These are typical complaints and worries that our team of experts has heard in regards to ERP systems. A substantial amount of organizations’ complaints and questions about the worth of an ERP system have validity: ERP solutions are expensive, difficult to select, and can be tricky to implement.
On the other hand, there’s little doubt that ERP solutions are necessary for process manufacturers that want to compete on a national or global scale. It is almost impossible for manufacturers needing comprehensive lot traceability, financials, and extensive quality control requirements to operate without an integrated system. ERP solutions provide a complete system from beginning sales order entry through the manufacturing and accounting process. ERP fully integrates the critical needs of batch processing: forward and backward lot tracking, inventory control, order entry, manufacturing, and bill of supplies maintenance. Unfortunately, many companies get caught in a quandary. Should they forgo the ERP project to avoid the cost of an ERP solution and the pain of dealing with difficult vendors? Is it worth it to limp along with the systems in place, using disjointed or impassive systems to get by? If so, what’s the risk of non-compliance with reporting and recall situations? All very important considerations for manufacturers.
A valuable ERP system does cost a fair amount of money initially, however the return on investment is tenfold. The manufacturer will notice higher efficiency in processes, reduced data entry errors, increased accuracy of inventory levels, and more meaningful reporting capabilities – all of which lead to real-time information and better decision making ability.
When dealing with ERP solution providers, look for an honest, ethical ERP partner that will help implement the software and train your staff. The ERP vendor should be willing to conduct the business process behavior needed to protect your competitive advantage, put the appropriate decision-making frameworks in place, and make sure the system is live and being used correctly for your unique needs. In short, you need a partner who is fully invested in your success – an ERP company who has the industry experience and domain expertise to help you take advantage of all the incredible benefits a properly-fitted and appropriately implemented ERP system can provide.
Lastly, find a vendor that is loyal to your industry. Just like in manufacturing, finding your niche and fine tuning that niche will make you the best in the business. The same holds true for ERP software vendors. It is recommended that you select a partner that can incorporate industry best practices into the ERP software so that it meets your process manufacturing and business needs “out of the box.” This will also help reduce realization costs, ensure industry-specific updates, and guarantee a sound partner for years to come.