For manufacturing organizations, an ERP system is supposed to improve efficiencies along the process lines and supply chain. Managers need to have clear visibility on all processes along the production line to ensure there are enough supplies for the parts or products required by customers. Accurate visibility of different activities can also help to identify resource wasteful processes that can be scaled down or eliminated to reduce production costs and optimize revenues.
An effective ERP solution can help an organization automate majority of processes involved in placing and fulfilling orders. Here are some ways in which an ERP software can help to automate business processes in the manufacturing sector:
1. Automating Orders
Manufacturing ERP software can automate the receiving and processing of customer orders. Manufacturing companies can say goodbye to the old ways of processing orders such as writing Purchase Orders or using a clerk to manually enter an order. When an ERP solution is implemented, the company can collect orders online, perhaps through a web portal, and the data can automatically be made available on the manufacturing ERP software.
2. Automating Production
One of the challenges that most manufacturing organizations face is weak data collection processes. For example, it is time consuming for employees to record the time that operations commence and the number of orders completed within a particular timeframe.
To have an accurate view on production processes, companies need modern tools that can gather data through being directly connected to the processes. Various production tools can be connected to the Internet for programming and controls to record and submit data in form of time or units into the ERP.
The tools record data in real time and hence provide accurate information on different production processes.
3. Automating Scheduling
The data recorded into the ERP system can help managers make timely and informed decisions on the next jobs to be undertaken in the supply chain. The jobs selected to be undertaken next should result in optimal use of resources. The data can help managers know how long a job will take, the next optimal job to be started, whether delivery times will be in line with customer requirements, and so on.
By automating scheduling of optimal jobs to be started next, companies can save time and avoid errors that usually occur when relying on dispatch reports printed hours ago, or having to send an employee to check the status of the current job and decide on the next job to be started.
4. Automating Quality Control
Quality control is a primary requirement for products manufactured in nearly all industries. Large plants producing hundreds or thousands of parts every day can automate their quality control processes and still be sure of delivering high quality products to customers.
Manufacturing plant sensors can be installed to automatically detect faults in production and rely the information to the ERP. When a fault is detected, the quality control managers can be alerted of the exact product and where it is in the supply chain for a closer look. All this is done without disrupting the process flow of the parts in the supply chain that have passed the quality control tests.
Parts that pass automatic quality inspection can be assumed to have been properly received against the purchase order.
5. Automating Distribution
After production, manufacturing companies have to grapple with a complex distribution system that may include different parties such as suppliers, other manufacturers, retail and individual customers. Distribution can be automated to reduce the time it takes for a part or product to reach the end consumer.
For instance, a manufacturing ERP software can be configured to automatically select the best carrier for the finished products and record the tracking numbers. When customers receive their orders, the company can debit their bank right away to complete the ERP automation cycle.
A manufacturing ERP software can automate majority of monotonous or time-consuming tasks that are usually done manually at the plant. Before choosing an ERP system, it’s important to outline the direct and indirect benefits the company will be looking to achieve. If automation is one of the benefits sought, then the exact processes that need to be automated should be identified beforehand.