In a world where customers expect fast delivery, personalization options, and excellent customer support, it becomes obvious that manufacturing companies will need automated manufacturing ERP software for supporting make-to-order, make-to-stock, configure-to-order, project-driven, engineer-to-order, and batch processing workflows.
Most micro and small manufacturers use several tools to control their manufacturing businesses. They might use QuickBooks to manage the accounting part, an inventory management tool to keep track of stock, a shipping app for managing shipments and deliveries, and another production scheduling solution for maintaining the manufacturing. Some might even use Excel spreadsheet templates to keep track of products and components, create bills of materials, and plan production.
As a business grows, it is increasingly overwhelming and resource-heavy to keep the data between these systems in sync. Add multiple warehouses and different currencies into the picture, and it all becomes chaos & impossible to control.
That’s why it’s important to integrate accounting, manufacturing, sales orders, inventory management, shipping, and even e-commerce into a single system that would act as a point of truth for manufacturers in need of complete visibility over business operations.
Manufacturing ERP software solutions don’t have to be expensive, clunky, difficult to use, and time-consuming to implement. Today, there are various cloud-based options available that have affordable subscription plans, designed to grow together with your business. Some of the most important features to look for when considering the implementation of such software is:
- Real-time inventory management across multiple warehouses to be able to keep track of materials and product stock, avoid overstocking and stock-outs.
- Tracking raw material availability for efficient sales order fulfillment and automatic reallocation of materials, based on set priorities.
- Getting automatic manufacturing cost calculations based on your bill of materials
- Batch tracking, expiry dates, and barcode scanning capabilities
- Seamless integration with popular e-commerce platforms, accounting software, and shipping tools, as well as open API in order to create custom integrations
It goes without saying that modern solutions for manufacturing management should be easy to implement and use, and affordable. Cloud-based solutions help business owners save on infrastructure costs, by skipping the cost of purchasing, managing and periodically upgrading expensive software. Moreover, data is safe in the case of events like flooding, fire, or theft and the vendor bears the responsibility of data security and software updates. Lastly, SaaS software enables remote accessibility, by making information stored in the cloud, easily accessible on the go, from any device.
Keeping track of inventory and manufacturing processes by hand or in Excel is not a sustainable solution that can support business growth. Alternatively, expensive and complicated software solutions, with a myriad of features not necessary for each business case, are not an option for small and medium-sized businesses. That’s why manufacturers today must consider modern tools that can integrate with business essentials, help reduce costs, optimize processes, and ultimately directly influence growth.