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Managing multiple locations presents unique challenges. Many manufacturing organizations have factories, warehouses, and offices located in different parts of the country to better serve their customers. The faster and easier it is to share information among these different facilities, the better. A whitepaper from the Aberdeen Group, available from IWI Consulting, shares insights into how manufacturing ERP systems can help multi-location operations. The study examined data from 81 participants to find out what Leaders did to improve their companies. They found that the main benefits derived from ERP systems included enhanced access to data from all points of a company, increased efficiencies, better planning, and reduced costs. Benefits of a Manufacturing ERP System Enhanced Information Sharing One of the biggest challenges that companies with multiple locations face is sharing data from one part of the company with another. Even when all portions of the company want to share, it’s often hard to figure out the best way to do so. Emailing information makes sense, and it’s fast, but it’s also inevitable that someone is going to be left off of the email chain who needs the information. Shared networks are great, but you have to know where to look for the […]

Last week, we talked about the new crop of challenges that have arisen in manufacturing management and strategies to address them. (Navigate the Challenges in Manufacturing.) We saw that marketplace changes have required that your business model change to remain competitive. Now let’s look at how your enterprise software should support you in this industry transformation. Technology and market conditions are changing faster than ever. The transition from an industrial marketplace to an information-intensive one has brought dramatic changes. Decisions have become more complex with the growth in technology, increased regulations regarding safety and sustainability, the blurring of industry boundaries, and the globalization of businesses. In order to remain competitive in this changing marketplace, many manufacturers have reacted with flatter organizations that are more decentralized, enabling them to be more flexible and agile. Functions within businesses have been blurred with more collaboration and decentralization on processes and decisions. Your enterprise software should help you manage change. Your enterprise software should help you manage change rather than impede change. A big part of that response is whether your business management software can easily adapt to change and even help you adjust easily. Technology should provide you with the flexibility and adaptability […]

Manufacturing management can be challenging. Just when you think you’ve solved one problem, the next one raises its ugly head. Not only does it seem that you are always solving the next problem in manufacturing—the problems are arising faster than ever. It isn’t just your imagination—changes are happening more quickly than ever. Rapid changes in technology are transforming consumer behavior, customer demands, technical capabilities, and even legislation. This means that manufacturers need to change their practices to continuously innovate and streamline. How the market is changing: Technology innovation cycle is shorter. Technology improvements bring about many opportunities to add new services and cut costs. Advancements in technology enable greater manufacturing automation, new products, and service options. The problem isn’t advanced technology; the problem is how fast the technology is changing. It can be difficult to keep up. Product life cycles are shrinking. Rapid changes in technology mean that product life cycles are shrinking. Think about the lifecycle of a mobile phone. New features and functionality are added every few months—a three-year old phone is considered ancient. This mentality is permeating nearly every manufacturing industry segment. What was new last year, is now old. The world is getting smaller. Being competitive […]