7 min read
How the nature of manufacturing and flexibility of ERPs affect your ERP selection decision
Most of the manufacturing companies today take mixed challenges such as compliance management, adhering with regulations, traceability requirements, managing inventory and supply chain, staying up to date with the rate of innovation within the industry and skill gaps. Therefore, manufacturers require a breadth of integrated functionalities that fits your specific business requirements. Also, when you are selecting an ERP solution for your manufacturing company, it should adopt/align with your short- and long-term business goals.
And, some companies expand vertically as they grow which demands an ERP system that is flexible in adapting to broad-ranged manufacturing situations at the first go when they are selecting an ERP as it will help them to continue one ERP system without moving to another or multiple systems for different businesses as they grow. This will also help to have streamlined intercompany transactions as well as to have a full view of entire business for efficient decision making at all levels. On the other hand, discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing require different functionalities in the software based on the differences in the processes involve. Process manufacturing will require different and complex functionalities than discrete manufacturing as the production process is more detailed. Therefore, you should consider what ERP fits best for your manufacturing nature when selecting your ERP system. ERP vendor sustainability in the market for the long run, industry focus ERP, functionalities that provide a close match to their existing requirements are some of the other main things to look into when selecting the right ERP solution for your industry.
Small & medium-sized businesses (SMB) manufacturers are usually flexible for changes and adapting to new solutions but sometimes constrained by the limited resources. In the case of financial limitations, they can go for mid-market ERP solutions that provide limited scope than top market-focused ones where they still serve the purpose by delivering specific functionality for an affordable cost. In contrast, based on your process requirement and fund availability to you, you may go to a top market solution that might provide you facilities that may allow you to have deep downed functionalities. Especially, medium to large scale manufacturers will benefit out from these sorts of solutions and of course, it depends on the manufacturing nature and complexity involved. These solutions will require minimum configuration because if you take most of reputed ERP solutions for top market provide industry specific ERP solution where they continuously invest on going into details and being relevant to specific industries and verticals. On the other hand, small to medium companies can benefit from mid-market solutions and follow the best industry practice to minimize any customization costs.
1. Helps adapt to change – Market conditions and regulatory environments can change swiftly, and a business should be able to effectively respond to these changes. A flexible ERP, on the other hand, should easily respond to this change. Releasing new versions of software(s) with new functionalities by your selected ERP vendor is a good sign of that you receive a solution which helps to be up-to-date with latest technological advancements in the market to increase overall efficiency. Moreover, it enables the company to transform and extend business processes complying the new changes that may demand by the internal or external environment. Like the flexibility of the ERP platform the availability of the extended after sales team and their flexibility is important.
2. Cost-effective – ERP should save long term cost of the customer specially in adding horizontal and vertical modules and in terms of annual cost increments. Sometimes, even if you feel the particular investment is costly at a given time you should always evaluate the future costs involve in expansion plans, compatibility with other business areas of the company etc.
3. Excellent functionality– ERP systems must be flexible to integrate/ associate with other software and platforms to achieve more functionalities. Business Intelligence (BI), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) capabilities have already taken over many areas of businesses. Having such futuristic technologies combined into your ERP functionalities will help you become agile and capable of keeping up with new business world challenges with confidence.
4. Quick upgrades – Upgrading process should be easy and flexible for you to undertake at your convenience at any time you prefer.
5. Easily accessible data – Your ERP solution provider & vendor should provide flexible data hosting options; cloud or on premise based on your own preference. On the other hand, you should be able to swift your hosting method at no or less hassle. Cloud-based ERP systems has become the new normal where it provides a safe data hosting. Also, it reinforces real time data processing and fast access to information with fastening the decision-making process. On the other hand, cloud ERP facilitates field services, remote document management and other new business models such as virtual businesses.
Thus, great functionality and flexibility are required for a fully-fledged ERP to drive business excellence in the manufacturing industry.
Be long-sighted and invest in the right ERP with the right solutions provider with a proven track record, who can provide long-term support & services with constant updates and enhancements aligned with the latest technology!
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