Can ERP Software Work for a Complex Manufacturer?
All manufacturers buy resources, manufacture a product, and then sell the finished item to their customers. Although many manufacturing processes vary in terms of BOMs (Bills of Materials), routes involved and resources needed, the same principle applies to all: Buy, Make and Sell.
Whilst this may be a very simplified explanation, many manufacturers will appear to have a complex manufacturing process. This often depends on several factors influencing how and when things are made, including:
- The individual processes throughout the entire product process from start to finish – and there may well be multiple processes
- The required BOMs or routes to denote the order in which things are assembled – which could include multiple processes and many sub-assemblies
- Expertise and resources to complete the process.
- The order process - bespoke manufacturers will sell, buy, make rather than buy, make, sell.
Complexity is also added by people, systems, and processes. Long production cycles can mean complex scheduling, industry requirements could mean regulatory controls and extensive documentation, and production could require cross-facility manufacturing.
So, when faced with the challenge of implementing a company-wide manufacturing ERP system to address your manufacturing process, you may well expect that to be a complex task as well.
Can Manufacturing ERP Software Help with a Complex Process?
Regardless of what is bought, made, or sold, implementing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software will result in complexity reduction in manufacturing. This is because manufacturing ERP software:
- streamlines processes
- increases productivity
- lowers operating costs
- removes unnecessary layers
- optimises inventory
- plans staff.
All these benefits result in a far more efficient business. ERP software provides your teams with the same, real-time data visibility which can be a huge benefit to complexity reduction in manufacturing.
Despite the complexity of the product lines sold, ERP software solutions can be tailored to meet any level of functionality that best achieves the desired result. Processes can be streamlined by removing or automating unnecessary layers which are added through staff activities. Optimisation of inventory levels and planning across multiple sites and locations can be achieved to help reduce errors and improve the overall delivery of the product.
The huge number of benefits that ERP solutions can bring may give the impression that the software is unattainable or overwhelming, and you may also think that you wouldn’t find the right software for your complex manufacturing business, but many manufacturers are leading the way for ERP software adoption and reaping the benefits - you can too.
ERP software offers many essential features for custom manufacturers, including automation, excellent and accurate reporting and product configuration. Modules of ERP software can be sold and work separately depending on a business's needs. This means manufacturing companies of all sizes can reap the benefits to be had from ERP software.
Choosing the Right ERP Support Partner Matters
Although ERP manufacturing software has the capabilities to meet the needs of a complex manufacturing environment, it is the support partner you choose that will be able to provide tailored functionality and services that meet your desired business needs and goals effectively.
One of the first questions a support partner should ask is – what are your pain points? Then, this should remain the focus of your ERP project. A good support partner will also offer consultancy, to review your business processes and any issues identified can then be addressed with the ERP solution, which will be key for complexity reduction in manufacturing operations.
Support partners are essential in helping your business choose and implement a system that meets your business goals now. They also help you along the way to grow as the needs of your business change. A dedicated support partner will also continue to provide ongoing support and even make suggestions as innovative technology becomes available which may be able to better the functionality that you currently have.
Want to find out more about how ERP Software can work in a complex manufacturing environment?
Speak to Syscom today to find out how we could reduce complexity in your manufacturing processes with tailored ERP solutions.