Staying current is an across-the-board priority for businesses, especially when the items they produce and store need to appeal to purchasers.

Manufacturers and warehousing companies derive plenty of business intelligence from enterprise resource planning software, influencing production and stocking levels, gaining insight into what products are and aren't popular and generally keeping operations current. Considering the value of ERP software, it's clear that these programs themselves should be kept current as well, changing as businesses differentiate and develop without losing effectiveness. However, systems that don't easily adapt to new developments are prevalent in the industry, as the all-in-one ERP software that was previously the norm is still being used at many organizations.

Manufacturing Business Technology says that one of the most important parts of having a current ERP system is the ability to use industry-specific components, along with the availability of specialized add-ons. Similarly, vendors should have knowledge of the specific industries or market segments they serve and be able to demonstrate nuanced knowledge to that effect. For manufacturers and warehousing companies, a modular ERP platform like Microsoft Dynamics NAV can be far more versatile than more monolithic software. Additionally, there are vendors that provide components targeted specifically for use in these fields, including automatic data capture and timekeeping software.

The best ERP solutions facilitate intelligence and communication
One of the biggest benefits provided by ERP software is the cross-channel visibility it creates. Because a wide range of processes can be included in the overall program – an ability that is enhanced when modular software is used – the resultant data can provide significantly increased insight into how a company functions. ERP provides direct, real-time benefits like boosting productivity on the work floor and increased organizational and locational abilities in the warehouse, along with data streams that inform long-term decisions.

Aberdeen Group's most recent look at the state of manufacturing ERP shows that best-in-class organizations place a high value on integrating all aspects of operations – from production and storage to customer service and delivery – into such systems. Additionally, these top businesses are emphasizing cross-department informational sharing in real time. These advantages can help businesses set themselves apart from competitors and increase revenue, but only if they can find the right system. Modular ERP provides these benefits, as well as the ability to add, change and upgrade as a business develops.