Your enterprise might be firing on all cylinders at the moment, but one or two snafus in your manufacturing efforts can set your org back big time, from pleasing customers and generating profits to the overall goal of growing the company. Manufacturing is the point at which plans and projects are brought into the real world. And if they come in late, over budget, or below standards, a ton of time, money, and effort is wasted.
The undeniable truth is that manufacturing setbacks cannot be eliminated entirely. These systems are too complex to ever operate perfectly. But by relying on enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprises are able to predict setbacks sooner, more reliably, and on a larger scale so that the disruption is kept to a minimum if it occurs at all. In short, ERP gives manufacturers the tool they need to operate at their peak.
Monitor the Supply Chain
The specific features and functions of ERP manufacturing will vary depending on the provider you go with. But at its core, ERP is about eliminating barriers between data sets so that manufacturers can access all the information they need in one place. The implications of that are huge, but the most significant is that it brings together distant and disparate aspects of the supply chain onto one platform. If there is a shortage, delay, or quality issue at another point on the chain, those affected by it know sooner and can search for alternatives and workarounds more effectively.
Identify Problem Points
Long-term success in manufacturing is all about calibrating each one of the details so that they contribute perfectly to the whole. But as manufacturing has become more complex and more remote, finding the problems that are holding back a process, piece of equipment, product, or whole facility has become a lot harder. Since ERP gives you a top-down perspective on each aspect of your manufacturing operation, along with a deep look into metrics that you define, you can identify areas of inefficiency or ineffectiveness quicker and with greater precision.
Manufacturing setbacks come from outside the operation as frequently as they come from inside the operation. ERP is such a significant tool because it integrates manufacturing with other departments like sales, finance, and the C-Suite in ways that have not been possible before. If there are potential obstacles (or opportunities) that result from how manufacturing interacts with other departments, an ERP will highlight them and offer a simple means for making corrections.
Accommodate Big Data
It is impossible to overstate the impact that big data has (and will have) on manufacturing. But in the rush to embrace what was promised to be a game-changing new piece of IT, many manufacturers overlooked the challenges it would create. Big data is a major opportunity, but one that must be carefully developed and refined if it’s going to work in practice. As an out-of-the-box solution, the results tend to range from disappointing to non-existent. And in some cases, big data initiatives even create deep and lasting problems. ERP is the way to bridge the gap between the potential of big data and the realities of manufacturing. With a shared platform to operate on, big data can be put to productive uses rather than just piling up.
Remember that eliminating setbacks does not just get you back to where you’re supposed to be. It also helps you to grow and innovate since you are spending less time responding to the unexpected and more time thinking about improvements and enhancements. If you want to turn a slide backwards into a leap forwards within your manufacturing division and beyond, ERP is essential.