Having an efficient and adaptive enterprise resource planning system is a high priority for many companies in the manufacturing and warehousing fields. Because these businesses need to manage so many disparate processes, from supply chain integration to employee recordkeeping and back-office financial tracking, having an agile ERP platform is necessary to reap the full benefits of such software.
Here are three pieces of advice for selecting and using an ERP system that places a premium on diversification and customizability, without having to deal with expensive upgrades or long lead times:
- Keep track of current and developing needs: ERP shouldn't be viewed through the lens of one-time implementation and static use. There are systems available, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, that are based on modules instead of a customization process or an overly general, one-size-fits-all approach. Many NAV modules developed by third parties are specifically geared toward the needs of manufacturers and warehousing companies. Because there are so many different possible add-ons available for businesses to choose from, tracking needs expressed by employees in different departments can boost efficiency when it comes time to invest in upgrades and enhance a current system.
- Prioritize the essentials: One of the best parts about using a modular ERP system is flexibility – concerns can be addressed on an as-needed basis. CIO Magazine recommends focusing on processes that will help keep an organization operational and standardize data. For this reason, and because many businesses don't have the budget to install a complete platform all at once, companies should make sure the essentials are taken care of first. While the most pressing requirements will likely vary from business to business, having a prioritized list will help make the most difference in the least amount of time.
- Don't forget about training and education: As technology news site ExcitingIP points out, ERP effectiveness can be limited by how well employees understand how to use it. Businesses implementing a new platform or adding modules need to make sure that workers have a full understanding of how these systems work in their specific roles as well as how they integrate with the rest of the ERP network. Educated staff members are empowered and better able to take advantage of the benefits such software provides to its users. With the right educational efforts, companies can make their ERP even more effective.