Manufacturing is a constantly growing industry, shaping the country and providing millions of people with jobs around the country and the world. This means that manufacturing owners are looking for ways to streamline their processes, save money and boost efficiency.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can integrate with most areas of your business and allow you stay on top of the competition. While the setup may seem like a big undertaking, there are a few keys to remember so you can get started without a headache.
Research Is Crucial
There are plenty of ERP systems out there, each with unique qualities that may or may not be right for your manufacturing business.
Some of these systems come fully packaged, while others allow for customization based on the processes running at your company. Identifying the parts of a system that would be most beneficial for your company is crucial, and a list of questions should be made before you even meet with vendors. Some good starting questions include:
• Does the system you are looking at meet industry standards?
• Will it integrate with the current processes running at your manufacturing company?
• What data and reports will you be able to pull?
• What will the training process be like?
• How much support will be available from the vendor?
When you’ve identified the answers to these questions, you will have made the first steps to finding out what ERP system may work for your business.
Implement Comprehensive Training
If you’ve taken the plunge to set up ERP software, the next step should involve training. Every corner of the business will be interacting with the system, which means every employee needs to know how to work it.
One small mistake in the system can require hours of cleanup that your manufacturing business doesn’t have time for. Take some time up front to train everyone properly, and it will help you avoid costly mistakes down the road.
There is a good chance many of your competitors are using an ERP system already, but it’s less likely that they’ll disclose which one.
The good news is, there are plenty of resources when researching the right ERP software for your manufacturing business. Read reviews, ask for references from vendor representatives and make a careful decision based on what you will be using the system for.
There are also plenty of ERP vendors that specialize in the manufacturing industry. This can be a good place to start when looking for the right system, as they will be able to answer industry-specific questions before you invest.
Test Your ERP Extensively
When setting up an ERP system, testing should be the second tenet after training.
Testing your system for every detail may seem over the top, but it’s important to know how each individual part of your software works. This testing should be done before the system is opened up to individual employees so no costly mistakes can be made that will impact your business performance.
Though some areas of the system may seem straightforward, it’s important to understand how each part works so no surprising questions come up down the line.
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