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Mapping ERP systems to manufacturing needs

Posted on 31 July 2012 by Wouter Combrinck

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Given the importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, many manufacturers might find selecting the right one for their needs to be an overwhelming experience.

Successful manufacturers are able to tailor their ERP systems to react to market trends and pull the information required to make business-critical decisions timeously. For the most part, they rely on vendors that can become their partners in the ongoing drive for great efficiencies and profitability.

The easiest step is to select software that fulfills the functions needed. A manufacturer should choose something that will fit into its organizational structures and processes.

Once the business requirements of the solution have been decided on, consideration needs to be paid to the people who will be doing the implementation. Far too often manufacturers make a decision based purely on technology grounds and do not consider the cultural fit between themselves and the vendor.

The vendor should have people the manufacturer is comfortable working with for a prolonged period of time, as it is a lengthy process to install, test, roll out, and refine an ERP solution. A manufacturer should also select a vendor that is good at speaking its language and has experience in its sector. It is even better if the people responsible for selling the solution are involved in its implementation as they will make sure that they are able to match the customers’ full expectations every step of the way. These expectations were spoken about in a previous Smarter ERP blog called Delivering specialized solutions for any business need.

One of the challenges is integrating a solution with the multiple systems that are already running in an organization. And this is not only restricted to multinationals. Even smaller manufacturers have several systems in place that need to be catered for. An ERP implementation should be as simple as possible for the company and central to this is ensuring minimal impact on existing systems.

As with any sector, manufacturers evolve and so should their ERP solutions.

 

Topics: Manufacturing, Business software, ERP, Vendor relationship, processes


Wouter Combrinck

Wouter Combrinck, SYSPRO’s Product Development Manager – Supply Chain, has been with the company for three years. He is responsible for the enhancement and maintenance of the SYSPRO ERP product with a focus on functionality in the supply chain division, which includes distribution and manufacturing.

Prior to joining SYRPRO, Wouter accumulated 17 years’ experience in production, quality and IT management, holding senior positions in these disciplines across a diversity of sectors such as construction, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), manufacturing, assembly and packaging, not to mention a short personal venture into the restaurant business. At SYSPRO, his treasure chest of experience hones and enhances the SYSPRO ERP offering to perfection. As a certified quality management systems auditor, Wouter has overseen the implementations of ISO 9000:2000, HACCP and Six Sigma accreditation programs, all of which stand him in good stead in his current role.

With his passion for the manufacturing environment and his love for data management, Wouter drives collaborative interaction of software and flow processes to provide workable solutions for the manufacturing business.

Outside of work Wouter shares an environmentally friendly living space (including garden dams stocked with Koi) with his partner of 14 years and their Weimaraner dogs.

Wouter completed his Industrial Engineering qualification at the University of Pretoria.

 

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