With 2014 underway, we’ve been speaking with many mid-market manufacturers who expect good things in the year ahead. This expectation for growth impacts ERP strategy.
Recent reports forecast a steady increase in 2014 manufacturing activity. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) annual survey shows that the manufacturing sector is optimistic about growth in 2014, with revenues expected to increase in key manufacturing industries.
Some of the manufacturing sectors expecting revenue improvement in 2014 include food and beverage; electrical equipment; transportation equipment; fabricated metal products and other key sectors as noted in the study.
Increased activity in mergers and acquisitions are also expected to impact the manufacturing sector in 2014. A recent
When considering 2014 growth projections, the ISM report indicates that information systems improvement will be a key strategy in the year ahead. This means that more manufacturers will take a close look at their current ERP and supply chain processes to see where improvements and streamlined operations are possible.
ERP Strategies for Success
So what does all of this mean when it comes to ERP strategy?
Many companies we talk to have held off on investments in ERP for various reasons, but now face the challenges of using their outdated ERP system to keep pace with upticks in business activity.
When our team works with a manufacturer, we stress the benefits of selecting and implementing an ERP system to not only handle growth, but to improve overall business processes, which in turn leads to improved productivity, improvement in information timeliness and accuracy, and improvement in customer satisfaction and business performance.
That’s why we encourage the entire ERP selection team to see their project as more than implementing an ERP system. Instead, the project becomes an opportunity to implement business process improvements.
An Effective ERP Strategy
One effective ERP strategy is to gain knowledge of modern ERP systems.
As a place to begin, we suggest taking the time to assess what’s new from today’s top ERP vendors.
Modern ERP systems offer sophisticated configuration tools, robust reporting and business intelligence, workflow engines, development tools and other advanced features – some targeted to specific industries. Many vendors are also introducing more intuitive user interfaces for an improved look and feel. If these capabilities are not understood, ERP selection will fall well short of its potential.
Your Next Step
You can simplify the ERP selection process through a series of convenient webinars showcasing leading ERP vendors.
Ultra Consultants is pioneering this method, which streamlines the ERP selection process. Manufacturers prefer this method because unlike on-site events that demand travel and time away from the business, it is more cost effective to compare top vendors via convenient webcasts.
The next ERP Demo Series is set for the week of January 20, 2014, geared to discrete manufacturers. You’ll see top systems from Epicor, Infor, SAP, QAD and many others. Register at no cost for the convenient ERP Vendor Webinar series. Attendees have access to a complete library the top vendor demonstrations.
Consider this as the first task in your ERP strategy as you prepare for growth in the year ahead.