As companies grow and their operational duties expand, it can be easy for system operators to lose sight of the big picture as they focus on the individual efforts of their business unit. When different aspects of an organization, particularly one with as many moving parts as a manufacturer, begin to operate within a vacuum, unaware of how their efforts affect other areas of the enterprise, the overall efficiency will drop, resulting in a subpar performance and greater likelihood of providing clientele with an unacceptable product. The need for operational oversight led to the rise of sophisticated enterprise resource planning (ERP software such as Microsoft NAV. With these tools, businesses have been able to harmonize disparate units into one cohesive entity, improving efficiency and increasing output.
A Wyoming-based emissions engineering and manufacturing company has benefited substantially from Microsoft Dynamics implementation over the years. As outlined in a recent Microsoft case study, EMIT Technologies ran a fairly modest operation in 2007, with only 17 employees on its payroll. However, officials were anticipating a period of substantial growth in the company's future that would tax the limits of what their current operational management solutions could handle. In additional to concerns regarding accounting software, business leaders required a system that could facilitate physical inventory management and other aspects of manufacturing.
MS Navision provided that functionality plus scalable upgrades to allow managers to expand its use to cover more areas of the enterprise. Tasks such as payroll processing, accounting and inventory management have all been enhanced, resulting in a more efficient operation.
"We've evolved from managing each order individually as a one-off job, to a true manufacturing environment where we have greater insight and control while having uniform processes in place across the company," EMIT engineer Justin Carlson said.
Facilitating growth with sophisticated software
For manufacturers that are either unsatisfied with their current ERP software or are expecting future growth to outpace its capabilities, upgrading to a more sophisticated package such as Microsoft NAV may be advisable. APICIS-certified engineer Dave Turbide recently explained the circumstances in which a manufacturing company may benefit from upgrading its legacy system.
"The most urgent reason for changing systems is that the current system is inhibiting the business in some way," he wrote in a recent Manufacturing Business Today article. "Customers are demanding on-line functionality that the system can't provide e.g.: There is a need to collaborate with suppliers and distributors that is beyond what the system can support. New techniques or strategies would help the business thrive, but the system does include the necessary capabilities, and many other similar issues."
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