We’re one month into 2019 already and it’s time to get seriously moving on our goals for the new year! If growing your business is at the top of your agenda this year, read on to see how an ERP can help you reach your goal and succeed.
1. Reduce the Number of Software Systems You Use
There is no arguing that software systems are necessary to keeping your business up and running. Software tools can help you automate business processes and let you save both time and money. But if you are using too many different software systems they may be more of an encumbrance than a help. If you conduct a bit of an analysis and see that you are using separate systems for accounting, order management, scheduling, and inventory management, you are not operating as efficiently as you should be. Not only do separate systems cause costly inefficiencies, they also encourage your workforce to work in data silos, and not collaborate and share information.
Investing in an ERP will let you take back complete control, and integrate all of your departments into one single system that operates from one centralized database. You will be able to streamline business processes and allow for easy sharing and collaboration between all of your departments. An ERP will reduce the cost, and complexity of managing your business and, ultimately, you will be a leaner and more efficient organization, poised to handle new challenges and take on more business.
2. Automate Inventory Management
One of the biggest challenges of running a custom manufacturing business is inventory management. The number of different parts and long-lead items you need to complete a single job can be staggering and trying to manage this manually can be a huge headache. Keeping track of the parts you have on hand, and the parts you need, and when they are needed can result in using countless spreadsheets. Not only does this eat up a lot of staff time, it is easy for mistakes to happen and items to get overlooked, leaving you short on a crucial part when it is needed.
Using an ERP can automate your inventory management processes. By being connected and integrated throughout your entire shop, your ERP will give you a complete understanding of existing inventory, and what needs to be purchased. No longer do you need to worry about running low on stock; an ERP system can reorder stock for you or send a reminder to your purchasing manager that you need to purchase more. And want to take the inventory management process to the next level — find an ERP that integrates directly with your CAD to automatically produce BOMs. This will allow you to automatically create a complete list of what you need for every job and better manage your inventory. Better inventory management will let you complete more jobs on-time, paving the way for growth.
3. Automate Business Processes
Above we looked at how an ERP can help you automate your inventory management process and the gains you can see from having a better managed inventory system. Because ERP systems are fully integrated and touch every department in your organization, they can help you manage and automate almost all of your business processes, not just inventory managment, making you more efficient.
When the most simple processes, like invoicing and month-end closing can take hours or even days to complete, your need to automate these repetitive tasks, to free up time for more important matters. An ERP improves your productivity — especially for those manufacturers who are still stuck in the world of Excel. An ERP system can assist in scheduling, accounting, and engineering, and can automate production processes, leaving your workforce to focus on other tasks such as the innovation that’s a key ingredient for business growth. Automating your business processes with an ERP lets you get more done with less, allowing you to take on more business with your current resources.
4. Use Real-Time and Integrated Data to Better Understand Your Business
We’ve already looked a bit at how having an ERP can increase efficiency and create sharing and collaboration between departments, by letting every department in your organization work from the same software system — but not enough can be said about the impact of having integrated, real-time data from an ERP. When everyone in your organization has instant access to the most relevant and accurate data, they can push projects forward to completion rather than waiting for updates to be shared, making you more efficient. Running your entire business from one integrated system also lets you create better, more accurate reports, and letting you know exactly where you stand. You can’t grow until you have a good handle on how your entire operation runs, where your strengths and weaknesses are, where your bottlenecks exist, and where you are running at optimum speed. The real-time data that an ERP gives you lets you build a solid foundation for your business on which you can grow.
5. Use Data Strategically
To grow, you need to make strategic decisions and strategic plans. Real growth can’t happen without a strategy that is driven by clear, comprehensive and timely information. The marketplace is moving faster than ever before, to stay competitive and grow in this fast-paced business climate you need to be using an ERP system that can help you access and analyze key data and figures.
Building a strategic plan for growth based on real facts and figures will give you a solid foundation, and make you confident that the direction you are taking your company is the right one. Of all the ways an ERP can help you grow in 2019 this is one of the most valuable and one of the real keys to achieving real, sustainable growth. Leveraging your data, not to just give you a snapshot of where your business is at, but using it to create a strong strategic direction for your company is key to growth. If you want to take a more in-depth look at how an ERP can help you make strategic decisions read our blog post on why you should use an ERP to make strategic business decisions.
Achieving real growth is attainable in 2019 — and an ERP can be a valuable tool in reaching this goal.
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