Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are transforming businesses across a variety of industries. However, to this day, the primary users of ERP software remain manufacturers. Every step in the manufacturing process of goods can benefit from the introduction of an industry-specific ERP solution.
Discrete manufacturing refers to the supply of finished products that are distinct items capable of being easily counted, touched or seen, such as nuts and bolts, brackets, wires and pieces for other manufacturers. Control, visibility and accessibility are primary concerns of these manufacturers and ERP solutions having the capability to optimise – almost – every facet of the production process.
Today, we will consider all the ways that ERP solutions are being utilised in the discrete manufacturing sector to improve their operational and overall efficiency.
The importance of supply chain management
One of the most crucial features of a discrete manufacturer’s process is their supply chain management. This would include the overseeing of materials, information and financial data as they move through each segment of their supply chain: supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler to retailer and, finally, to the consumer. The main goals of supply chain management are the reduction of surplus inventory and the streamlining of business operations.
To be successful in these objectives, managers and their companies need to reduce: variability in demand, order and lot sizes, number of items and supplier and manufacturer lead times. This takes time and money, but holding inventory or slowed production lines can be even more costly. Generally, manufacturers will need access and transparency from their many suppliers about how orders (supplies) will be managed and organised.
Every step of the manufacturing process needs to tracked, monitored and reported for every item that is produced. This is how managers correct hundreds of small inefficiencies to help improve their supply chain efficiency. From assembly lines to raw materials, each step has the opportunity to be more effective and better managed than before. Changes in material costs, time delays and engineering restraints can affect the entire operation.
With ERP systems – designed for discrete manufacturing – put in place, optimal supply chain management in the industry becomes easier than ever to achieve. That begs the question, what is so different about these industry-specific ERP systems?
How does ERP software specifically help discrete manufacturing?
Discrete manufacturers have been utilising ERP software to help managers oversee, organise, automate and digitise a variety of day-to-day tasks. An integrated ERP solution affords companies the opportunity to centralise and then manage their systems with ease. Industry-specific ERP software, designed for discrete manufactures, can help these businesses improve the efficiency of their supply chain and production processes – virtually overnight.
By integrating order status, supplier inventory, current pricing, order deliveries and payments, production processes and other supply chain features into one system, businesses are able to streamline every step. The monitoring accuracy and actionable insights afforded by ERP software for discrete manufacturers helps to improve their buying and selling, material allocation, assembly, pricing and more by keeping track of each process, every step of the way.
Discrete manufacturers have dozens of procedures and operational expectations that need to be met daily. Serialising materials and final products can help manufacturers keep track of every raw material used and every piece they help to produce. ERP software for discrete manufacturers considers every aspect of production and can even help managers compile compliance reports for certification because they have reportable data for each step in the supply chain.
Workers, machines, assembly floors and materials are all monitored and flaws in the system are identified and corrected to ensure optimisation. The actionable data provided in a single, easy-to-access digital location helps to embolden a business’s strengths and minimise their weaknesses; streamlining the entire supply chain and production line in the process.
The impact of purpose-built ERP solutions
Buying and selling, transporting and ordering, machines and workers, manufacturing and supplying; every one of these aspects and many others are considered when designing ERP solutions that are purpose built for discrete manufacturing companies. Industry-specific ERP software will add unique features and useful functionalities that make sense for that industry and its workers.
ERP developers and suppliers have an in-depth knowledge of the industries they serve and their products become transformative tools for a range of sectors, including discrete manufacturing. Businesses can trust that the support, implementation and advice they receive is coming from sources who know them and their industry.