Those in the manufacturing business know full well that one of the most important aspects of running their companies is making sure their incoming and outgoing materials run as smoothly as possible. To that end, the ability of any firm to efficiently manage its supply chain and bill of materials is vital, and many companies try to find the best ways to actively engage in those efforts.
Enterprise resource planning software is often at the center of those efforts, and helps to streamline the process that used to be spread across multiple programs, according to a report from the Hartford Business Journal. In the past, companies would use programs like Microsoft Excel or QuickBooks to manage various aspects of their businesses, but ERP can help fold everything into one far more convenient package.
“In manufacturing, it’s important to have a snapshot of your jobs,” Andre Nadeau, the operations manager for the Connecticut-based tools and fixtures manufacturer Sirois Tool, told HBJ. “It helps us understand how far along a job is, how much time we’ve spent and our costs.”
ERP is booming
The reason it’s so valuable to companies is that the snapshot in question is fairly overarching, the report said. It can help monitor cash on hand, materials, inventory, capacity, and more, and therefore give decision-makers a better overall look at how their companies run, the report said. That, in turn, can help them make better decisions to directly and effectively address inconsistencies.
As more manufacturers and other businesses begin to recognize the value of ERP in general, they’re starting to really invest in what it has to offer, the report said. Recent data from the global firm Allied Market Research suggests the ERP industry could be worth as much as $41 billion by 2020, with average annual increases of 7 percent or so over that time.
Who’s getting involved?
In many cases, ERP puts this kind of overall look at a company into the hands of smaller businesses like manufacturers that might not have had access to higher-cost systems in the past, according to Chain Store Age. Now even bigger companies – and some national brands – are seeing the value ERP provides. For instance, Ace Hardware, which has more than 600 stores in 62 countries around the world, now uses supply chain technology to more efficiently handle any issues that may arise when it comes to increased demand.
With all this in mind, manufacturing concerns that have yet to invest in ERP software may want to consider the benefits of doing so in the near future. The sooner they can start implementing this technology into their daily operations, the sooner they will reap many of the benefits associated with such an upgrade, including potentially reducing costs, supply chain snags, and more.
For more information on how to accurately keep up with materials needs, please take the time to read over our white paper, Microsoft Dynamics NAV Supply Planning.