Warehouse tracking software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can be essential for manufacturing and distribution companies, according to new research from the International Data Corporation’s Manufacturing Insights report. Information from the report said ERP helps manufacturers improve customer experience for every level of user, including those that are just starting out and companies that have been using the software for a longer period of time.

“The research revealed that many manufacturers have an immature understanding of how a customer-oriented strategy can be implemented within an organization,” said Pierfrancesco Manenti, head of IDC Manufacturing Insights’ research practice in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Manufacturers need to move along the spectrum for maturity in order to continue to stay competitive. This is especially important in more mature or developed markets where relationships and service levels have now become crucial differentiators.”

Manenti said he advises manufacturers with customer experiences that could be improved to look at how their systems work compared with other organizations. This may help bring them much better results than they were previously getting. While many organizations have good customer service in terms of the products or services they offer, the ability to deliver perfect orders and enhance customer experience after the order can all deliver longer-lasting relationships than manufacturers are likely used to.

Statistics from the report show:

– 75 percent of large manufacturers with 5,000 employees or more said ERP is a vital platform for giving the best customer experience from both front and back office

– Nearly 40 percent of small and midsize organizations have homegrown or under-developed ERP systems that could be heavily improved upon

– 30 percent said continued relationships with customers were influenced by product expectations, a number that would likely be much higher with proper ERP use

– 9 percent of leading companies have realized just how important a customer-oriented culture is

How ERP helps manufacturers

Microsoft’s website said the globalization of manufacturing and supply chains has increased the customer need for lowered costs and ease of use. With modern tracking systems and ERP, organizations can have a flexible system that will be integrated throughout the process.

Some of the benefits of ERP, according to the company, include transforming planning and operations at the business, empowering employees through intelligence, better speed and agility and more innovation across processes.

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.