As competition grows to innovate and adopt technology for better inventory and warehouse management, more manufacturing organizations are adopting enterprise resource planning tools. Robert Lawson wrote on Midsize Insider that companies are trying to respond to the current market by adopting these tools to collect vital pieces of knowledge about customers to best try to give them what they want.

"IT managers, marketers and other decision makers will need to find solutions to CRM and ERP together to compete in today's global customer-focused marketplace," Lawson wrote. " IT will be responsible for systems that monitor feedback, attitude, customer lifestyles and a range of other important elements in which businesses are becoming increasingly interested. Product and service development will be an asset to IT departments going forward as the customer relationship and enterprise resource planning trends continue."

Manufacturing professional Randy Copperman wrote on Manufacturing.net that when looking to adopt ERP, companies need to plan for change instead of simply planning for the new technology. When done correctly, he said numbers such as production metrics, cost histories and inventory counts will be easier to measure.

Keys to ERP success
Businesses need to have a good vision for what they want and know the right tool for the job. Before adopting any tool, he said identifying objectives from a smaller window of time can be helpful to make upgrades easier.

"This made implementation more efficient and much faster, reducing possible losses from being offline," Copperman wrote. "Strategic implementation kept costs manageable. The decision to integrate ERP drew attention to the necessary information technologies and allowed the company to renegotiate contracts with internet service providers and actually reduce some costs."

Another component which will be imperative to consider is the people working with the software, as Copperman said ERP will highlight areas that need to be changed. A lot of it will be up to management and employees to recognize how job roles need to be shifted and follow through.

IT professional Michael Krigsman wrote on ZDNet that a recent report from Panorama Consulting Solutions showcased that 60 percent of companies have had a successful implementation of ERP and only 10 percent have seen failure. Adopting a solution will always be complex, he said, but the most important thing is for businesses to measure the program by their own standard of success to ensure they are getting what they want from the program.

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