Choosing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software package to run your industrial or high-tech manufacturing business is one of the biggest decisions that you are likely to make for your company – and one that should not be taken lightly.

 

Whatever your decision may be, it will have a huge impact on your workload, your business, and your stress levels. To help you make an informed decision, there are six key areas you should consider when looking at ERP software packages…

1. Compliance Issues

More and more every month, there seems to be new headlines about increased regulations and regulatory compliance that companies must now follow and/or adhere to. Pressures from both local government and global standards organizations mean that companies must be able to track and prove what has been manufactured, by whom, where components were sourced from and what quality checks were completed. For every solution you look at, make sure these compliance capabilities are supported, standard and fully integrated.

2. Rising Margin Pressures

Rising margin pressures have been an issue for manufacturers for many years, but when it comes to selecting a software solution, make sure it can help you identify where you are making profit and more importantly, where you aren’t. By checking for this functionality, it will help you make strategic decisions about expanding or decreasing product ranges.

3. Greater Visibility

Something that I have noticed today’s manufacturers doing more of is adopting a project approach to their business. Traditionally, the cost of production is well known, but two things that are often treated as overhead costs are design and finance checks. From a product production perspective, what if the system you chose could help you determine the true cost of production? Any solution you look at should have fully integrated project management capabilities so you can do this.

4. Consumer Demand

In the marketplace, manufacturers often want to differentiate themselves, and these days, they try to do so by offering customization options for standard products so that customers get something individual to them and can promote customer lock-in.

Any software package you look at should offer this capability but more importantly, be able to manage this is in an effective way.

5. Standardization

All organizations want standardization, but you need to ensure that any software package you choose to deploy has the capability of being deployed in all your sites, locations, countries and languages.

6. Disruptive Innovations

With new technologies emerging on a regular basis, like 3D printing and Internet of Things (IoT), the rate of disruption in today’s world is happening faster and faster. Any software that you purchase should not only meet your needs of today, but also meet your unknown needs of tomorrow. While it may seem impossible, a package developed correctly will ultimately make your life easier in the future.