Agile manufacturing is crucial for any organization aiming to secure prosperity and success in today’s fast-moving markets. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can help with this by collecting an organization’s collective transactional data from multiple sources and business processes in order to enable the flow of this data and provide a single source of truth.

Today, organizations that can think strategically and implement an ERP system and/or any new processes in order to meet upcoming challenges and market changes, have a better chance of long-term success. In this light, we’ve provided an ERP agility checklist for manufacturing companies to keep up with. Hopefully, it will provide some insight as to what manufacturers should see from their ERP system and how it can overcome certain challenges. 

Making Informed Decisions from Real-Time Information

If you’re making set or strategic decisions from various departments or soloed programs, how accurate is the data driving your decisions? And how long does it take to collate? If the information is recorded on a variety of incompatible systems, you will find inevitable delays. 

To combat this, you should evaluate your decision-making process to make sure the data driving them are accurate and timely. An ERP system provides companies with real-time information so you can be sure you’re getting the best and most relevant data to make the most informed decisions.

Visible Supply Chain Management

It’s becoming very important for manufacturers to have a complete picture of who their suppliers are, for reputational and regulatory reasons. Being able to integrate your supply chain into your own IT systems will make your procurement activities more efficient and productive.

If you don’t currently have a transparent supply chain management module in your ERP system, ask your supply chain managers how clear their partner visibility and communications are and provide reasons why you need to upgrade or replace it.

Fast Results

Once decisions are made, how soon do you see them being translated into action? The way instructions are broadcasted across an organization, especially a manufacturing organization, can have a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of the original decision.

To combat this, make sure your manufacturing business is using an ERP that your employees feel comfortable using to act on directions right away. Read tips for ERP training. 

Managing Shifts in Customer Demands

Product customization has become a key development in recent years. With more and more clients seeking bespoke configurations, the most successful manufacturers will be those which can live up to these changing requirements without sacrificing profitability. Is your existing ERP system giving you sufficient support?

If not, combat this by assessing how quickly your existing ERP can deliver accurate quotations and lead times for custom orders.

Integration

Your organization cannot rely on outdated or legacy IT systems. If it is, what issues are you facing ensuring these old systems continue to operate effectively without the employees currently responsible for them? As experienced workers start to see the end of their careers and think about retiring, manufacturers face the loss of the expertise and top talent necessary for running the business smoothly.