ERP solutions have proven over the years to be a crucial tool for transforming businesses by boosting productivity and operational efficiency, resulting in an improved bottom line. Adding the solution to a manufacturing business is practically imperative, but finding the right one for your organization’s unique needs might take a little time.
For manufacturing operations, an ERP is the core infrastructure, connecting every function within the organization through data and real-time monitoring. The right ERP solution can manage customer orders, customer relationship management, plan purchases and production, manage inventory, run accounting, handle HR functions, and of course, provide comprehensive reporting on all of it.
If you don’t have an ERP system yet, it’s certainly time to get one. At the same time, if you have a system that doesn’t do all of the above—or does it, yet inefficiently or inaccurately—now is the time to consider an upgrade. With the plethora of solutions available, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options. Our experts break down several steps to help guide you to finding the best ERP solution for your manufacturing organization.
How to Select a Manufacturing ERP
- Know what problems you need to solve. Review all your business processes, looking specifically for any that involve manual entry or even double entry. Where can processes be improved by automation? Do you need faster or better reporting? Is meeting industry compliance requirements a challenge?
- Stakeholder buy-in. Use the cost/benefit analysis from step one to get management and key stakeholders on board.
- Champion from the inside. You’ll need someone to drive excitement and widespread buy-in for the new ERP system. Look for stakeholders who are already excited about the ERP and are eager to play a pivotal role in onboarding.
- Plan for the future. Your company will continue to change over the years, and the last thing you want is to have to go through another ERP implementation in another 12-18 months based on growth. Find a system that is flexible and modular enough that it can scale along with the company’s growth.
- Out of office productivity. This year has taught us the value of accessing information from outside the office. Look for a solution that includes robust mobile access from phones and tablets.
- Make it easy to use. If your chosen solution isn’t user-friendly or intuitive, it won’t be used. Increase chances for success by finding an interface that is accessible to your full range of users.
- Know where to deploy. What’s the best option for your business, your data security options, and your budget? Deployment options include on-premises, cloud, or a hybrid of the two. Cloud solutions typically offer the most benefits, but some companies may have use cases that require data to be housed on site.
- Teach it well. Vendors will typically train a small number of key personnel in your organization, who will in turn train the rest of the company’s users. Discuss the best training schedule and cadence with the ERP vendor and ensure staff is committed to the training time.
- Pick someone who understands your problems. Work with a vendor who has experienced working with manufacturing businesses before and can surface and solve the problems that have driven you to seek an ERP in the first place.
- Sign, seal, and deliver. Once these other criteria are met, you can sign on the dotted line and get started with your new ERP rollout.
Match Your Solution to Your Needs
It’s important to find the ERP that matches your business’ manufacturing methodology and is deeply rooted in the manufacturing process in order to offer features that boost efficiency. Some ERP features are standard and will be found across any ERP system you consider. Other solutions—such as Acumatica Cloud ERP—are purpose built to meet everything from industry requirements to manufacturing methodology.
But if you still need help in the search for a new (or updated) ERP solution, look no further than Acumatica’s Manufacturing ERP Guide. Designed to help users understand the market and make the best long-term choice for their organization, this guide highlights newer products that were built to provide a modern platform for growth. Armed with this guide and the ten steps above, there’s nothing standing between you and the ERP solution your manufacturing business will truly benefit from.
Get a deeper understanding of industry requirements and general features in the leading manufacturing ERP solutions by downloading this Manufacturing ERP Guide eBook.
Find the Right Solution With ASI
Still skeptical, or in need of further demonstration and proof that an ERP such as Acumatica Cloud can have a positive impact on your business and bottom line? Accelerate your research by getting a free software consultation from the team at ASI, or jump straight to talking to an ERP expert to help you find the right solution for your organization.