Increasing Business Growth Using Flexible, End-to-End ERP

Manufacturing companies are finding ways to strengthen relationships and improve process efficiencies across all business segments using data-driven insights through a properly implemented ERP system. Download now to learn how you can increase business growth by using flexible, end-to-end ERP.

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IncreasIng BusIness growth usIng FlexIBle, end-to-end erP Brought to you By: Page 2 | ePicor irePort changes to the ManuFacturIng landscaPe a few key events over the past few years have caused notable disruptions in the manufacturing environment. First, the industrial internet of things (iiot,) or industry 4.0 as it is also called, has brought about the next evolution in industrial manufacturing. Leapfrogging from the use of computers on the shop floor in the 1980s to a fully connected, automated infrastructure, iiot impacts manufacturing beyond the four walls of the plant. the reality is that real-time data and insights are exchanged not only between machines, but across larger networked systems throughout the entire business environment. Nowhere is this information sharing more evident than in the next business disruptor, the “amazon effect.” this singular organization has redefined what any customer, business or consumer, anticipates in the way of visibility from the moment they place their order (and sometimes, even before the order is placed!) through to final delivery. With expedited shipping, easy reorder options and intuitive comparative shopping, amazon has changed how people interact with a company, and its partners, during any given transaction. and this holistic buying model has rolled over into the expectations of the manufacturing customer. Lastly, incoming talent has higher expectations for their work environment, looking for companies that have embraced technology by integrating it into the business processes. No longer will manual data entry or excel spreadsheet calculations be sufficient. Employees look for a stable, forward-looking infrastructure that is intuitive and easy to use, and that will facilitate growth and efficiencies. Just as amazon has raised the bar on customer expectations, the proliferation of technology in everyday life has increased an employee’s demand for intuitiveness within their work environment. Manufacturing businesses need to look for ways that balance how the existing business runs with what it needs to look like in the future. IncreasIng BusIness growth usIng FlexIBle, end-to-end erP connections. You make them every day with your customers, your employees, your vendors. it’s been this way since the dawn of business, so why does it feel like the relationships are changing? Business models across every industry are being challenged. customers expect transparency in every aspect of their order, from procurement to delivery and beyond with after- market services. employees expect accountability in the form of advancement opportunities and stable company growth. Vendors expect collaboration across the supply chain that will improve margins and increase the ease of their business processes. But these ‘demands’ are really opportunities. Manufacturing companies are finding ways to strengthen relationships and improve process efficiencies across all business segments using data-driven insights through a properly implemented erP system. By the end of 2020, 50 percent of Manufacturers Will Derive Business Value from the Integration of Supply Chain, Plant Operations and Product and Service Lifecycle Management. — From IDC Manufacturing Insights, 2017 Predictions Page 3 | ePicor irePort how dIsruPted Is your BusIness? it seems no parts of a business are immune from the effects of these industry disruptors. in addition, supply chain complexity has increased and no longer is your competition limited to the guys down the street. everything is moving on a global scale, but just as manufacturing survived the last three industrial revolutions, there are means and methods to capitalize on these latest shifts as well. Managing business process change within an organization can seem daunting. But evolving into a data- driven manufacturing facility doesn’t need to be worrisome. of course, there are always challenges, and decisions to be made, but with the right erP infrastructure, these shifts are seamless and can happen in phases, when it is right for the business. rethInk your status Quo What areas of your business currently run smooth? What aspects cost you the most? are there ways to make your processes more efficient, or utilize your talent and resources better? typically, companies looking to implement or upgrade an erP system come to the table with a pain point that needs to be addressed. it could be something as simple as moving from paper to an automated system or something more complex, like undertaking a legacy software upgrade. either way, knowledge capture is essential to wind up with an end-to-end system that encompasses what your business needs, from design to delivery. Digitized processes enable rapid information sharing, keeping all operations aligned and able to work better together. When you look at the hard facts of time and costs savings using modern erP systems, the need to be relevant clearly outweighs “we’ve always done it this way.” (Sidebar 1: Kroll International) A 2017 report from McKinsey and Co. notes that advanced analytics can improve margins from 4-10 percent, while machine downtime can be reduced by 30-50 percent and machine life can increase by 20-40 percent, if data is used for predictive maintenance. ManagIng change FroM the InsIde out even though your process may not be broken, it may not be providing you with the information needed to make strategic business decisions for both day-to-day operations as well as for long-term growth goals. resistance from employees is to be expected, but by showing how a more connected system will improve efficiency, eliminate redundancy and provide them with a better work environment, these fears can easily be overcome. there’s no reason that automated processes need to mean a change in business culture, except in terms of creating a more collaborative environment, where business segments work closer together, providing deeper insights that will equate to better operations overall. Flexibility in implementing an erP system means more willingness to adapt to a new norm, versus being forced to accept one. reinventing your organization doesn’t mean abandoning who you are. Page 4 | ePicor irePort a strategy FIt For growth a common misconception of erP systems is that they completely uproot an organization’s infrastructure, causing production delays, operational nightmares and more headaches than they are worth, but nothing is farther from the truth. Scalable systems help to manage the process effectively, allowing a business to select and implement only the needed components as it makes sense for the business. in fact, some systems even offer modules that help optimize specific manufacturing operations. (Sidebar 2: Card- Munroe) Your ERP system should fit your specific business needs, not force you into changing your processes to integrate with the confines of the software. Look for a system that offers scalability, such as modules that solve specific business problems, so you aren’t overpaying for functionality or utilizing solutions that don’t make sense for your operation. IdentIFy BusIness needs Different areas of manufacturing operations require distinct insights. The shop floor uses data differently than your warehouse or distribution center. Which insights will help you learn how to improve operations in specific segments of your operations? What areas can be easily modernize to increase efficiencies and quickly put you on the path to ERP success? as customers continue to demand transparency across the supply chain, will your manufacturing capabilities and distribution strategy answer the questions that are being asked, or are there gaps in the process that need to be addressed? You make decisions that help your business run on a daily basis. a properly implemented erP system will help facilitate operations and enable predictive business decisions based on interconnected networks of real-time data. The future-proof manufacturer will be able to provide highly-personal, flexible products where and when the buyer needs them, versus large quantities of homogenous products. — Factory of Future paper, page 12 dIgItal transForMatIon Made easy intelligence is being designed into every aspect of business, and erP systems are designed to help manage the growing amount of data available across your supply chain through to your business operations. Before you begin evaluating erP solutions for your manufacturing environment, ask yourself these questions to help simplify the process of selecting the right system: • What does the business look like today? • What do we want to become, and by when? • How can we achieve this? • Where can an erP system help? • Where do we excel? Fall short? • What current trends do we need to address? • What is the most important area of the business to strengthen? • What gaps do we have in resources? in available data insights? take stock of all available resources and consider current best practices of available ERP systems: • Cloud computing for flexible access to real-time data • Scalability for multiple deployment options • Useful tools that manage data and provide clear insights • Customizable elements tailored to your specific business • Long-term lifecycle that evolves with your organization • ongoing technical support that keeps your solutions easy to use Page 5 | ePicor irePort growth Beyond the shoP Floor Keeping pace with your customers is a significant business driver. increasingly, industrial manufacturers are being asked for more flexibility in the order process, with requests for make to order (Mto), engineer to order (eto) and configure to order (CTO) becoming far more the norm than the exception. With better inventory management and integrated system functionality, a digitized business environment will enable quick responses, reduced lead times and more efficient manufacturing. in fact, it’s common for users that have migrated from legacy or homegrown systems to an integrated erP systems to identify new efficiencies and improved business process that were previously unrecognized. Employees are able to work more efficiently, and modern erP tools use intuitive interfaces that match the user experience employees have grown accustomed to, especially for those newer to manufacturing. By providing elements like automated data processing, touchscreen interfaces and portable electronic devices, businesses are elevating the work experience and setting a solid foundation for the workforce of the future. and a more holistic view of your business means you can engage partners and distributors better, for increased success from start to finish. Not only are you making your company easier to operate, you’re making it easier to do business with your company. What’s Next? erP serves as the foundation of your manufacturing infrastructure, so implementing a system on your terms should mean better costs control and using technology at a pace that makes sense for your operations. Select a system that will help align your operations, then evolve with your business, identifying ways to optimize resources and track inventory, automate processes to eliminate errors and put you in a position to plan for supply chain disruptions. once the infrastructure is in place, the next level of insights erP provides is identifying new growth areas and how to compete better in a global environment. the total impact of selecting a system that fits your business needs, versus one that expects your processes to fit its model, will ease the transition to a digital environment and position your company for growth. Quantifiable metrics, wireless capabilities and an advanced level of data processing using erP has transformed the operations of a 35-year old wholesale supplier of law enforcement, tactical and safety gear. With the visibility to know where products are and where any order stands as well as the ability to locate a customer order at a moment’s notice, the company’s operations are both agile and responsive. By using available data, smarter decisions are being made for space utilization in the warehouse and for order fulfillment that now enable same day shipping of orders placed before noon. Not only can ERP systems be implemented for specific business functions, but some systems offer industry- optimized modules designed to meet the nuances of specific manufacturing environments. one implementation at a manufacturer of custom- built tufting equipment relied on epicor’s strong manufacturing and inventory capabilities, as well as integrated accounting and built-in system tools, to enhanced shop flow and collaboration among employees. About this report About epicor the information in this i-report was researched and produced by Manufacturing.Net in conjunction with epicor. Statistical data was researched and compiled by advantage Business Media in April 2018. epicor Software corporation (epicor. com) provides industry-specific business software designed around the needs of manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations. epicor’s more than 40 years of experience with its customers’ unique business processes and operational requirements is built into every solution — in the cloud, hosted or on premises.