Enterprise resource planning systems are essential for manufacturing organizations to have in place if they want to work best within today's business climate, but many businesses are stuck with legacy systems that may not work as well as they should. Joel Hans, managing editor of Manufacturing.net, spoke with Dominic Telaro, the director of industry solutions for I.B.I.S, who said many of the things which made ERP appealing in the past have changed completely and even systems a few years old can be out of date. Organizations may be be well served to look at the benefits of utilizing an updated program such as Dynamics NAV.
"This may sound strange, but many companies in the past purchased systems that met a minimum requirement and then modified them to the point that they could no longer upgrade to the last releases of the package," Telaro said, adding that not being able to act on modern market trends could mean keeping manufacturers from competing. "The latest systems on the market have so much new functionality and technology advances that it is unfair to try to compare them to a four-year-old system."
The biggest revolution in ERP has been the increased need to collaborate inside and outside of the company, according to Hans. Businesses are now faced with more potential risks than ever, including natural disasters, strikes and transportation breakdowns. With larger infrastructures to worry about, these could all be devastating. A modern ERP system would help companies get a better handle on what it is they are doing in these areas and allow employees to communicate. This will give a better sense of what needs to be done, which areas need to be fixed or worked around and how the enterprise will move forward.
New useful features of ERP in manufacturing
ERP Focus' Tom Miller wrote about some of the features of modern ERP that will be useful for manufacturers, including the ability to more efficiently link the supply chain to the rest of business.
"A business has many items they purchase and each can have its own supply chain," Miller wrote. "The business itself is part of their customers' supply chain. Some chains include third parties such as warehousers or transportation providers. Your manufacturing ERP should provide you with a transparent view of your company's supply chain whilst coordinating each link in the chain."
Another useful feature is better order management. A new ERP system should be able to manage orders while monitoring metrics that can help with making good decisions based on supply, demand and other areas that could impact a manufacturer.
Other aspects of modern ERP that can be useful for business include:
– Management of kitting and order fulfillment
– Implementation of make to order manufacturing, which should allow companies to be far more flexible
– Improved planning, which will guide companies on how they can react within the business world
Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.