The COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag on, affecting everyday life in countries worldwide. Once it is finally brought under control, the way we live and work will be vastly different from before we heard of this virus.
For more than five decades, businesses have relied on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to manage their daily business activities. These include accounting, compliance, procurement, project management, and supply chain operations. ERP assembles the data—indicating its source—to help you save time and money. What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for ERP systems? Can ERP help manufacturers move forward after the pandemic?
How ERP Can Help Manufacturers Post-COVID
Here are four of the ways ERP can make a massive contribution to the resilience and reinvention of your post-coronavirus operation.
- ERP allows supply chains to stay flexible.
Flexible supply chains help manage challenges by using external data to improve demand and supply forecasting. Businesses should also consider expanding and broadening their supplier ecosystem.
With the cloud, you can take advantage of real-time visibility, which is a valuable asset when it comes to managing supply chains. Your team has the tools for better decision making. And of course, supply chains benefit from increased efficiencies and less reliance on manual processes.
- It adds digital traceability into the supply chain mix.
If supply networks are one half of supply chain resilience, traceability is the other.
In the food and beverage industry, for instance, COVID pushed manufacturers to adopt technology that proves their food products are safe.
As Cleantech reports: “Product traceability and provenance is a cornerstone of supply chain resilience. Tracking what happens to a product along each link of a supply chain is the first step to solving issues of product sustainability, non-compliance and risk.”
As ideas like independence of food supply and food miles become political hot topics (as well as consumer priorities), process manufacturers, in particular, will need ERP to keep provenance and traceability reporting under control.
- It helps manufacturers get, and stay, lean.
Lean manufacturing leads the way to operational efficiencies. Manufacturers around the world must work in a world which has thoroughly changed due to coronavirus. Businesses that were inefficient and unproductive before due to a lack of modern technology will struggle—post-coronavirus they will struggle even more.
Businesses are focusing on core activities and trimming the fat from operations to secure as long a financial runway as possible. Lean processes reduce waste and minimize cost across the operation. If you’re looking to optimize:
- inventory holdings
- transport and distribution costs
- raw materials pricing and usage
- the time and motion involved in production processes
… or to obtain the data which will trim cost out of any number of other elements of manufacturing, ERP should be your starting point.
- Automating with ERP makes customer deliveries more efficient.
Post-COVID, increased visibility to make faster and more data-led decisions will be essential. Through automation available in modern ERP, you can use real-time reporting and analytical dashboards to continuously review your financial data, without lengthy time spent auditing and preparing the information.
Referring to robotics, Interact Analysis, the leading market researchers in the intelligent automation sector, reports: “Social-distancing measures are likely to fuel the demand for automation in retail warehouses.”
“There is also the added factor that the use of robots and other automated equipment in these environments increases efficiency and speed of supply of goods to consumers.”
This is true across all types of automation, which may be as simple as software widgets to automate repetitive processes, through to artificial intelligence solutions that can digitize whole functions.
The assessment of value is correct, though: automation improves efficiency, productivity, flexibility, error reduction and workforce availability.
As we stand on the brink of significant advances in automation and its affordability, ERP is poised to become is a key factor for success in the post-COVID business landscape. ASI is your leading source for Acumatica ERP software and accounting solutions. Contact us today for your free consultation.