When manufacturers implement ERP systems it's clear that to get the best ROI, the most important part of the process is to identify, document and agree on the processes that need to be implemented within the system.
An implementation often translates to a business improvement project, as the need to standardise processes often uncovers current ways of working that are inefficient, ill-defined or simply don't deliver any benefit. What is perhaps less well known is that modern manufacturing ERP systems can help drive improvement through process standardisation after implementation as well.
Phased Manufacturing ERP roll-outs
Initial ERP implementations or business improvement programmes should be divided into stages - as, in a complex business environment, the disruption of implementing an enterprise-wide ERP software and utilising all the features in one go or a complete change of all processes together could be catastrophic.
Core functions that will help resolve key issues should be implemented first with subsequent phases rolled out; addressing different functional areas of the business or different geographic areas. In a phased project the organisation will be in a long period change, but with processes being continuously defined, refined, signed-off and embedded one after the other, you will also be able to see the progressive improvements within your processes.
A well-defined and organised process standardisation and implementation will, minimise disruption, improve efficiency and you will start to see a return on investment sooner.
Some traditional systems can be somewhat intransigent, meaning changes to encoded processes are too unwieldy to tackle, particularly soon after an initial ERP implementation.
Often the impact of process automation is felt by human resources; such as changes in responsibilities, rank and status. Sometimes these changes are perceived rather than actual, but that doesn't make them any less real for the people working in a company.
But no organisation can resist change forever, so the more open to changing embedded processes the better, as market conditions often change too. Modifications are required so that an organisation can react to changes in internal and external environments, for example, new products and services coming online, factories or distribution centres opening and closing, and changes in regulatory frameworks. If the manufacturing system you have chosen can adapt quickly and easily, the potential risk of change and impact on the workforce can be minimised.
A beneficial tool
An ERP system that allows configuration offer a positive advantage. Rather than making reactive changes, a system can be changed to accept suggestions from management and the team to increase productivity or eliminate wasteful or tedious processes on an ongoing basis.
It can become a tool to drive process standardisation and improvement. This may even assist towards changing attitudes towards systems and organisational culture, allowing them to be seen as beneficial to the workforce rather than a forced change.
WinMan is a modern integrated ERP system that allows changes to be quickly and efficiently implemented. It is scalability, allows implementation with minimum fuss and flexible which means process standardisation is easy to carry out, both before and after the initial installation and customisation. Driven by lean methodologies that make configuration and updating process simple, organisations benefit from a system that works with them rather than the other way around, delivering ROI quickly.