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A study from the Aberdeen Group of 81 discrete manufacturers points to the many benefits of ERP for manufacturing. Among those benefits include swifter and more agile reaction to change and an improved ability to manage growth. The study, which is available as a whitepaper download from IWI Consulting, offers interesting insights into the impact an ERP system makes on a manufacturing business as a whole, but especially in the areas of change and growth—both of which are critical for a company’s success. Reacting to Change: Success Comes to the Swiftest Among the manufacturers who participated in the Aberdeen Group study, Leaders demonstrated an ability to react the fastest to changes. ERP for manufacturing improves visibility across the supply chain, offering manufacturers the ability to react quickly to problems. You cannot react to what you can’t see. Visibility sheds light on situations that require prompt action. For example, successful manufacturers using ERP systems can program the system to send automated notices when a machine is down. Such an event can then trigger a decision to shift production to another area of the factory floor or to another facility. Without visibility, the decision is delayed, causing lost production time and a […]

Decisions, decisions. It seems that no matter how sure you are in your business knowledge, it helps to have more information on hand before making business decisions. Nowhere is this more important than in manufacturing, where better decisions can help your business anticipate orders and increase production efficiencies. A new study published by the Aberdeen Group examined the business practices of 81 discrete manufacturers who responded to the Group’s invitation to participate in the survey. What Aberdeen discovered is that manufacturers with access to company-wide data made better decisions, which in turn led to higher profits, happier customers, and growing companies. Increased Visibility in Manufacturing ERP Software Leads to Better Decisions You can only make business decisions based on the information that you have. The increased visibility provided by manufacturing ERP software makes it easier to make business decisions because all of the data is available. The Leaders included in this study found that information derived from their ERP systems helped them in the following ways: Real-time visibility from quote to cash: Insight into every aspect of the ordering process, from cost quotations to receipt of payment, enables better business forecasting. Information shared: ERP systems enable automatic notification of system issues, […]

An interesting study from the Aberdeen Group examined how Leaders, defined as companies “leading” the vanguard of innovation in manufacturing, are using and benefiting from ERP business strategies. Among the 81 companies who responded to the group’s survey, 90% of Leaders implemented ERP strategies while only 10% of Followers, or companies who lagged behind, had implemented it. It seems that knowledge is power, especially knowledge derived from ERP for manufacturing. Key findings from the study include: ERP is near-ubiquitous in discrete manufacturing: 80% of Leaders have ERP. ERP strategies impact key business drivers by providing timely impactful information, managing growth expectations, reducing costs, and enabling operations across multiple facilities. Leaders are 25% more likely to have ongoing initiatives tailoring their ERP for manufacturing solutions to address business challenges. Leading companies value collaboration, visibility, and real-time data access. Among the discrete manufacturers included in the study, the authors found that it wasn’t just having an ERP system in place that made them successful. It was also how well they used it. Companies who used their systems to plan, strategize, and improve across all business functions gained a competitive edge over others. Laggards in the discrete manufacturing space continued to conduct business […]

Are you stuck in the typical inventory management quandary? You’re balancing the needs of senior management, who demand you reduce stock levels to contain costs. But on the other hand, customers are upset when you can’t fill their orders fast enough. It’s a common enough situation for inventory managers, but uncomfortable nonetheless. Enter better data through ERP systems, to the rescue of frazzled inventory managers everywhere. Smart companies know that as their operations grow, so too does the need for better data. When you’re managing a small back-room warehouse filled with goods created just down the hall, it’s easy enough to yell, “Hey, Bob, do we have enough blue widgets to fill Jane’s order?” But if you’ve grown since the time when a good strong yell could get the order info you need back into production, then it’s time to think about more sophisticated solutions. Barcoding, Automation, Inventory Management, and Warehouse Data Like the example above, many warehouses are still using old-fashioned methods to maintain stock levels. Sure, it’s not as extreme as yelling down the hall to whomever happens to be near the shelves at the moment, but it’s just as crude when compared to other sophisticated inventory tracking […]

Nobody likes to be disappointed and nobody wants to disappoint a customer. Yet how many times do customers see an “out of stock” message on your website or hear it from sales or service agents? If the answer is “too many times,” then you need to look at your inventory levels. Keeping the right inventory level can mean the difference between high customer satisfaction ratings and losing customers to competitors for whom “out of stock” never happens. Better Data, Better Inventory Management One of the biggest challenges for many inventory managers is keeping close track of stock levels. Although automated barcoding systems help, unless you can also keep an eye on your supply chain and raw materials orders, it can be tough to fully predict stock levels. Fortunately, with better data at your fingertips, you can better manage inventory levels. Accurate, timely, and integrated data streams from sales, marketing, operations, and finance can help you predict stock levels and reduce the number of “out of stock” messages shown to your sales team or your customers. Fulfill More Orders and Keep Customers Happy Customers depend on your company to provide them with the goods they need. Most customers will tolerate at least […]