For manufacturing and fabrication businesses, the advantages of enterprise resource planning software are relatively clear. While companies in other industries and markets are still learning how to make the most of newer concepts such as customer relationship management software, the decades-long existence of ERP has helped businesses develop best practices and large amounts of research into the topic. This communal knowledge can help manufacturers and organizations in related fields decide how they want to use ERP and customize a system to best meet unique operational needs.

One of the biggest and most obvious advantages of ERP for manufacturing is to track financial transactions, not only for sales and raw material acquisition, but more involved measurements for individual and daily production costs as well. As software news site CloudTech points out, being able to track project data and work orders is another major advantage. This is especially useful as organizations expand and begin to have facilities separated by physical distance. In fact, research from Aberdeen Group shows that managing interoperability issues across many locations is one of the five most common business drivers for manufacturing companies to install or upgrade an ERP system.

Address needs more fully with modular ERP
While it's easy to note industry-wide benefits and trends, the fact remains that each business is individual and requires a specific focus on certain issues, while other aspects of production need less attention. Manufacturers are especially sensitive to this issue, due to the wide variety of items that are produced, from basic consumer products with no moving parts to advanced industrial electrical components. Companies that want more control over their ERP experience should consider using a modular solution such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Whether greater control over a work floor practice such as inventory management is desired, or back office financial tracking is a priority, the wide variety of components available allow organization to create the most successful solution for their unique needs.

Having the agility to respond to changing business conditions, be it the addition of a new facility or changes in the price of important raw materials, helps companies stay competitive and profitable. The ability to accurately track large- and small-scale production concepts, from cost per unit to yearly output level, aids organizations in finding areas for improvement. By using modular ERP, it's easy to be both agile and accurate.

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.