How ERP is enabling digital transformation across the manufacturing industry

Manufacturers are investing in ERP, which in turn can unlock the digital transformation which underpins so much competitive success in the twenty-first century.
14 July 2021 by
Smart Information Technologies Limited, Barry Brian

Whilst many business sectors have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and associated lockdowns, others have boomed. The manufacturing industry, for example, has enjoyed substantial success, whether through producing goods directly involved in the pandemic response, or products which people have purchased more of during these transformative months.


For manufacturing businesses which have enjoyed a surprisingly successful 2020 and 2021 to date, now is the time to think about truly consolidating that success and positioning themselves competitively for the years ahead – whatever the so-called ‘new normal’ looks like. One way of doing this is to invest in an ERP system, which in turn can unlock the digital transformation which underpins so much competitive success in the twenty-first century. Indeed, as the world adapts to more hybrid, remote and flexible working practices post-pandemic, the agility and flexibility offered by digital working practices will be more important than ever before.


Here, then, are just some of the reasons why manufacturing businesses should take the opportunity now to invest in ERP – and turbo-charge their operations.

ERP systems reduce costs

Manufacturing businesses, with their constant influx of parts or components, and their often complex physical assets, need to keep an even tighter eye on their costs than other organisations. ERP systems reduce costs in myriad ways; they immediately reduce time and resource allocated to manual tasks, by introducing automation, but over the medium and long-term they also drive cost savings in all corners of the business. After all, the whole point of an ERP system is to generate simplicity and a centralised view of all operations – which means it becomes far easier to identify and rectify inefficiencies.


ERP systems optimise inventory management

As outlined above, manufacturing businesses have a more complex inventory management operation than many other organisations, because they have to deal with both incoming parts or components, and outgoing finished products. ERP systems help organisations ensure that all inventory processing – incoming to outgoing – is managed in a smooth and centralised way. The status of materials and finished products can be linked to ordering systems, so that parts are automatically reordered and stock is always kept at optimal levels. Materials and products in transit can be automatically tracked. The upshot is improved visibility, available and customer communication.


ERP systems foster responsiveness

The past months have underlined just how important it is for businesses to be able to respond and adapt to changing market conditions. And whilst manufacturing organisations may well be hoping that a global pandemic is not something they have to contend with again for some time, they should still be focusing on how best to understanding varied market demands, and how best to capitalise on changing customer trends. ERP systems provide the intelligence and analysis needed for this. 


ERP systems unlock business intelligence

ERP systems aim to unlock intelligence from within business operations as well as out in the market. Manufacturing organisations typically comprise multiple different functions and departments, which historically may have been siloed from each other. ERP systems streamline and automate the processes of those departments sharing information and insights with each other – which in turn reveals previous untapped sources of business intelligence.

From there , manufacturing businesses can make smarter, more informed decisions on everything from staff allocation to task automation, new product development to sales and marketing strategies.


ERP systems can be customised to the needs of manufacturers

It is important for manufacturing businesses to realise that modern ERP systems are highly flexible and customisable, with modules precisely tailored to the unique needs of their industry, and the ability for myriad customisations. There really is no need for a modern manufacturer to be stuck with an ERP system which does not quite meet its needs or fit its operations. 

Want to learn more about how an ERP system could help your manufacturing business digitally transform? Get in touch with us today.

Smart Information Technologies Limited, Barry Brian 14 July 2021
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