Improving the accuracy and availability of business intelligence is one of the major reasons that companies in the manufacturing and fabrication fields use enterprise resource planning software.
While the more immediate advantages of ERP are easier to see in action – for example, a barcode inventory system can lead to efficiencies in overall organization of materials in a matter of weeks – the long-term return on investment comes not only from these specific processes, but also the insight such components create. A better idea of current stocking level, popularity of different items produced and relative labor investment into the production of various items all help influence solid decision making based on actionable data. Manufacturing Business Technology says that better business intelligence is a universal desire, no matter the specific field a company is involved with.
While business intelligence can seem like a nebulous term that lacks specific meaning, it's simply a way to define the data a company can use to improve its operations. ERP systems help make this necessary information available by incorporating reporting functions related to production, storage and financial information, and even less-concrete metrics like customer experience and satisfaction. For manufacturers and fabricators, the most important decision is likely which system should be used.
Modular ERP leads to better business intelligence
Companies can choose what areas they focus on, in terms of direct enhancement of functions and depth of informational reporting, by using a component-based ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics NAV. With this kind of system, businesses decide exactly where to concentrate efforts without having to increase overall spend on software, as they would with a more traditional, all-in-one platform. Additional money invested goes directly to modules that are geared toward unique business needs, without adding parts that are rarely or never used.
Addressing all the needs of a manufacturing business, from production and storage to back-office concerns, can be difficult. But having a holistic strategy in place is important. Aberdeen Group's research into the use of ERP by such businesses shows that the top performers in the general manufacturing industry are three times more likely to have an ERP strategy that includes all aspects of operation. For companies that want to be comprehensive in their approach to generating business intelligence and improving work floor productivity, the use of modular ERP can set them apart from competitors.