These days, many manufacturers are likely considering an upgrade to their existing ERP systems or are adopting one for the first time. The benefits of such a move have long been understood within the industry, but the wealth of options may lead to some level of uncertainty about which kind of system is going to work best for each company. Making sure to look before leaping can go a long way for most manufacturers these days.

For this reason, a lot of the adoption that takes place these days sees manufacturers land on highly specialized ERP options that can deliver big benefits to their companies over time, according to a report from Apps Tech News. With this in mind, however, it's important to note that not all adoption efforts are going to pay off as immediately as some might expect. Just how much of an instant benefit companies see depends heavily upon their transition strategy and how old data can be incorporated into the new system.

Being smart about the switch
While many companies are moving from a legacy ERP system to a newer one, others are making the switch for the first time, the report said. And how data goes from older tracking methods – whether data was compiled by ERP software or manually – will have a lot to do with how successful the transition will be. That might be particularly true for companies opting for a "hybrid" approach, continuing to rely on their old systems even as they get their new ones up to speed.

There is now software that can help manage such a transition, sometimes referred to as "middleware," and here too, the choices manufacturers make can go a long way toward determining the success of such a move, the report said. For that reason, companies should consider issues of scalability (if they're planning to expand in the near future or have recently done so) as well as the kind of support they're likely to get from their ERP vendors.

Considering needs, both present and future
These days, given the specialization of ERP software solutions, companies will also have to think about what they plan to use this software for, according to Search Manufacturing ERP. Each company now moving to new ERP systems is necessarily going to be different, and while smaller companies may use the platforms for things like an employee time tracker, larger operations may see greater value in ERP when it comes to mobile data collection or physical inventory solutions.

With all this in mind, manufacturing executives have plenty to think about as far as their own plans. ERP adoption isn't something that should be entered into lightly, and plenty of groundwork will have to be laid before a transition can be made successfully. Therefore, the more homework companies do before deciding on and implementing a new system, the more successful such a move will end up being.

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.