Adopting new physical inventory management tools and warehouse management systems may take time, but manufacturing professional Alan Nicol wrote on Manufacturing.net that like the old axiom said, anything that is worth doing takes time. Unfortunately for many organizations, the urgency for adoption and business pressure will often drive a company to go too quickly and not consider the future of the technology.
"There is a deeper level of the patient planning discipline, however, a more strategic instead of tactical level," he wrote. "It involves planning not just for the product or process in question, but for the next product or process that will be developed. Planning for a long series of future developments is the most difficult."
Nicol said he is trying to use this method with a project he is currently working on. Careful, slow and at times painful design of the solution has meant a tedious process, but he said he and his colleagues know they are doing the right thing. A lot of patience and discipline is required, as the future will be heavily affected by the implementation of tools such as ERP.
Manufacturing organizations must be sure to keep this process in mind as they move forward as well, Nicol said. Updating functions with the times should be a priority for any business utilizing new technology.
"It may not always be more profitable to leave room for future developments in current designs," Nicol wrote. "The key is to intentionally, knowledgeably make an educated decision. If our designs don't include the ability to adapt to future needs it should be because we strategically decided that they should not."
Prepare for ERP with best practices
Industry professional Johann Heydenrych wrote on IndustryWeek that having basic preparedness for a new ERP solution is necessary for every organization. Establishing best practices means comparing an organization to other peer groups to ensure the best possible result will come of the implementation. He also suggested planning out the budget and stages of adoption with a consultant, as well as utilization of training and testing to ensure the program will be properly used by the organization as a whole.
"When these well-prepared organizations first meet with a consultant, they have an understanding of where gaps exist in their business processes, and therefore what areas the ERP system needs to focus on," he wrote. "With preliminary business process re-engineering already in place, these manufacturers can immediately begin working with conference room pilots."
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