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This article is part of an ongoing series about transforming manufacturing businesses with ERP. You can catch up on all the news on the Jobman blog.

In early 2020, the Australian manufacturing industry was tipped on its head along with the rest of the world. Demand wobbled as uncertainty spread, state border closures made logistics a waking nightmare, and preventative health measures pressured small workshops to adapt quickly.

But perhaps the most significant challenge during the pandemic’s early stages was securing enough raw material to complete the jobs in progress without significant delays or cost overruns. Superior Kitchens & Cabinets in Albany, WA, was among thousands of Aussie manufacturers and cabinetmakers who felt the pinch when supply chains broke.

“COVID came in and decimated the industry,” says Jake Maring, owner of Superior Kitchens & Cabinets.

“It’s been throwing up all these problems with material shortages…Because we were working on a job-by-job basis before, we used to order as much as we needed for that job, but that all changed with COVID”.

Thankfully, Superior Kitchens & Cabinets were already implementing Jobman when the pandemic spread to Australia. Jobman, an ERP for cabinetmakers and manufacturers, enabled the team to secure their supply chain and strengthen relationships with suppliers and customers.

Now they’re prepared for anything.

Securing supply chains and strengthening supplier relationships

Supply chains will be unstable for a while. It’s up to manufacturers to identify their vulnerabilities and implement strategic fixes.

“Now that we’ve got Jobman, we can go into every single job, we know what we’ve got coming up, we can order the materials for it,” says Jake.

“We are actually pre-ordering our stuff months in advance”.

Without an ERP, figuring out what materials to order ahead of time is a time-consuming manual process. Production managers need to sort through quotes, confirmed orders, inventory lists and production schedules. Even then, there is still some guesswork involved to make sure they aren’t overordering.

But an ERP brings all that data together into a single simplified system, providing an overview of the entire business:

  • Leads in progress
  • Current inventory
  • Production capacity
  • Jobs to be done
  • Deadlines

All this data gives manufacturers the confidence to order materials ahead of time. Plus, Jobman’s automated purchase ordering features enable PO creation from approved quotes and synchronise all the data, eliminating several manual steps and ensuring accurate ordering. These process improvements stand manufacturers in good stead with suppliers, securing incoming materials at fair prices.

“We’ve actually been able to improve our relationships with suppliers,” says Jake.

“It used to be we were handed whatever was left over. Now, because we’ve got a month-to-month relationship, they say ‘no, you’ve got that much coming, that’s not going to be impacted’”.

Focus on what matters

All this data in one centralised system means your organisation can focus on two value-adding activities:

1. Streamlining inventory management

There are, of course, many ways to manage inventory. But whether your workshop implements a just-in-time, three-bin or minimum stock ordering system, stock control can’t function properly without accurate real-time data.

2. Smoother job scheduling

Manufacturers who mature their supply chain during uncertain times will be better positioned to take advantage of higher local demand. By knowing what you have in stock, how much you can order, and the capacity your resources can handle, you will be able to win more business.

Jobman streamlines manufacturing in tumultuous times

Jobman makes it easier to manage and grow a manufacturing business – even during a pandemic.

Combining data from across the supply chain into a single, simplified browser-based system means you can pull up the information you need on any tablet, laptop or smartphone. In addition, automated features save time across the value chain, from ordering to inventory, production, finishing, dispatch and invoicing, creating stability and improving the final product.

Get in touch to see Jobman in action or learn more about the benefits of an ERP designed for the Australian manufacturing industry.

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