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So, you’ve read the signs and come to realize that an ERP system might be right for your business. But it’s a hefty investment. Do you need one? There are many reasons a business would opt to purchase an ERP system. Some of the first warning signs may be:

  • Many softwares managing different processes
  • Lack of easy access to necessary data across teams
  • Difficulty with accounting processes
  • Inability to provide excellent customer support
  • Lack of sales
  • IT complexity and confusion

This article will take a deeper dive into how an ERP system can help your manufacturing business in both the short- and long-term. You may need an ERP system if your business:

1. Can’t access data quickly or easily

Immediate access to everyday data points is crucial to running a well-oiled and profitable manufacturing business. Do you know exactly how much inventory you have? What open orders do you have on hand at this very moment? What is your year-to-date gross margin?

If it takes you a while to come up with these numbers and have to make multiple calls to different departments to find out, it might be time for your business to invest in an ERP system. Visibility over every aspect of your business in real-time is essential. Ditch the manual reports and get an ERP system.

2. Lack of integration between departments

Siloes are part of manufacturing businesses. Each department focuses on and communicates within its own bubble, or silo, without the influence or oversight of other departments. This allows individual departments to create and manage their own systems and processes.

This makes for efficient departmental processes in the short term but could cripple company-wide communication, processes, and data gathering in the long term. Multiple systems working on multiple databases is setting your business up for disaster. The potential for error shoots through the roof and staff time is wasted on double data entry and reporting when businesses employ multiple databases.

3. Inventory counts are never accurate

If one department shows 500 pieces of finished product on hand, another shows 505, and a third shows 480, your business is in trouble. Inaccurate inventory can adversely impact every part of your business, from working capital to customer deliveries.

All these problems disappear with an ERP system. By implementing barcode scanning within an ERP, your manufacturing business can effectively track inventory throughout the purchase journey from supplier to customer.

This tracking system provides enhanced accuracy and visibility. Errors and delays can be found and rectified much quicker. Accuracy is virtually guaranteed. Imagine how happy your customers will be.

4. Constant production scheduling problems

Your business needs to make products and deliver them on time while keeping the bottom line attractive to upper management. If you don’t know what machines are available, what raw materials you have on hand, or if you have enough workforce to satisfy current demand, what are you doing?

Some ERP systems come with Master Production Scheduling (MPS) modules. These modules optimize the process of having the right materials in the right place at the right time to please customers. And it’s all automated. This provides a critical planning function that deciphers supply and demand data and upcoming forecasts to deliver action-inducing production plans.

5. Unable to work remotely and gain access to needed data

Now, more than ever, your business needs to be flexible in remote work arrangements. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-increasing speed of business, your sales teams need to feel as productive, informed, and confident at home as they do in the office.

A cloud-based ERP system gives sales representatives remote access to availability, delivery, and pricing information in real-time. Instant access gives you a leg up over the competition and can increase your close rate.

What’s to lose? Imagine what your business could accomplish with:

  • Increased agility and flexibility
  • An easier path to scale
  • Enhanced efficiency and productivity
  • Readily-available and accurate information.
  • A centralized hub of data to limit confusion and wasted time.

It all adds up to a significant return on investment. It’s time to consider an ERP system for your manufacturing business.