This post is part of the series of the ad hoc content writer (#AdHocCW). It was first published as an e-article, where it appeared with minor additions that contained information about the company.
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is not only a tool to automate business processes and their underlying transactional data, but also a methodology to streamline and improve the operational efficiency of those business processes. And, manufacturing is indeed one business process where the impact of the use of ERP can be critical. Let us explore how does the use of ERP systems contribute to improve the productivity of manufacturing units.
Data and Decision Integration
ERP systems typically cover all business operations across a business unit. Consequently, the biggest impact of implementing ERPs lies in the integration of information. Such an integration is critical from the point of view of the survival and success of a business unit. That’s because, decisions are time and resource critical. Any change or influence from the internal (controllable) and external (uncontrollable) factors can affect the decisions. And, having information at fingertips can always improve the effectiveness of the time-and-resource-critical decision making. Such decisions, though taken at different levels of different departments, will still be cohesive and move the organization in the same direction.
Businesses are as much about “tomorrow” as about “today”. Therefore, it is important for us to plan things much in advance. ERP systems can help us graduate data into facts, facts into information, and information into insights. These insights can lend us with vision, which is important for our success. An ERP system can also bring in the additional capability of analysis. We can use the reports and dashboards from millions of the stored data to come up with plans that can help us view the everyday business operations, such as demand and supply, way ahead of time. This capability is indeed important for the manufacturing units.
One thing that ERP does, and does good, is operational management. We can use the information from ERP systems to help optimize our manufacturing activities. We can use ERP systems to switch people and tasks, based on the knowledge that the systems gathers for us. That way, we can manufacture more in less time, with perhaps the best person and tool acquiring the best time slots.
Reduction of Losses
Just as we can forecast demands and supplies or transform data into insights, we can track and optimize our workforce, too, to make sure that we adhere to plans, budgets, and time constraints. This means a lot of time for us to adjust to changes, if any, in plans. But, a greater benefit of implementing ERPs is the reduction of losses. When we ERPs to optimize our manufacturing capabilities, we use our tools, people, and resources in ways that can help us predict, avoid, and, if required, overcome shortages and losses.
ERP systems can help us with some key areas of business operations, such as assuming timeliness in deliveries of orders, improving the quality of our processes and products, optimizing and reducing the product costs in the long run, reducing the downtime of manufacturing units on account of either lack of raw materials or failure due to overloads. But, the biggest benefit is still in reaping a higher sense of certainty in the overall functioning of a manufacturing unit.