Manufacturing companies can operate smoothly for long periods of time, as long as they’re able to get the supplies they need to create their products coming in on a regular basis. But snags happen, and often they’re going to be the result of situations beyond a manufacturer’s control; errors with what was shipped or delays in how quickly shipments arrive can have a major impact and, for many, are all too common. It is for this reason that proper supply planning is crucial to the success of any manufacturing concern, large or small.

This is, in large part, why many experts believe data-driven manufacturing solutions, including the use of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, will be crucial for any business in the field, according to a report from Harvard Business Review. Now that a massive number of manufacturing companies are investing in this kind of technology, they’re likely to see significant benefits across the board, with data-driven decisions potentially improving everything from productivity to sales, and even reducing costs.

Adapting to the new way of doing things
In the past, inventory often had to be done manually, which was a time-consuming process more prone to errors. But now, with systems that can determine when supplies of certain products are going to run low, it becomes much easier for manufacturers to plan their next steps, the report said. Before, these decisions were often based on periods of time (i.e. a company would need to order a certain amount of various supplies each month).

But that didn’t necessarily account for fluctuating demand, as busier months could lead to the necessity to make additional orders on relatively short notice, while more fallow months led to supplies sitting around. Over a long period of time, the effects of busy versus slow months usually even themselves out, but using this new technology can certainly make a company more responsive, and potentially streamline costs.

The key is execution
However, it’s worth noting that this shift has been a struggle for some businesses as they try to embrace the new and improved way of doing things, according to Supply and Demand Chain Executive. The ability to properly navigate the ins and outs of this transition often comes from an advance understanding of what kind of changes need to be made on an ongoing basis, and this can often be gleaned from looking at how other companies in similar industries have taken the step themselves. Further, making sure all employees and executives are on the same page in terms of how the systems will be implemented and then used on an ongoing basis is likewise key to success here.

Often, the best advice is to be proactive about implementing these measures, and researching the best ways to do so will go a long way toward ensuring success. This can help to create a roadmap to a more efficient supply planning strategy that otherwise could have been harder to reach.

For more information on how to properly and successfully drive supply planning in the future, take the time to examine the white paper “Microsoft Dynamics NAV Supply Planning.”

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