Why every business needs to integrate ERP solutions in 2018

Genius ERP: ready out-of-the-box for custom manufacturing.

If you’re small- to medium-size manufacturer looking to grow, 2018 is the year you need to embrace an ERP system. Not having a system is holding you back from meeting your goals, as you are spending too much time on redundant processes and you are failing to meet customer expectations. An ERP solution can help your company become more productive, leaner, more accurate, and make better decisions — which leads to happier customers and suppliers. And happy customers are repeat customers, which drives the bottom line, letting you grow and become more profitable.

Read on to discover why your company needs to implement ERP solutions in 2018:

#1 - You have too many disparate systems

Spend a few minutes thinking about how employees at your company record, process, and use information. Do sales use one system to enter in customer orders, and accounting staff use another system for receivables and payables? Can your engineering and purchasing pull the information they need from your sales team, or do they have to manually find and re-enter data?  Do employees on your shop floor use a completely different solution to track parts and inventory?

Having so many different systems running separately wreaks havoc on your company, making it hard for things to run smoothly. A domino effect occurs when you can’t easily share accurate data throughout your company: without accurate data from sales, inventory management suffers, while not having the latest information from accounting can affect everything from marketing budgets to payroll.

An ERP integrates these disparate systems so that every business function relies on the same single database. With one source of information that contains all of your accurate, real-time data, an ERP solution breaks up bottlenecks, helps staff make better, quicker decisions, and frees up your staff to do their actual work — instead of wasting time tracking down and re-entering data, or making decisions based off of inaccurate and out-of-date data.

#2 - You need to be more efficient

ERP systems allow companies to automate business processes and manage important tasks across an organization, letting your processes be more robust, scalable, and efficient. By standardizing and automating business practices you reduce errors (and the time your staff spends finding and fixing errors), as well as they time your staff spends hunting down and re-entering data and information.  This not only boosts productivity, but also reduces operating and overhead costs — letting you do more without hiring more staff or expanding your operations. Your employees are able to spend time more time on critical tasks, and are able to collaborate more easily across departments, boosting company productivity.

And don’t think that an ERP will take away your control over processes. An ERP should actually be able to take the best of the business processes you’re using now and bring them together under one system, while letting everyone in your organization view the same information. This is why it’s important to choose an ERP provider that is the right fit for you, giving you the flexibility to do things your way, but better.

#3 - Your inventory management is out of control

As a CTO or ETO manufacturer you have a lot of moving parts to keep track of (literally), and need to have your inventory in check. The right parts, and amount of parts must be on-hand to avoid production bottlenecks, complete jobs, and get orders out the door in time to keep your customers happy. With an ERP, inventory management becomes much easier as all departments, locations, and employees are able to track inventory numbers and input all necessary information in real time, into one system. A well-implemented ERP helps you keep a constant eye on whatever is going on in your warehouses and shop floors, allowing you to make better purchasing decisions, and ensuring you always have the right amount of inventory on-hand to get the job done.

#4 - You need better information management

If someone asked you what your average sales margin is, how long would it take you to find out? What about other key performance metrics, like sales to date, compliance rates,  or capacity utilization? For companies that rely on siloed information systems or spreadsheets that need to be constantly updated and reconciled manually, it could be a long wait.

The pace of business is faster than ever before, which means employees across your company need immediate access to key data. With an ERP solution, management can get a holistic view of business operations at any time, while your other staff can get the information they need to do their jobs more effectively. For example, sales representatives should be able to pull up past job orders to be able to make more efficient and accurate quotes, and accounting should be able to easily create reports and reconcile financial information.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, an ERP will let you automate processes, share information, collaborate between departments, and meet customer expectations. If you want your business to thrive in 2018 you need to integrate ERP solutions into your company.

Anne Mulvenna

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