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Manufacturing companies have to balance multiple objectives for efficient and profitable daily operations.
Back-end functions include shop floor control, material requirement planning, quality control, production scheduling, production costing and warehouse management. Then there are the front-end functions related to customer experience, often treated as separate from the back end.
Historically, manufacturers have relied on disparate systems, such as using a CRM that doesn’t connect with inventory and production systems to manage customer-facing activities. To achieve peak efficiency, profitability, forecasting accuracy, visibility and more calls for integrating both front- and back-end processes.
Today, when manufacturers ask themselves what software they need to take their business to the next level, the answer is simple: a Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
With a Cloud ERP, you can realize all the benefits of merging your processes into one place. A Cloud ERP system is adaptable and scalable. Not only can you improve your business, but you can also scale as your business grows or evolves with changes in the market.
The capacity to adapt, scale and advance is critical. Technology that may have been deemed optional is now necessary for survival, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic strained the industry and forced change.
For example, supply chain issues showed manufacturers that they need the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect teams online so they can share information and data for greater production visibility. Due to social distancing, many had to automate some processes, develop remote-assist capabilities, use data to improve efficiency and identify opportunities and invest in software that would enable collaboration from anywhere.
Manufacturing may become more automated, virtual and connected as the industry seeks resilience. It may be easier for manufacturers to adopt new technologies and integrate them seamlessly if they operate from a centralized, collaborative system like a Cloud ERP.
A Cloud-based ERP can bring operations, financials, manufacturing, customer service and other disparate systems together, allowing you to manage everything in one place, remove any barriers and gain the exponential benefits of unifying your data. Access a complete view of your operations, customers, supply chain, financials and other functions from anywhere.
We say “can” because you don’t have to bring everything together at once. You can pick and choose the functions you’d like to integrate with your ERP or migrate everything to the Cloud in phases.
Cloud ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and NetSuite have built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help you improve your forecasting and glean valuable insights from your data. They also empower you to automate internal processes.
When you manage everything in disparate systems, you’re limiting your potential. Manufacturers that invest in a Cloud ERP and build connected factories can access real-time data, enabling them to make more accurate predictions. They can also have more efficient operations, allowing them to improve production and output, reduce risk across their supply chain and respond to customers quickly.
Your competitors may have everything at their fingertips while you’re still jumping from system to system, seeking insights from disconnected datasets and reacting to equipment failures and supply chain problems as they come.
Here are some of the functions you can integrate into your Cloud ERP:
Manufacturers continually strive to boost efficiency, reduce unnecessary costs, increase visibility and improve forecasting. They benefit from systems that help them be more agile, stay ahead of problems and make better use of their data. A Cloud ERP is ideal for these objectives.
With real-time, relevant data from all corners of your business and operations, you can identify opportunities to improve in both the short and long term. You can see where you have ongoing issues, where you’re wasting time and resources, and where you can get more throughput. And your employees can use the same data to make decisions for optimizing productivity.
The same real-time data, combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, can help you make more accurate forecasts and predictions across the board. You can catch problems early, plan for changes, change course as necessary and avoid downtime.
By removing the siloes across your business functions, you empower your sales and customer service teams to take faster action to resolve customer issues and deliver services. And centralizing customer data can help you provide relevant services.
Connecting your ERP with IoT technology – from inventory to assets – gives you critical visibility where you need it. Knowing your equipment’s performance in real-time can help you resolve, prevent and predict issues, as well as design optimal maintenance schedules. You can manage inventory and have a more accurate view of your stock. And you can use IoT and supply chain data to make in-the-moment decisions that can save you time and money.
Are you considering a move to a Cloud ERP solution? Set up a time to talk with one of our experts to learn more about your options now and create a technology roadmap for the future. At Enavate, we have extensive experience helping manufacturers identify and implement the right solutions to fit your business.
Abhi Ghatak is an Industry Lead within Enavate’s Consulting Pod. He has over 30 years of sales and implementation experience with vast industry expertise within the Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite channel. Abhi uses his extensive technical background to oversee the development of Enavate’s targeted manufacturing and distribution-related offerings. He is dedicated to helping organizations reach their full potential and growth goals by leveraging Cloud and industry specific technology solutions to help them work smarter, not harder.