What is Manufacturing ERP?
What are Manufacturing ERP Systems and Why Do I Care?
Suppose you are at the beginning of the process of trying to improve your company’s ability to meet customer requirements. In that case, you may be looking for help to organize the company better, become more efficient, and adopt best practices – no need to ‘reinvent the wheel’ here!
A Manufacturing ERP System (where ‘ERP’ stands for ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’) is a master system that connects all aspects of an organization’s business processes into one system. An enterprise can be one company with one location or a network of multiple plants and multiple companies. One of the buzzwords you’ll hear is ‘scalable’ meaning that a system can grow with your company. You may purchase the most basic version of a system like Epicor, for as few as 2 or 3 users, but you know that your ideas will ‘take off’ and you want a system that can be as complex as needed.
History of ERP
ERP came out of what was known as MRP systems (Materials Requirement Planning) in the 1980s. As computer systems became more affordable, the need for coordinating production planning and scheduling with purchasing grew into automatic interfaces with incoming sales, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange, a standard protocol used in many industries for communicating demand across a supply base), forecasting, and master production planning. As MRP got more complex, there became a need to rename this into ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’, not just materials.
If you’re interested in more history, here’s how Epicor got its start, but now that we at least understand the history of how we got to ERP in general, you may be asking ‘why should I care’? It may sound all too complex for your organization. Here are some points to consider about why ERP may be important for you:
Choosing Manufacturing Production Software
When choosing a manufacturing production software such as Epicor Kinetic, we recommend following these four key points:
- People–dependent organizations: you may have excellent staff, well trained, and who ‘know your business’. They provide the masterful intelligence to work efficiently and make good decisions. They do this because they’ve been with you for years, and have learned from their mistakes. As long as they don’t age, or get sick, or decide ‘the grass is greener’ somewhere, you’ll be all set. Manufacturing production software allows you to capture their knowledge and make them even more efficient by the system’s ability to help them do their jobs. When it comes time for them to move on, it’s that much easier to replace them, because all of the processes and information needed is well organized and available for new people to use.
- Growth: sometimes companies grow for expected or unexpected reasons. To be able to grow, a system needs to be ‘scalable’, so while you may not be growing now, markets change, and to answer this need, selecting a system that is scalable is critical to the challenge of growth.
- Acquisition: if you’re thinking of selling, a company with a well-organized manufacturing ERP system is much more desirable than a disorganized, people-dependent organization. The ERP system is actually an asset of the company and can add to the literal value of the company, as well as make it more valuable because it is well organized, well documented, and scalable.
- Maximize efficiency: let’s say you are growing, a manufacturing ERP system will stretch the productivity of your staff so you can grow quite a bit without adding any administrative staff.
Contact EpiCenter to Learn More about our ERP Services for Manufacturing
There are many manufacturing ERP systems on the market, and most of them work just fine. Some are really designed for specific industries, and others are more general and can be adapted easily to multiple industries. If the system is reliable, your decision is just as much about the people who will install and implement the system for you. You should be looking for strong industry knowledge and lots of experience in implementations. Just like selecting a doctor to perform surgery, you want the right people who ‘fit’ with your organization. They will be key to the success of your new system.
EpiCenter has been implementing systems for many years and has an unparalleled reputation. Honesty, communications, and passion for business make our team invaluable. Contact us today to help you with your needs, and let us help you continue to be successful!
written by Jeffrey W. Glaze, President