Simply put, growth is a goal for all businesses. Companies ultimately want to expand operations, attract more clients and increase their market share. For manufacturers and fabricators, businesses that rely on patrons to purchase their wares, growth is especially important as their customer base is the lifeblood of these kinds of companies.

While increasing the scope of production and the number of purchasers is vitally important, many organizations will experience growing pains as they develop and increase their efforts. All sorts of processes need to scale up, from the size of a workforce and hiring practices, to the space available for manufacturing and storage, to technological concerns such as enterprise resource planning software and equipment on the production line. Traditional, all-in-one ERP can be a problem for companies going through an expansion as changing the scope of functions requires upgrades that are often costly and take up a significant amount of time, driving down productivity and harming the bottom line of a business. As Mondaq points out, outgrowing a current ERP system – or any sort of management software, for that matter – can cause problems with coordination and production.

Modular systems are agile
One way companies can improve their ability to adapt to internal change and growth is by using an ERP system that doesn't create downtime during the upgrading process to upgrade. A modular platform such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows for a high degree of easy customization not only during the initial implementation process, but afterward as well. A company experiencing rapid growth may realize that an inventory management solution it had in place is no longer effective and need to upgrade. With a component-based system, adding an enhanced barcode inventory module is much simpler than with a monolithic ERP platform.

Aberdeen Group's research into the use of ERP in the manufacturing industry shows that managing growth expectations is one of the two most popular business drivers for the use of such software. By having a system in place that can change as needed, instead of requiring long outages and periods of limited functionality to be upgraded, companies can better control their own development without losing out on the advantages provided by an ERP system.

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.