It’s no secret that due to the compliance regulations and audit demands, government contracting manufacturers are struggling to keep pace with complex contract requirements. In fact, in a recent survey those manufacturers ranked ‘meeting government regulations’ and ‘calculating true costs’ as two of the biggest problems they face.
Additionally, successfully fulfilling a government contract hinges on working with the right vendors, suppliers and subcontractors as well as manufacturing partners. That means government contractors need to make informed, intelligent vendor decisions based on real-time performance metrics and data. Purpose-built Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, whether cloud-based or on-premise offer an effective response to both issues — providing GovCon manufacturers and vendors with a centralized way to collect and monitor their data, enabling better transparency and compliance.
Increasing Security Threats, Constantly Changing Regs
As compliance requirements continue to change, there has been an increased need for ERP solutions that maintain traceability, track quality, business process performance and management needs. By leveraging data, these solutions can help mitigate potential compliance issues and identify opportunities to adjust processes accordingly.
Additionally, ERPs record and allocate all costs associated with a project, meaning real-time financial data is housed in a single secure system. This digitized and automated solution leads to both true cost accuracy and an efficient operation process.
With the many intricacies and requirements required by government projects, an ERP solution gives contractors visibility throughout the entire project lifecycle. A seamless flow of information across contracts, procurement, inventory, manufacturing, accounting, financials, sales and reporting is critical for providing accurate information and pricing.
Government audits can be time consuming, expensive and disruptive to an organization, so it is imperative to track, analyze and report on all key data in one system.
Companies often use several software programs, or even home-grown systems to handle various processes and operations. Disparate systems are not only less secure but are also less efficient, requiring duplication of data entry into multiple places, which in turn leads to costly data errors. Additionally, when various business units use disparate, disconnected systems, communication breakdowns and process silos quickly arise between departments. Filtering through the relevant data across various systems to obtain a full picture of a project status or pricing then becomes a significant challenge.
Putting Transparency and Efficiency into Manufacturers' Hands
No matter for which manufacturing industry, whether it be for aerospace and defense, construction, transportation energy, etc, it is especially important for manufacturers working on government contracts to deploy an ERP specifically designed for the GovCon manufacturing industry. Government compliance standards and regulations mandate their contractors meet stringent requirements for not only their accounting practices, but also for manufacturing and procurement. These standards and regulations set forth by the government ensure specific manufacturing standards are met and government dollars are well-spent.
A project-based ERP designed for government contracts can help organizations maintain compliance, provide accurate project reporting and capture required data, especially in the event of an audit. A purpose-built ERP simplifies the audit process by automating project and financial accounting, capturing manufacturing and procurement data, centralizing budgeting and planning, providing accurate analytics, and streamlining processes, all with the goal of driving profits and improved compliance.
To set manufacturers up for long-term success, adopting technology that already anticipates regulatory requirements will be key for them to continuously provide transformative results.
Roopa Kansagra is a manufacturing product director at Deltek.