Key considerations for upgrading ERP

////Key considerations for upgrading ERP

Upgrades in technology and software have many manufacturers looking at purchasing a new enterprise resource planning program. Consultant Kim MacIntosh wrote on Manufacturing Business Technology that looking to the future should mean checking out the current industry trends, such as cloud computing, big data and social collaboration, as this will help give direction on adopting a new ERP or warehouse inventory management system.

"Each of these technology trends offer a plethora of solutions that should be considered as part of the evaluation process," she said. "The best way to start will be to rely on your third-party integrator for their insight, as they should have the industry knowledge and expertise in the technologies and best practices to help guide you through the process."

While ERP generally doesn't come to mind when thinking about new innovations and technologies, MacIntosh said they are still one of the most important ways for manufacturers to drive innovation, be more efficient and have more innovations throughout the organization.

The problem for many businesses in the manufacturing field is that many companies don't quite understand just how important ERP is for their business. A recent report from IDC Manufacturing Insights found that 90 percent of organizations said their ERP program had little to no effect on the customer experience,  something that Pierfrancesco Manenti, head of IDC Manufacturing Insights research practice in Europe, Middle East & Africa, said needs to change.

"This is especially important in more mature or developed markets where relationships and service levels have now become crucial differentiators," he said. "We advise manufacturers with less than inspiring customer service to take a good look at how their systems and processes can be improved to better support a customer-oriented strategy."

Although companies are still giving good customer service in many ways, having solid ERP in place can help better define the entire relationship and give customers an improved level of service.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the D MS website today.