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.