Choosing an ERP Solution in a Manufacturing Business
Choosing and implementing an ERP system for your business is a large undertaking. Choosing wisely will in turn ensure your company achieves efficiencies and operational excellence. Each business has specific needs for their framework – Accucam Machining had to consider a structure that included Multi-Currency, Multi-Company, and Global Supply for OEM Machining & Castings, while considering advanced capabilities such as CRM, Design & Engineering, Project Management and a robust Quality module.
An OEM manufacturing company should ensure they express their unique business requirements when exploring the different solutions and modules available. An ERP system that fits those needs, will take your company to the next level.
Below are some questions to ask, and considerations to make when exploring solutions:
Discuss your intentions – Are you looking for a ‘quote to cash’ solution, or strictly inventory management? Be targeted and specific about what you are looking for in a solution. Ensure the type of system is complimentary to your size of business.
On-Premise vs Cloud Based – Ask about the differences (stability, responsiveness, security, reliability, maintenance) of on premise vs a cloud-based solution to help guide you.
Customer Orders – Explain how your customers typically supply contracts or purchase orders. Do you use EDI? How do you currently keep track of customer pricing? Accucam has several customers that run their orders through EDI, so ensuring we found a solution that could ensure we accurately and efficiently ship our steel & iron components was an integral part of selecting a solution.
Volumes – Can the system handle your demand and number of parts? As an example, Accucam ships over well 7 million parts a year and supplies over 1500 unique finished SKUs to various customers.
Forecasting – What kind of forecasting or budgeting tools are you looking for and how do they perform within the system? Clearly understanding how each of our products are consumed was essential to Accucam.
Shipping requirements – Do your customers have distinct mandates about how shipments are to be recorded or labelled? Accucam had to consider the number of customers with specific packaging requirements for their products, in addition to very precise labelling formats.
Industry Specifics – Ensure you cover off industry specific items such as drawing control and revision control. Does the system provide this type of solution, or would it be an add-on application? How are quality inspections and documentation managed? How is machine maintenance handled for your shop equipment?
Supplier – Is there something unique about how you manage suppliers? How does your supply chain model (and nature of the business) fall in line with the offered solution?
Add-Ons - Be cognizant of the 3rd party solution add-ons available and determine their value for your company. If you would strictly like to see out-of-the-box solutions, ensure you express that, but also keep an open mind of what additional solutions can offer.
There is no doubt that an ERP system is a financial investment and a labour consuming activity to implement. Ensure you take the time to research and really understand what each of the ERP modules offer your company. Request references and demonstrations with companies in your industry to gain a clear understanding of the solutions available. Take the time to think about what kinds of challenges your company currently faces and ask how those challenges could be managed and improved within an ERP system. When planned and implemented well, your return on investment will become a competitive advantage.
Accucam successfully implemented a new ERP system at the beginning of 2020. Our team of Subject Matter Experts worked diligently throughout 2019 to prepare for the launch and have been working with the new system since. Now that Accucam is sufficiently familiarized with the system, we are turning our energies to making enhancements in an effort for continuous improvement and providing our customers with an exceptional level of service.
Your product success is our goal!