Enterprise resource planning software has a lot of potential. ERP, when configured correctly, allows manufacturing and warehousing companies to have increased visibility into all operations and apply specific components that improve the efficiency of workers on the production line.
These advantages can be had at a reasonable cost, as long as businesses are able to create a culture of information and collaboration that guides the overall implementation process. While it's important for various high-level executives and top managers to be involved for considerations like back-office financial insight and final vendor selection, input from those on the front lines of a company is also important. Production managers can help select the right barcode inventory system or timekeeping software for a business's unique situation. TechTarget points out that this cross-organizational planning can help businesses get a better view of the specific advantages ERP will provide, instead of simply basing expectations on industry averages that lack specific insight.
Taking this holistic approach to ERP selection can keep costs low by providing well thought-out and organized lists of both organizational needs and the expected benefits of ERP. By combining these with budgetary requirements, companies can better manage the initial selection and installation processes, along with upgrades and changes further down the line.
Consult with employees
Bringing on consultants can help the implementation processes by providing experience and insight that may not be present inside a single company. However, businesses shouldn't rush to use this kind of service before they gather internal intelligence and even consult with their vendors. Using a consulting firm often ends up being an individual decision, beneficial to some organizations but not as useful to others. In a separate article, TechTarget says that consultants still need to be managed to get the best possible results.
An effective way to keep ERP costs down in the long term is to use a modular system like Microsoft Dynamics NAV instead of a monolithic, all-in-one ERP system. The insight gathered from employees can be applied to purchasing specific components targeted toward unique needs. Because purchasing is focused toward individual modules, spending is more easily kept in line without sacrificing the quality or usefulness of ERP used.
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.