business continuity. High-performing complex manufacturing companies utilize real-time analytics from their ERP systems to handle shifts in market demand and keep their entire production process on track.

They motivate workers to perform their tasks, no matter if it’s working remotely or onsite. They will continue to flourish regardless of the market uncertainty, which could stay for another year. These were the manufacturing ERP software trends in current and past years.

ERP functions in Business

What are the Challenges in the Manufacturing industry with traditional software? 

The traditional manufacturing model was an excellent answer for mass marketing items in the post-World War II economy. However, consumers in the manufacturing space today expect companies and brands to utilize the advanced technology to meet the people’s high-demand, immediate delivery needs.

Giant retailers are upping the ante and making it simpler than ever for people to get what they desire when they like it. 

  • A single process for all the order 

Throughout the nineteenth century, making a repeatable and scalable process with an assembly line is how most industries developed. Companies in the manufacturing industries utilized that model to meet the substantial need for daily products from meet to vehicles. 

Such operations’ scalability was practical in the past when the demand for government-issued uniforms and machinery increased. 

Unluckily, today’s consumers are not about keeping up with the Joneses. As an alternative, today’s clothing customers like something unique, which shows their affiliations and personality. Hence, a single process makes a big manufacturing challenge: making unique items in a single assembly line. 

To make it short, that is not possible. 

  • One manufacturer for every product 

Traditional software has a single manufacturer for every product. However, that approach chafes under modern demands.

Running a manufacturing business with a selection of products with unique and exclusive designs while keeping the ever-changing inventory consumers need indicates many products from most traditional software manufacturers. That only boils down to massive inventory management of products that might not sell once the trend has changed.

What are the tell-tale signs that you need Manufacturing ERP software ASAP?

You may notice your salespeople are doing a wonderful job drumming up their corresponding business. However, you are concerned about keeping up with the big demand, and you cannot understand why. 

You see, production efficiency and holdups are growing, quality assurance standards are declining, delivery schedules aren’t being met, and your consumers are becoming unsatisfied.

Does this sound familiar to you? Well, you are not alone, pal. You will find typical warning signs that your manufacturing company immediately needs an ERP system today! 

Sign #1. You cannot work remotely and get the needed data 

In today’s extremely fast-paced setting, your sales team should be off-site visiting customers and prospects. A cloud-based ERP software for manufacturing will offer your sales rep remote access to delivery information, pricing, and availability while in front of the prospect or customer.

That instant data access offers a substantial competitive gain and boosts your sales team’s close rate.

It has never been a great time to capitalize on an ERP system. Manufacturing ERP software is now well in the financial reach of a small manufacturing enterprise. They don’t need any investment in the IT team. That’s because the vendor itself manages the upgrades and maintenance. 

Sign #2. Continuous production planning and scheduling issues

Your manufacturing company lives or dies on your capability to create products lucratively and present them on time. You will not meet customer demand if you don’t know which materials you have on hand, the machines accessible, or not having enough workers.

Other ERP systems today have integrated MPS modules that automate having the proper materials in the right amount for customer requirements and the right place to create the proper numbers to meet your customer demands and increase customer service efficiency.

Sign #3. You don’t have promise functionality 

For companies with different offshore manufacturing plants and apparel industry, this is very important. Not having an exact picture of WIP inventory means your sale will not be able to perform their task and promise delivery times. 

You will find ERP systems that can locate different inventory types such as subassemblies, WIP inventory, safety socks, raw materials, and finished goods across different locations. Imagine if you have specific visibility of location, type, and amount of inventory across your company in real-time. It gives you better inventory control. That can offer you specific delivery dates to your consumers.

manufacturing ERP software

Sign #4. You have inaccurate inventory counts 

Keep in mind that inaccurate inventory records could affect nearly all parts of your manufacturing operation. Too much inventory consumes storage space, ties up work capital, and becomes obsolete or damaged.

Inadequate inventory could stop production lines, postpone customer deliveries, increase production costs and make expedited shipping expenses that could reduce customer satisfaction. An ERP system helps manufacturing organizations track inventory accurately at different points from supplier to customer. A manufacturing ERP software system can also be considered as complete manufacturing software for all core business functions needs.

What are the benefits of using the ERP system in Manufacturing over traditional Manufacturing Software Systems?

Apart from being a visual manufacturing software, here are some of the benefits you need to use ERP system in your manufacturing processes and sales order management.

  • It helps you organize resources and staff 

No manufacturing company, no matter how much automation is presented, can sufficiently function without proper staffing. An ERP solution could help with your staffing needs, like skillset, time off, hourly wages, scheduling, and operations planning.

A manufacturer with an ERP may schedule specific staff to deal with specific product lines, especially managing a specific margin for products being delivered to a customer. Without an ERP, your business may let any staff at an hourly wage work any line. That may throw off and harm your profit, margin, and staff accessibility.

  • It eliminates silos in the financial operations 

Many suppliers like to be compensated as fast as possible. Meanwhile, many customers like to hold onto their money for as long as possible. A company with a separate customer and supplier financial operations and material transactions management could be disconnected from that financial concept.

An ERP system can get rid of siloed mentality and incorporate decision-making.

  • It enhances customer experience 

Most enterprise systems enable customers to access a portal and ask about product accessibility, price, and delivery. That data can then be utilized to dictate production schedules. That customer will be more inclined to be loyal to your company if they can easily place orders and have them delivered immediately. 

ERP In Manufacturing

How does the ERP system affect Supply Chain Management and visibility?

Manufacturing ERP software provides agile and advanced manufacturing modules to handle supply chain planning and other crucial business operations. Integrating supply chain management within ERP enables businesses to get some benefits, including a robust supply chain.

Below are some ways ERP can support supply chain management.

  • Planning

Successful companies look far into the future to predict production scheduling, customer needs, and market trends. Predicting properly needs more insights than only customer sale orders. You can consider Predictive analytics consulting for gaining insights into future trends for decision making.

ERP obtains data from across the company. You can assess key metrics from promotions and marketing campaigns, assess trending customer data, and predict inventory needs. 

  • Procurement

An ERP allows you to turn inventory into a profit center. You can utilize advance accuracy in forecasting and planning information to your benefit to develop strategic procurement decisions and also be efficient in production management. It helps you with material requirements planning and also keeps a check on bills of materials. You can also make strategic buying decisions before certain marketplace conditions increase the price of raw materials.

  • Measurement 

Equipped with dependable, current information, you can track and measure key performance indicators, determine trends, perform warehouse management and respond immediately to deviations. You can measure real business activity to strategic goals by keeping an eye on production, inventory movement, and sales.

Benefits Microsoft Dynamics 365 as ERP solution in Manufacturing

Improving business and employee productivity and transforming operations is a top priority for most manufacturers. This is where an ERP solution like MS Dynamics 365 can help them.

  • Increase profitability

Dynamics 365 as manufacturing ERP software allows users to eliminate waste, lower errors, and offer more value to their customers. That will lead to higher profits and a better future.

  • Improve innovation 

Dynamics 365 for manufacturing enable better insights into business operations. It helps highlight sections that can be streamlined, processes condensed, and cut costs. Manufacturers will have more liberty and scope to improve how they work and respond to changes with a product, customer, and performance data being checked in real-time.

  • Smooth asset management

Dynamics 365 for manufacturing enable companies to see their machinery by processing and collecting information in real-time. Machine lifestyle, usage, and performance information can be seen anywhere, anytime, and any problems can be fixed immediately. 

  • Improve Supply Chain Visibility and operations

A cloud-based, mobile-enabled solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for manufacturing helps enterprises execute a holistic system acting as a single truth source. That could help them make more precise schedules, budgets, and forecasts that fuel a more effective business. 

Above mentioned are some of the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics ERP system

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics ERP System- Business Central

What are the Features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 over other competitors 

A famous cloud-based software that deals with customer relationships are Dynamics 365. This software is repackaged in Dynamics CRM online, broken down into different applications, combining CRM and ERP solutions into a unique cloud-based platform. It is a perfect solution fit for big to midsize manufacturers. Feature of Dynamics 365 is also built keeping the best interest of discrete manufacturers, custom manufacturers, or repetitive manufacturers.

Here are the key features you will find in Dynamics 365:

1. Client APIs
2. Sitemap designer for apps
3. Server-to-server authentication
4. Process enhancements
5. Editable grids
6. Define access permission
7. Cortana integration 
8. Activity sorting control 
9.Use from scripts 
10. Web API enhancements
11. Site map designer for app
12. Programming management
13. Power BI
14. Customer insights
15. Dynamics 365 app for outlook 

You can also check all Microsoft ERP Products available to choose from.

Which is the Best Manufacturing ERP Software for Small Businesses 

Dynamics 365 versus SAP 

SAP is a better option for users working in retail as it offers product development functions, reliable quality control functionality, and made-to-order processing. However, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is more flexible and simpler to use. Its user interface is browser-based and more intuitive than SAP, with excellent support for inter-organization connectivity. See the details for a user per month and Cost per user data for both the products.

Criteria SAPMicrosoft Dynamics 365 
Cost & Pricing Quote basedStarting from $8 with choices for one-time and monthly payments (quote based)
Seamless integrations & ImplementationMost third-party apps and SAP appsIt does best when integrated along with other MS apps. Third-party integrations are limited, but Amazon, Magento, and Shopify connectors would be helpful
Ease of Use & FunctionalityStandardized features but with complex UIOffers many flexible features with user-friendly and web-based UI 

Check this article for Microsoft Dynamics ERP pricing details.

Dynamics 365 versus Practice Ignition 

Practice Ignition is a smart proposal software that involves contracts and accepts recurring and one-off payments on the proposal. 

Dynamics 365Practice Ignition
Platforms Supported
Web-Based
iPhone Based
Android App
Windows App
Support Options
Chat 
24/7 Live Rep
Phone Support
Knowledge Base
FAQs/ Forum
Email/ Help Desk 
Pricing$115 / month$75 / month
Features
Billing & Invoicing
Bank Reconciliation
Availability Indicator
Audit Trail
Asset Management
Approval Process Control
Appointment Scheduling
Activity Dashboard
Accountable Receivable
Accountable Payable 

EPCGroup approach for implementing an ERP system in Manufacturing clients

Here at EPCGroup, we understand how many ERP systems are available, each with unique features that may or may not be suitable for your manufacturing company. Every organization has a budget for manufacturing software that needs to keep in check. Our ERP Consulting services are purely focused on your custom business needs.

Some of those are fully packaged, while some enable personalization on the process running at your business. Determining the system parts which would be most advantageous for your business is important. We also provide ERP analytics services using Power BI for making data-driven decisions.

Here’s a list of questions manufacturing leaders can ask themselves before choosing manufacturing ERP software:

  • How much support will be accessible?
  • What will the training process be like?
  • Will it incorporate with the existing processes running at your company?
  • Does the system you’re seeking meet the industry standards? 

After you have determined the answers to those, here’s what you need to do:

  • Execute comprehensive training – Take some time to train everybody properly. 
  • References always matter – Read some reviews, ask for references from vendor reps and make a smart decision based on what you’ll be using the system for 
  • Test your ERP system extensively – It’s crucial to understand how every part of the system works. 

Conclusion

Throughout the ERP selection stage, many manufacturers might be overwhelmed by options. Nonetheless, concentrating on finding a system helping you accomplish the different benefits of an ERP system is a great place to begin. You also get the benefits of customer relationship management CRM software.

Moreover, being equipped with Business Intelligence and machine learning, ERP helps in the core business processes. Custom business requirements and the need for complete visibility across hidden costs, actual costs, and cost of ownership, Microsoft ERP Products are well equipped for any challenges. They are great for midsized businesses for bringing automation to their entire business

Are you planning to implement a manufacturing ERP software and reap the business benefits that it offers? Feel free to get in touch with our team today to help you create a digital strategy and pick the best system to meet your manufacturing company’s unique needs.

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