The manufacturing industry is complex and dynamic. There are so many moving parts involving so many people, thus increasing the margins of error. That’s why manufacturing firms are always looking for ways to optimize their processes. By integrating the different aspects of their business, manufacturers will be able to enhance their efficiency, lower costs, and increase their sales and profits.
It is also a highly competitive industry, especially here in the Sunshine State. Manufacturing is one of Florida's top five industries fueling its economy. The state is home to more than 18,200 manufacturers, putting Florida in the nation’s top 10 states for manufacturing.
Unsurprisingly, manufacturing firms are more than willing to embrace technological innovations in order to stay ahead. No wonder manufacturers turn to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for their operations.
What is enterprise resource planning?
Here’s how some people describe ERP. Imagine several blind men inspecting an elephant. But each one is focused only on a different part of the animal. Of course, none of them are able to correctly identify the elephant as a whole. With ERP, you’re not a blind man groping in the dark. Not only do you get to see the whole elephant, but you’re also able to examine closely its individual parts as well.
ERP is a business process management software that integrates all facets of a manufacturer’s operations — from planning to development to manufacturing to sales and marketing — into a single application, user interface, and database. And because you can see the holistic picture, you’re able to craft, apply, manage, optimize, and even revise your business plans with greater ease and confidence.
How do manufacturing firms benefit from using an ERP?
Before, ERPs were expensive to implement, so only Fortune 500 companies could afford them. But now, even small- and mid-sized businesses and manufacturers are benefitting from ERPs to boost their competitive advantage. Here’s how:
#1 Streamline your processes with automation
With a complete ERP solution, all your data will be consolidated into a central database that’s visible to everyone. Anyone from any department can now monitor the progress of production at every stage. This improves your overall efficiency and productivity.
An ERP can also automate many of the back office functions, eliminating manual processes. This will further speed things up and reduce the chances of human error.
#2 Have full visibility of your whole supply chain
A robust ERP shows you all the stages of your supply chain. You’ll be able to spot any failures immediately, allowing you to make real-time decisions and respond accordingly. The solution also helps you minimize costly delays, schedule workflows for optimum deliveries, monitor market price changes so you can look for alternative suppliers, and manage your supply chain more efficiently.
#3 Be more strategic with your decision-making
ERP provides all departments with data-based insights to help decision makers come up with informed choices faster. Key performance metrics are available for everyone to see, making it easy for departments to remain aligned with company goals and make changes if they’re lagging behind. And because internal processes are visible to all, management can review daily operations and optimize them for better execution.
#4 Respond better and quicker to market conditions
With ERP, you get big data in real time. You can even program it to provide regular system-generated reports, like purchasing trends and evolving consumer demands. This gives you an unprecedented 360-degree view of your business. You get a better understanding of market demands, make less forecasting errors, and seize new opportunities.
#5 Improve overall cost savings
Having a robust ERP software will help manufacturers reduce their overall expenditures in several ways:
- Automation replaces time-consuming manual processes, increasing your staff’s productivity. This then leads to less labor expenses and lower production losses due to errors.
- With ERP, you can accurately track your inventory and integrate it with production planning. This eliminates excessive inventory and reduces warehouse costs.
- Because the whole process is visible, management can pinpoint areas where further cost savings can be made.
#6 Improve customer satisfaction
Because ERP improves the overall production process, manufacturers are able to deliver on time, which is one of the most important performance metrics. In turn, timely delivery enhances customer satisfaction.
As a manufacturer, you know that any amount of downtime hurts your bottom line. That’s why HERO Managed Services, LLC is here to help you optimize your factory floor. We’ll provide you with robust IT services and best-fit IT solutions, including ERPs, to seamlessly integrate your many departments into one synergistic whole. If your manufacturing firm is in or around Tampa, Sarasota, or Orlando, give us a call and get an IT consultation. Don’t worry, the consultation’s on us, no payment or commitment needed.