- 24 October 2018
Major manufacturers have been enjoying the benefits of ERP for years, but manufacturing shops with smaller budgets have sometimes questioned the value of the investment in ERP. Now, as we enter Industry 4.0, small and midsized manufacturers must adopt ERP systems if they want to stay competitive in the marketplace. Without it, they won’t be able to capitalize on the technological revolution that’s swiftly overtaking the industry.
While ERP may seem like the type of technology only “big companies” have the means to implement, these systems are a worthwhile investment for any organization. Not only is ERP more accessible to your business than you probably realize, but it’s fast becoming a necessary technology for all manufacturers, regardless of size. It’s the first step in your digital transformation and the most effective way of keeping up with Industry 4.0 — and your competition.
Here are four ways ERP will give your small or midsized company a competitive advantage through the next big shift in manufacturing.
1. Forecast the Future With Predictive Analytics
With Industry 4.0 set to revolutionize the way technology is used, change is sweeping through the manufacturing industry, and survival will depend on remaining agile and adaptable. While smaller organizations naturally lend themselves to more agile reactions, without a modern ERP system, you could find it increasingly difficult to constantly keep up with your competitors in the near future.
ERP facilitates agility and adaptability thanks to its powerful analytics capabilities. Predictive analytics helps you make informed decisions concerning the next big opportunity or major disruption. With this advanced notice, you can plan sooner, act faster, and position your company strategically in the evolving manufacturing landscape.
2. Eliminate Machine Failure With Predictive Maintenance
Machine failure has a costly impact on your operations because you have less time and fewer resources to spend on repair or replacement. ERP reduces the likelihood of machine failure by allowing you to track performance and spot issues early on. This enables you to schedule maintenance routinely and preemptively, so you can avoid sudden failures that require costly downtime.
ERP also helps control the cost of maintenance by revealing which equipment needs attention and which does not. This can help you make more effective use of your resources as a smaller manufacturer. Industry 4.0 advancements are predicted to significantly reduce the amount of unexpected equipment downtime for manufacturers. Having an ERP solution in place to monitor equipment performance and predict delays or failures before they happen will allow you to advance with the industry.
3. Observe the Entire Supply Chain With Increased Visibility
You are entirely dependent on your global supply chains, yet you may have a frustrating lack of oversight into the complex networks of your organization. ERP improves your supply chain visibility, by giving you access to real-time data across every aspect of production, logistics, inventory management, and other key processes. This transparency of information throughout your supply chain allows you to see if materials will be delayed or prices will go up, so you can take proactive measures to navigate supply chain disruptions.
With ERP, areas of inefficiency are also easier to find and improvements are easier to implement. Being able to consistently refine and improve process ensures that small manufacturers remain relevant and cost-effective in a competitive world.
4. Manage Future Compliance With Integrated Data
Manufacturers are already subject to strict regulations for safety, environmental protection, data security, and more. As the regulatory landscape becomes more complicated and consequential, managing compliance is going to be a major challenge for manufacturers without a large in-house team.
ERP streamlines your compliance efforts by integrating regulated data in one place and providing a top-down perspective on everything from operations to finance. The audit process is simplified, as your ERP system stores and organizes all of the information you need to present to an auditor. If and when regulations are revised, ERP makes it easier to implement company-wide changes, so your team won’t have to scramble to remain compliant.
Keep Your Competitive Edge with ERP in Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is all about data. The manufacturers that are able to capture, store, organize, track, and analyze data will have the most success moving forward. ERP is fundamentally a tool for data management. It helps you organize and understand massive amounts of information in one centralized location. These insights can guide your decision-making, so your small or midsized manufacturing company can act quickly and confidently to stay competitive.
ERP solutions will also be the backbones that allow manufacturers to quickly and smoothly adopt technological advancements. Industry 4.0 is taking off. Manufacturers who want to someday embrace additive manufacturing will need a robust ERP solution in place beforehand. Those who want to take advantage of the powerful capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT) will need a strong ERP system as a foundation.
You have the opportunity to improve your organization across the board and grow into a manufacturing powerhouse of the future, or risk stagnating and steadily losing market share to more adaptable companies. At Cre8tive Technology & Design, we have decades of experience helping small and midsized manufacturers implement the right ERP system to help them drive success. Contact Cre8tive Technology & Design today to find out how you can evolve with an ERP solution.