Adopting software for improved warehouse management should be a priority for any organization working in this field, but what is most important to look for? Industry professional Tom Comstock told Manufacturing.net that improving collaboration and agility should be two key traits organizations get from these tools.

"The best way to accomplish this goal is by implementing a platform-based manufacturing operations management solution," he said. "Enterprise manufacturing intelligence solutions are another hot area for investment, primarily due to the improved decision support and real-time visibility now possible."

One sector of manufacturing that he said is poised for growth is automotive, as auto manufacturers have been forced to find new tools to meet new efficiency measures by the U.S. government. As they adopt improved tools for manufacturing, they should be able to save money and better manage the market.

Sheldon Needle, president of CTSGuides.com, said organizations must also have a good enterprise resource planning program and best practices in place to help it thrive. Extensive testing should help these companies figure out the best way to go, as different software will offer unique traits to each business.

"Ultimately, to be successful, you have to know whether a solution can be adapted to your processes or whether you can adapt to the software's processes," he said.

Industry Week said manufacturers implementing new warehouse management and ERP cannot assume that they will automatically translate, as there needs to be some massaging and preparation to ensure these programs work together well.

"Business design and blueprints require four months and configuring that information into the system takes another six months," the website said. "After training and testing, you're looking at an implementation that will consume an inordinate amount of time and resources."

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.