It’s an exciting time for the enterprise resource planning industry as new changes and advances make their way to the forefront. As the holidays approach and the year comes to a close, 2016 will undoubtedly pave the way for new breakthroughs on the ERP horizon.
While it’s nearly impossible to say with 100 percent certainty what the emerging trends for ERP solutions will be in the coming year, the task is made slightly easier when one considers the current tide of the industry as well as developments that have rolled out in recent years.
These are five trends manufacturers should expect when it comes to the development and usage of ERP systems in 2016:
1. Adoption by small- to mid-sized businesses on the rise
In the past, larger operations have possessed the technological advantage over smaller companies that held out on the implementation of an ERP solution. This will likely not be the case in 2016 as ERP applications continue to become more cost-effective options. Companies no longer need millions of dollars to make an implementation happen; similarly, mobile technologies are becoming easier to deploy. Consequently, small- and mid-sized competitors will seek out such solutions to gain footing in the market.
2. Changing user demographics
According to ERP Focus, software engineers continue to build on the capabilities of these applications as the user demographics broaden and bring new needs to the warehouse floor.
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, foreign-born workers made up 16.5 percent of the U.S. workforce in 2014. That number has steadily increased over the past decade and will likely continue to rise as more immigrants make their way to the country and seek out employment. For this reason, developers are tweaking ERP systems to include more language capabilities to better fit the needs of foreign users.
3. Addition of more social elements
In recent years, some users have had the ability to interact with ERP systems in a way similar to that of social media platforms. That feature has primarily taken shape in the form of using role-based permissions to follow an order throughout the supply chain – a function that will be increasingly sought after by companies in 2016.
Similarly, business managers will look for improved features to build project collaboration. As ERP Focus noted, that may include alert capabilities – which allow employees to carry on conversations within the system and ensure issues are resolved in a timely and efficient manner.
4. Less fear surrounding cloud-based ERP applications
While many manufacturers currently have on-premise systems, there will be a shift toward cloud-based systems in 2016 and beyond. Gartner, Inc. predicted more than 30 percent of service-centric businesses will utilize a cloud-based system for their ERP. This increase will likely be driven by the dissolution of fears and questions surrounding cloud solutions as well as the realization that the cloud is the way of the future – a future that has already arrived.
5. Project recovery on the rise
As system failures continue, the demand for recovery specialists will increase – and perhaps grow more vital than having a project manager on hand. These individuals possess a more diversified skill set that enables them to get to the root of issues that plague ERP systems, ultimately preventing costly and time-consuming errors in the future.
It’s certainly worth noting technology within the manufacturing industry – or any industry for that matter – is constantly evolving. Trends that rush in quickly today are out the door tomorrow. As decision-makers evaluate their company’s current and developing needs, they may realize the importance of implementing a consistently reliable system to manage their inventory and order processes. Microsoft Dynamics NAV Warehouse Barcoding brings stability to shop floors, streamlines inventory management and allows for seamless manufacturing transactions across the board.
Companies interested in learning more about NAV Warehouse Barcoding can click to download the “Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync” white paper.