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How Manufacturers Can Increase Production Efficiencies with Epicor ERP

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), the back-end systems that help businesses manage their day-to-day business processes and operations, are at the center of every well-run organization. ERP systems help companies to streamline processes to improve efficiencies and meet goals such as growth or improving the customer experience. Purchased on a modular basis to meet specific business requirements, core modules cover the basics (GL, AR, AP) with specialized modules (CRM, HR, manufacturing, warehouse management, MES) further addressing the unique needs of the organization. When it comes to production, ERP can track every detail of the production process from procurement to operational efficiencies to final costs by product. This blog looks at how manufacturers can increase production efficiencies with Epicor ERP.

Connecting ERP and Other ERP Systems for Gains in Efficiencies

ERP is the foundation from which organizations build their business processes. Connecting ERP with other enterprise systems is where manufacturers realize their biggest gain in efficiencies including production efficiencies. By connecting all of your enterprise systems with your ERP, you can use your ERP to link together everything that flows in and out of your company. For example, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) by itself is a system that serves as a repository of customer-related tasks and conversations. Connect your CRM with your ERP and you gain a complete view of the customer. Connect your ERP with your CRM and your MES and now management can immediately see the impact that unanticipated downtime or a price change for an inventory item is going to have on your bottom line, by product. ERP can track your actual costs and profitability, real-time.

Collaboration for Gains in Production Efficiencies

Modern ERP is a very collaborative system. If we think about the traditional process of bringing a product from conception to production it started with pulling together a team from various departments such as engineering, purchasing, and contracts. The engineers’ goal was to design a quality product. Purchasing was tasked to get the best inventory prices possible without compromising quality. Contracts negotiated larger ticket items. Teams worked closely together, but it was a multi-step process as each team member essentially took a turn to work on their individual tasks as related to their role in the process. Bottlenecks were common as requests and approvals sat amongst a pile of papers on someone’s desk waiting to be addressed.

Today connected ERP systems provide an opportunity for a more collaborative environment. ERP can provide team access to projects where engineers, purchasing and manufacturing teams are connected and able to work closely together in real-time. Some ERP systems, like Epicor ERP offer social features within the ERP system where team members can communicate directly with each other from their desktops using a social interface. All project related interactions are accessible by team members within the connected ERP environment. Team members have real-time access to project status 24/7 and are alerted to delays such as when a vendor delays a shipment.

Streamlined Processes and ERP Web Access for Gains in Efficiencies

Not only do connected systems and collaboration improve production efficiencies, but later during the sales cycle, your sales team will also be more efficient. By connecting your enterprise systems and having a system that’s web-enabled, your sales team will be able to provide immediate and accurate quotes to customers. With Epicor ERP, your salesperson can dial into your ERP system, and enter a quote. The quoting system will which includes pricing, quantity discounts, and accurate delivery dates depending on current inventory and jobs. All of this is possible because today’s ERP can connect enterprise systems thus providing a complete, accurate, real-time status of all the pieces that are related to the customer’s order.

Managing Unexpected Downtime for Gains in Production Efficiencies

Unexpected downtime is the single most significant source of lost production for many manufacturers. Unplanned downtime can occur for many reasons such as when a machine needs maintenance, or an inventory part does not arrive, or a product quality issue suddenly requires a replacement part. Downtime has a direct bottom-line impact on as production efficiencies can be greatly impacted. According to Aberdeen Research, a leading analyst firm, 82 percent of organizations have experienced some form of downtime in the last three years, and costs for larger companies can be as high as $260,000 an hour.

Not all downtime is controllable, but ERP can help lessen the impact. For example, machine maintenance can be scheduled to minimize unplanned downtime, or if a vendor can’t supply an inventory item on time, inventory levels and outstanding projects can be analyzed, and a decision can be made to temporarily pull inventory from another project without impact.

A recent study sponsored by ServiceMax found that unplanned downtime is driving digital transformation. Unplanned downtime not only impacts bottom lines through production inefficiencies resulting in losses, but it also results in loss of customer trust and productivity. 46 percent of companies could not deliver to customers, 37 percent lost production time on a critical asset, and 29 percent were unable to service or support specific equipment or assets. Not good.

If you are interested in learning more about digital transformation and how Epicor ERP can help your organization gain production efficiencies, contact MIS. MIS, as the longest standing Epicor partner, has over 30 years of experience helping manufacturers conquer their biggest business goals with technology. Everything is possible. Just ask us how. And don’t forget to ask us to tell you more about our committment to offering our clients Exceptional ERP™ !

Related MIS Blogs:

Epicor ERP 10: Collaborative Business Processes for Better Results

Selecting the Best ERP System for your Business: 9 Considerations for ERP Selection

Epicor ERP: 20 Things You Can Expect from an Upgrade

Sources:

Video: One-on-One: Terri Hiskey from Epicor on ERP

The Real Cost of Downtime in Manufacturing

Karen Beaulieu

Karen Beaulieu has worked in the ERP software industry for over 15 years. Having worked in a variety of roles from product development, channel and direct sales to marketing, Karen has a unique understanding and perspective of the ERP software industry. Currently Karen works in a marketing capacity for MIS Consulting & Sales and MIS Solutions Canada, ULC.

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