A company that builds discrete products faces key business challenges when it comes to selecting ERP for discrete manufacturing.
As an example, metal fabricators and metal formers must monitor the entire business operation – to better meet customer requirements for high-quality products delivered at exact specifications.
Complexity is an issue. A metal former’s finished products might include fasteners, stamped or forged components, and other parts manufactured and shipped based on fluctuating demand forecasts issued by customers. These companies must rely on their ERP system to synchronize customer orders with production schedules to effectively meet market demand and reduce inventory levels.
A streamlined operation depends upon accuracy and timing of the demand forecasts. The discrete manufacturer must optimize their processes to prevent excess inventory and opportunity loss due to stock-out.
Manufacturing visibility is also a challenge. For companies in the industrial machinery sector, for example, it’s a business imperative to gain greater visibility into shop floor, assembly, inventory, shipping and other areas. Visibility is important not just in a manufacturer’s own shop floor, but also deep within the operations of the extended supply chain.
Why ERP for Discrete Manufacturers?
Some ERP vendors develop systems that are better suited to discrete manufacturing. Discrete manufacturers turn to ERP to automate and improve key processes such as demand planning, inventory management and procurement, so systems must offer strength in these areas.
ERP software for discrete manufacturers should streamline and integrate business processes and systems. The system should provide real-time demand data to set safety stock, optimal production, and ordering points based on lead times of material procurement, production, and delivery as well as demand forecasts..
What Should You Consider When Selecting Discrete Manufacturing ERP
When our team of independent ERP consultants works with discrete, or make-to-stock manufacturers, we typically focus on the following key features and functions during ERP selection:
- Forecast – Customer
- Forecast – Sales and Marketing
- Generate Forecast – Demand Planning
- Process Inventory Planning
- Process Production Planning
- Purchase Raw Materials – Buyer
- Schedule Work Order – Scheduler
- Production – Shop Floor Operator
- Inventory Put Away – Warehouse
- Order Entry – Customer Service
- Pick, Ship, Invoice – Warehouse
We work with discrete manufacturers to make sure the system delivers business process improvement in the areas of automated demand planning, product production forecasts, inventory, production, and raw material requirements. Throughout the process, each step should be done with workflow in a paperless environment.
Additional Resources for Discrete Manufacturers
To help discrete manufacturers make sense of ERP systems that address these forecast and demand functions, take advantage of Ultra’s upcoming ERP Vendor Webinar series the week of January 20, 2014.
You’ll see informative demos from top ERP vendors to see what’s possible with modern ERP as it relates to discrete manufacturers. The can’t-miss presentations feature SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Infor, Epicor and other top vendors.
The no-cost, no-travel demo series is perfect for an active ERP project. Register to attend the demo series and gain access to archived on-demand recordings to share the demos with the entire ERP selection team.