Discrete Manufacturers are never too small for an Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) Solution
Discrete Manufacturing involves the production of finished products such as smartphones, toys or cars and unlike process manufacturing, it doesn’t involve the management of formulas and recipes. Since discrete manufacturers don’t have to manage formulas and recipes, some small manufacturers rationalize that they don’t need to invest in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution until they become large scale, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Manufacturers are never too small for an ERP solution. Regardless of what size or type of manufacturing a business does, there are always major benefits of using an ERP solution.
Why do small Discrete Manufacturers still need an ERP?
Two of the most significant reasons are: supply chain management and integration of systems. Discrete manufacturers typically source their materials from multiple vendors. The size of a manufacturer doesn’t determine the complexity of the products being manufactured, and depending on the complexity they can be sourcing hundreds or even thousands of materials from different vendors located across the globe.
While this process can theoretically be managed manually and with disjointed systems, all discrete manufacturers can benefit from having the supply chain management and system integration that is offered with an ERP system. 83% of manufacturers have an ERP solution in place, and studies have found that ERP is the foundation for success in manufacturing organization.* Having a system that is automated, integrated and well maintained from early on will fuel company growth and enable the organization to run more efficiently.
We can’t afford an expensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution – what do we do?
Out of all the solutions in the Business Management Software (BMS) family, ERPs have a reputation for coming with some of the highest price tags. ERP solutions for the discrete manufacturing industry specifically have traditionally been very expensive due to the complexity of the solution requirements and the cost of maintaining the solution.
However, as technology expands, cloud-based ERPs like Acumatica have created more solution options giving small and medium sized manufacturers the opportunity to implement an ERP without the large upfront investments in either IT infrastructure or support staff. With a cloud ERP, discrete manufacturers, no matter how big or small, can simplify their processes and reduce costs right away.
Can cloud ERP provide the robust features a manufacturer needs?
Acumatica’s Discrete Manufacturing Edition, formerly known as JAMS, is cloud-based ERP software specifically designed to meet to the unique needs of the discrete manufacturing industry. It’s a complete manufacturing solution meaning that it offers: reporting and dashboards, inventory management, bill of material and routing, sales order management, purchase order management, production management, material requirements planning (MRP) and requisition management. Each of these features ensure that you are:
- optimizing the product lifecycle
- maximizing control of your inventory to minimize cost
- streamlining businesses processes
Acumatica also integrates with Customer Resource Management (CRM) software which means that the solution supports all major business areas in an organization, automating your business processes, and integrating your shop floor with sales, accounting, ordering and inventory. This integration improves communication, not just the flow of information between your internal departments, but with all of the outside parties involved in the manufacturing cycle. This allows you to deliver products to customers faster and more efficiently.
Acumatica also gives your employees access to your ERP anytime, anywhere from a mobile device (with an internet connection). This allows your team to make informed decisions with real-time data without being tied down to a specific workstation where the ERP software is installed. People are used to having access to the information they want at their fingertips, whenever they need it, and the mobile accessibility for Acumatica encourages more collaboration both with staff and with the supply chain; ultimately improving end-to-end supply chain processes and systems.
For many small and medium discrete manufacturers, Acumatica is an accessible ERP that provides all of the industry specific features & resources they need to grow and optimize their business. However, the suitability of Acumatica doesn’t stop there – it’s also a robust ERP solution for enterprise manufacturers. Ultimately, which ERP discrete manufacturers choose depends on their preference for cloud versus on-premise ERPs, and the amount of capital they are willing and able to invest in the ERP upfront.
The questions isn’t if or when a discrete manufacturer should invest in an ERP, its which ERP is best suited to the needs of the manufacturer.
* ERP’s Role in the Modern Manufacturers: Supporting the Needs of Industry 4.0, by Nick Castellina (Aberdeen Group)