When it comes to why companies move to adopt ERP software in the first place, the answer will often be "improving efficiency." However, most manufacturers would probably also say that more efficiency is vital because it allows them to either produce more in a shorter period of time, or produce the same number of items at a lower price point. As a consequence, it's fair to say that ERP is all about saving money, and that adoption is a decision that typically ends up paying for itself, perhaps more than a few times over.

However, it's also worth noting that while adopting ERP has a startup cost, so too does maintaining the data and systems this kind of program produces or puts into place, according to a report from CIO. Consequently, it's vital for companies to consider the ways in which they can keep their ongoing ERP-related costs as low as possible. Fortunately, industry experts say that there are several ways to do this with little difficulty.

Getting more versatile
Some within the industry agree that perhaps the best way to approach these ongoing issues is to take advantage of new offerings while still relying on tried-and-true standards for the sector, the report said. For instance, many are now focusing on transitioning their ERP systems exclusively to the cloud, and while that may be a good idea for some, it's probably not a one-size-fits-all recommendation anyone in the industry would make. As such, it's vital for decision-makers to continually review their positions with respect to ERP and determine what their options for trimming maintenance costs might be.

"Many existing, robust on premise applications are still meeting the organization's mission-critical needs and therefore there is no compelling reason to change," ERP industry executive Andrew Powell told attendees at a recent event, according to the site.

Serious benefits
And as it relates to adoption and ongoing use of ERP, many manufacturers will sing its praises with little prompting, according to a report from Assembly Magazine. Columbiana, Ohio-based manufacturer Little Humtown Products recently adopted ERP to improve its production processes and quickly found significant success.

One executive at the company told the publication that thanks to its decision, it can often go from a price quote to an order being filed to actual production on that order within a half hour or less in some cases, the report said. After that, ERP can also produce all the necessary packing slips and help to facilitate the shipping process with little to no issues, further providing value in the supply chain.

For these reasons, companies that haven't yet moved to adopt need to carefully review how quickly and easily they can integrate ERP into their existing processes. Doing so can save them both time and money in ways they might not have even considered yet, from a more effective employee time tracker reducing logistical work to increasing physical inventory efficiency.

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