ERP Solutions Guiding Manufacturers

Now is the time to leverage innovative technology that can pay dividends immediately and continue down the line, no matter scaling requirements.

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The new year is already here, but for manufacturers, busy season is well underway. The holidays and year’s end provide an uptick in manufacturing capacity, and as 2024 arrives, it is vital to keep current momentum going. This is, of course, much easier said than done. Meeting increased, strenuous demands can pose difficulties across a manufacturing business. Even executing daily tasks such as fulfilling orders, overseeing inventory and providing excellent customer service becomes more challenging with a heavier burden of work required.

Unfortunately for manufacturers, 2023 was anything but easy as issues extend beyond the fallout of the pandemic. Although roughly 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost during COVID-19, manufacturing was already facing labor issues in the years before. A study by the Manufacturing Institute projects that 2.1 million jobs will go unfilled by 2030, resulting from a lack of skilled labor. What’s more, significant reprieve is unlikely. In a recent CNBC survey, more than half of logistics managers do not expect the supply chain to return to normal until at least 2024 – and likely after. On top of that, 75% of manufacturing leader respondents cited problems with hiring to address the skills gap, while 65% were troubled with employee burnout.

Long story short, to keep the momentum that the busy holiday season brings, manufacturers must leverage technology to help augment the work done by employees. During peak periods, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution becomes a crucial asset to streamline processes. An ERP can not only help during the busiest time of year, but it can set manufacturers up for continued success throughout 2024. Read on to learn more about how ERP solutions can set a business up for continued growth through visibility and agility of information.

An ERP Guide to 2024 and Beyond

Start with Data-Driven Strategy

By planning with data, manufacturers gain valuable insights into anticipated trends. Business trends from past peak seasons can be analyzed to form predictive patterns that manufacturers can immediately action and leverage for planning purposes. By utilizing an ERP system to decipher historical data, manufacturing leaders can foster informed decision-making, anticipation of customer demands and efficient resource allocation.

In example, a company was recently hindered by disparate data sources and limited technology approaches to centralize and analyze the information for business value. To overcome these obstacles, they integrated an ERP solution that would put all the right tools in the hands of the right people and give them reliable, real-time insights into actions and performance. This was the first step towards building a strong, robust foundation for future growth. Their ERP system enables them to track stocked items as they come in, and collect data automatically through their app, which enters costs directly to jobs when they pull materials out of stock. As a result, it automatically moves the cost from inventory to the specific job and eventually triggers a re-order based on pre-assigned inventory levels. Rather than being bogged down by lack of transparency, real-time updates enable swift adjustments to strategy.

Seek Sanctuary in the Cloud

Cloud digital transformation is quickly becoming the industry standard, which provides security and mobility. By deploying a cloud-based ERP solution, manufacturers can guarantee accessibility to vital business data and applications across locations. This means facilitating work productivity whether it be in the office, at home, or on the move. This is particularly advantageous for businesses with remote or flexible-working employees, especially during peak periods. The adaptability allows manufacturers to seamlessly scale computing resources in response to heightened demand or business growth. No more pen and paper or disparate systems, instead, the cloud safeguards technological infrastructure, ensuring it can efficiently manage increased workloads without interruptions.

Say Goodbye to Repetition, Hello to Proactive Staffing

Automation has an immense value in augmenting the existing capabilities of manufacturing labor. Through an ERP system, repetitive tasks can be automated: jobs like scheduling appointments and meetings, generating reports, processing orders, handling invoices, managing inventory and entering data. Employees entering the workforce and continuing to progress in their careers value growth and development that comes from higher leverage tasks. Freeing up employees to concentrate on more strategic work can act as a significant talent attraction and retention tool amidst a major labor and skills shortage. To further aid in ushering in the next wave of talent, ERP workforce management tools can both plan and recruit, offering the readiness of the team when needed. Addressing challenging positions promptly can make massive differences in terms of both team performance and product output.

Engrain Efficient Visibility within Operations 

One of the most significant benefits to an ERP is the visibility it affords. This capability allows for effective monitoring of progress, optimal resource allocation, and ensures timely and budget-compliant project completion. Rather than relying on legacy technology or tribal knowledge, information is consolidated in a single source of truth. Say a project manager departs, no longer is the team burdened by lengthy transition periods bogged down in tedious transfers of learning. Instead, ERP software is the simple guide through the workings of the business. Whether it be inventory management, financial processes or internal communications, ERP promotes transparency throughout the businesses. As staffing challenges continue, clear compliance and scheduling make for better workflows. Combined with the automation power of an ERP, the roadmap to a successful new year comes into focus.

New Year, High Standards

Despite the challenging environment that manufacturing has been operating in, customers and consumers have the same high presumptions of quality. To meet demand and expectations, manufacturers cannot afford to get behind with the same old pen and paper approach. Now is the time to leverage innovative technology that can pay dividends immediately and continue down the line, no matter scaling requirements. Over the next few years, failing to adopt competitive technology can be far more costly.