Manufacturing managers need to to know what is happening on the production floors and in their company warehouses. The ability to monitor production, track inventory and manage distribution will lead to a more efficient company that generates fewer mistakes. With ERP solutions provided by software systems like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, a manufacturer can obtain the visibility needed to achieve industry success.

ERP visibility
ERP software can turn information on materials and processes into data. This gives managers in the head office visibility on what is happening anywhere in the company.

Production – Every step of production needs to be supervised. In order to create the most efficient manufacturing processes, managers must be well-informed on the strengths and limitations of each part of production. In the event of errors, ERP solutions offer traceability. Traceability is necessary for proper quality control. The company needs to see where mistakes are being made, how many products were affected and where every inferior good was delivered. CIO shared an article explaining how ERP technology was essential to manufacturers that want complete control of their product.

CIO cites food manufacturing as an example. The food and beverage industry in particular has recently been suffering from bad public relations caused by health concerns over product recalls. Manufacturers have adopted ERP technologies to stay on top of health concerns and deal with problems quickly. If an issue is detected on the line, in the warehouse or during shipping automatic data capture will make it visible to the entire company. 

Inventory – Even nonperishable goods will cost a company if they are left on the shelf for too long. Surplus inventory will demand extra man-hours, storage space and other company resources. Keeping inventory to a minimum while still having enough on hand to meet customer demand can be a difficult balancing act, especially when a company deploys lean systems such as the kanban system.

Tech publication TechTarget focused on a company manufacturing plastic containers that turned to technology solutions to better facilitate inventory. The business had unique needs because the polymers they used could be recycled and resourced. By utilizing modern data sharing tools they could track incoming and outgoing plastic, project future customer needs and empower their floor personnel to immediately report discrepancies. Modern ERP-based visibility allowed the container manufacturer to decrease inventory costs by 40 percent.

Distribution – Distribution data is often not in sync with the company infrastructure. Shipping and customer issues can happen far away from the central geography of a business. Manufacturer Business Technology magazine said that ERP software can remove distribution data from its private bubble and integrate it with the rest of the company.

Modern mobile devices equipped with ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics NAV allow employees to capture data on-the-go. Shipping trucks are provided with the same information as warehouses so there is less communication errors between employees delivering the product and those supplying it. Errors can be captured. If a customer has an issue, it can be logged and added to their account. More information will lead to smoother customer deliveries in the future. With ERP solutions distance is no longer an obstacle to complete process visibility.

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