We recently updated our customers section with some new case studies to showcase our portfolio of ERP deployments and consultancy. While the team was putting this material together, we realised how many of our recent projects have involved the use of business process mapping software and optimisation exercises – as well as ERP implementation.
The reason for this is that when progressive manufacturing businesses start to expand overseas or move into new markets (objectives shared by many CBO customers), staying in control of processes is one of the most difficult challenges they face.
The main issue is that business expansion is a completely different game to starting up from scratch. The latter scenario can provide some room for trial and error as processes are created and established for the first time. With expansion, the aim is typically to precisely emulate the processes that are already working elsewhere – and there is no margin for error.
Another factor to keep in mind is that the act of expanding into a new region or location will often expose sub-optimal processes by placing them under greater strain. This is where business process mapping and optimisation comes in.
The cost of losing control
Manufacturers must take into account the following conditions of today’s marketplace:
- Customers demand more from suppliers and their products
- Product and service quality is now expected as standard
- Delivery should be as quick as a thought, with no lead time
It’s easy to see how this could place severe strain on any organisation, and particularly on smaller businesses that have to master controlling their processes efficiently.
Of course, the process control challenges faced by manufacturers do not solely stem from adding new locations to the organisation. A bid to access new markets can create the need to add new expertise and new processes across the business. It’s not just a case of adding people to the organisation. Manufacturers need to be sure they have business software in place that can cope with this change.
Otherwise, questions like these are likely to keep them awake at night:
- How will we control the process?
- Will we be able to control the stock?
- How can we keep control of costs?
- Will we be able to report on the data accurately?
- How can we control production accordingly?
ERP systems that grow with your business
In our experience, the answer to a question like “Will we be able to control the stock?” is usually “Yes, but…” What comes after the ‘yes’ is a massive incremental increase of structure cost to allow the company to “properly” control the process.
This is why ERP systems play a hugely important role in terms of process control in manufacturing organisations. Software that enables you to control processes, as well as adapting and growing with your business, is almost as important as the process itself. Implementing an ERP system that is correctly aligned with your business processes will enable you to:
- Manage the business from one central system
- Set up workflows to push the business forward and define business-critical processes
- Ensure every employee works to the correct process
- Make sure no vital information is missing
- Improve business efficiency
- Strengthen stock control
- Improve manufacturing (better output capability, increased automation reduces human error, increased throughput of assets)
- Enable product traceability