Dynamism and high competition are the hallmarks of the manufacturing sector. Therefore, it becomes imperative for firms in this industry to be in possession of integrated business solutions, including ERP software, to enhance efficiency, lower costs, increase sales, and inform strategic decision making. Manufacturing firms must be able to quickly respond to unpredictable changes in market forces and demand.
To survive in the market, manufacturers should be able to change the course of production at short notice with minimal quality and output loss in production. ERP technology promotes the smooth flow of operations by linking key business aspects including operations, reporting, monitoring, sales, finance and accounting for enhanced data visibility. The use of a single database can help improve business agility through the adoption of just-in-time production and lean manufacturing capabilities. Here are the main ways in which manufacturing firms can enhance their agility and visibility using ERP software.
Flexible production scheduling
An agile manufacturer can be identified by their ability to quickly change between products and production runs in response to market demand. ERP software provides scheduling techniques to enable manufacturing firms to handle unexpected orders. The features of these scheduling techniques include capacity planning, material requirements planning (MRP), and work order management.
Quick response to market conditions
ERP software can provide manufacturing firms with real-time data to help better estimate, plan, and adjust to changing market conditions. Decision makers are guided in decision making by regular system generated reports to help create an in-depth understanding of customer purchasing trends and market demand. Improved data visibility is also crucial in reducing forecasting errors which can negatively impact profitability. Additionally, the ability to access an organisation’s major key performance indicators (KPI), including sales reports, is vital in maintaining consistency when pursuing set goals and instituting the necessary internal measures. Finally, it also helps in the optimisation of a firm’s day-to-day operations.
Automating manufacturing capabilities
ERP software is critical in the automation of functions and processes which do not require human interaction. Use of manual tracking can hamper agility in a manufacturing process since it is prone to duplication of work and errors. With ERP software, manufacturing firms can utilise their scarce human resources for critical activities such as innovation, product design, and sales.
Enhance customer satisfaction
Precise production planning, streamlined process scheduling, well-coordinated distribution channels, and improved control over inventory plays a significant role in enabling manufacturers to improve a product’s on-time delivery, which is a significant performance metric. Timely delivery of products to customers is vital in championing customer satisfaction. ERP software provides decision makers with real-time data to enable a realistic view of the level of inventory at any time.
ERP's contribution to customisation
Most small and mid-sized firms strive for agility to enable them to meet the demands of many customers with specialised products and short production runs. ERP software helps in product customisation through streamlining and close monitoring of the manufacturing process. Any component of the process that cannot be interchanged can be replaced to create a tailor-made product when the need arises.
WinMan ERP can be used by both small and mid-sized manufacturers to improve production scheduling and enable automation for enhanced agility. Agility confers competitive advantages to a manufacturer, which are essential for survival in the rapidly changing market.