ERP has long been a staple in the manufacturing industry for a number of reasons, but the importance of modernizing or adopting the latest versions of these systems is vital to the ongoing success of many companies. It's not so much that these platforms can help a business improve their current operations – which they can – but more that the positive effects they provide will be felt years down the road.

Perhaps the biggest current and ongoing benefits of adopting ERP in manufacturing in particular is that it gives executives and workers a bird's eye view of the production process, according to a report from The Manufacturer. By implementing these systems as a type of inventory management software, it can be easy to spot potential hiccups in the supply line and remediate the issues as soon as possible to reduce production hang-ups, or eliminate them entirely.

Added flexibility in inventory management
In addition, ERP can also be used as a NAV barcode scanning solution to speed up the physical inventory count process, the report said. That kind of effort, in turn, not only makes that process more efficient – thus freeing up plenty of man hours that can be better allocated elsewhere – but it also makes it more accurate.

This way, everything has a barcode that can be scanned as it comes into a facility, enters the production process and leaves the building, the report said. As a result, there's an overarching top-down view that gives companies far more power to improve their overall efficiency.

Making the right choice
Of course, it's not always easy for decision-makers to determine exactly which system is right for them, according to Enterprise Apps Today. As a consequence, it's vital not to simply pick an ERP system and hope it works out, but rather to investigate all possible options and figure out which will provide the right types of features they need to succeed on a long-term basis. Often, there are base programs that will provide a workable overall structure, as well as third-party add-ons that provide additional and significant value for businesses in the sector.

The fact is that there are so many ins and outs to ERP software that just about any manufacturing company will find its various general needs met by at least a few options. After that, customizing systems to their more individualized requirements can be relatively simple as well, the report said.

Not only do these systems provide inventory management solutions that can improve themselves on an ongoing basis (thanks to ever-increasing data on how companies operate), but they also help to streamline overall operations when it comes to things like worker time collection. As a result, the right ERP system is something that can be seen as helping to pay for itself on a long-term basis.

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.