- 12 September 2018
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As a furniture manufacturer, you need to be one step ahead of new technology, fluctuations in price and demand, and skilled labor availability. In this intensely competitive landscape, it’s more important than ever to streamline your workflows and reduce the time it takes to get your products to market.
A modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can overhaul your processes, so you can increase efficiency and overtake your competitors. Below, we outline just four capabilities ERP can bring to your furniture manufacturing company.
1. Make Decisions Faster
Legacy software systems may be able to handle one or two elements of a furniture manufacturing process, but they lack the top-down visibility that is essential for today’s ever-changing global furniture market. You need to be well informed to take action efficiently, but you may have unwittingly created information silos with outdated software. When your software systems can’t communicate with each other to give you a full picture of your company’s data, you can’t make informed decisions quickly.
Making better and faster decisions requires access to comprehensive data about your whole business. Modern ERP systems transmit a huge amount of data every day, from across your entire business. Whether it’s the prices of your raw materials or customer feedback gathered by your sales teams, ERP gathers and stores all of your data in one centralized location. This integration allows your leadership team to look at key information in real time, to get a full picture of the business and take the right actions to grow the company.
2. Adjust to Changes in Demand
As a furniture manufacturer, you’re probably already familiar with the frustrations of projecting demand. You must contend with variables as wide-ranging as weather patterns, competition within the marketplace, and increasing costs on a weekly basis. You need to be able to minimize risk and maximize the value of your inventory, while keeping consumer tastes and desires in mind — and modern ERP software can help. Today’s robust ERP systems can account for inventory, changes to the supply chain, customer feedback, and more. With all of this data at your fingertips, you can continuously assess and adjust operations to keep your organization ahead of the curve.
ERP systems take much of the legwork (and guesswork) out of analyzing the mass data being produced by your manufacturing processes. Using predictive analytics, ERP systems can notify you when specific materials are low, or when there are expected delays in your supply chain. With this knowledge, you can quickly adjust production schedules to accommodate these change without sacrificing efficiency.
3. Reduce Machinery Downtime
When machines break down, efficiency suffers and costs rise — any furniture manufacturer who has dealt with significant downtime can attest to how aggravating the experience is.
Modern ERP systems integrate with IoT-enabled devices to track the status of your equipment and machinery in real time. This allows you to anticipate errors, delays, or maintenance requirements, providing a powerful defense against downtime.
Imagine the next time your machinery breaks down: your ERP system will not only alert you to the necessary fix, but thanks to IoT, it may have already identified a replacement part you can order from a supplier. Your ERP will also alert you when routine maintenance is needed for any equipment — keeping your facility on a regular maintenance schedule and reducing the risk of an unexpected breakdown in the first place. That’s the beauty of an integrated ERP system that uses predictive analytics.
4. Boost Staff Productivity
If your manufacturing processes take too long to start or complete, it may be a sign that your employees can’t coordinate or find the information they need quickly within your existing system.
An ERP system gives all team members access to crucial data about your manufacturing process. Because all data is stored within one central system, each employee can easily find the information they need, no matter what aspect of production they work on. ERP also eliminates much of the need for manual data entry, removing the risk of human error and leaving your employees more time to focus on the more involved aspects of their jobs.
The centralized data storage allows your business to streamline reports, coordinate staff shifts to fully optimize workflows, and give employees access to all relevant information needed to do their jobs. This is more important than ever as the manufacturing industry faces a skilled labor shortage. Baby Boomers head toward retirement, taking their decades of experience with them. Their skill sets must be replaced by younger generations, who lack years of accumulated hands-on knowledge. ERP systems are programmed with your best practices and production standards, allowing fresh-faced workers a chance to catch up with those who are retired or retiring soon. By leveling the access to these best practices, as well as KPIs, compliance, and other essential data, ERP systems help bridge the gap between yesterday’s workplace leaders and tomorrow’s successful manufacturing teams.
Are you ready to overtake your competition and get your products to market faster than ever? Visit our Furniture Industry page to learn more about how Cre8tive Technology and Design can help your furniture manufacturing business become more efficient with ERP.