The manufacturing industry is characterized by components such as ever-changing business practices, growing competitive pressure and an increasingly globalized marketplace. Manufacturing companies need to keep up with all these changes to remain competitive. In 2014, companies will have to make changes at every level of their operations including their IT infrastructure, the organizational structure, range of products or services offered and business processes.
ERP manufacturing software is the backbone of the information system and has to change in line with a company’s new challenges and structural changes. Apart from simply improving efficiency in the work process, the ERP system should fuel the growth and development of the company by enabling superior innovation and performance.
In 2014, some of the challenges manufacturing organizations will face include:
- Continued innovation: Companies will need to innovate their tools and practices to better serve their markets and deliver high value-added services.
- Increasingly globalized marketplaces: As markets and manufacturing processes such as supply chains and trade productions become more globalized, companies will need to find opportunities in new marketplaces away from home.
- Flexibility in skills and resources: Companies need to factor and manage their human skills and resources, including temporary staff.
- Automated manufacturing and lead production: These two factors are essential in every stage of production, picking, planning and analysis as they directly determine the company’s profitability.
Risks and Constraints in the 2014 Economic Climate
The trends of the already mentioned challenges will impact on companies’ management constraints. Change will also be necessary as customers increasingly demand more customized offerings and alter their consumption practices in change with the economic crisis.
This being the case, manufacturing companies need to step in to tailor their products and processes to their markets to remain competitive. Apart from this, there is the need to maintain a solid bottom line and improve efficiency, flexibility and speed of response.
ERP Systems for Superior Productivity and Added Value
To withstand the pressure in the ever-changing environment, manufacturers have no choice but to raise their productivity bar. This has to be done while constantly breaking ground to keep ahead of the competition. Most ERP manufacturing software not only help companies meet their operational needs, but also streamline IT infrastructure and deliver support while pursuing new strategies.
Legacy systems are often being pieced together over time and consist of a variation of patchwork of solutions built with different levels of technology. In most cases, the systems come out as hybrid solutions built to address the needs of the moment. Sometimes, these add-ons are proprietary development or may include specialized applications.
On the same note, streamlining administrative logistics and production processes may require specialized solutions such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Computerized Maintenance System (CMS), Manufacturing Executive System (MES), Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) and Customer Relationships Management (CRM).
All this patchwork leads to myriad of problems including data traceability, system sustainability, obsolesce and unreliability. These problems may make more companies abandon their legacy systems in favor of integrated ERP software solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics AX. Today, manufacturing ERP solutions come with a whole range of add-ons provided by specialized vendors that legacy systems do not have.
By implementing end-to end ERP solutions incorporating integrated leading-edge functionality, companies can streamline and control all aspects of the production process to produce superior products and improving customer satisfaction while keeping their costs low. The benefits of an ERP system include:
- Helps to ramp up product development and accelerate the time to market.
- Increasing production while keeping costs down.
- Guarantees quality through improved control, compliance with inventory management rules and traceability.
- Helps in satisfying legislative requirements through workflow mechanisms, document management systems and audit trails.
- Improves supply chain management and forecasting.
- Raises the bar on customer services by automating delivering, improving order processing and interacting with on-site and roaming customers.
In 2014, ERPs manufacturing software systems will offer more functionality than earlier generation solutions.
Manufacturing organizations require standard, consistent and integrated solutions that feature a wide array of modern technologies for improved management practices and process performances. Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics AX will take center stage in 2014 as manufacturers take steps to remain competitive in the ever-changing business environment.