Regardless of the industry type and the business size, major objectives of almost all the manufacturing businesses remain same. Streamlined business processes, improved productivity & efficiency, enhanced visibility across the different business functions, reduced risks as well as costs, and improved compliance, is what most of the businesses aspire for. And while the phrasing may vary, it all comes down to increased profitability, as the single most important objective of any organization is to make more money. In fact, all other objectives collectively lead to its attainment. So, the question most businesses need an answer to is what is the best way to make more money? The answer is, by growing the customer base and conquering the competition.
The next question that arises is how the organizations can improve their competitiveness? Simple, by having an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. As the market dynamics and technology continue to evolve, an ERP software provides a crucial help to the manufacturing businesses in their quest of reducing costs, managing growth, increasing profits, and eventually gaining a competitive advantage over other players in the market. And it does so through its invaluable features and benefits to the manufacturers.
Let’s take a look at all such critical points of impact of an ERP software, and also at how they lend your business that all important competitive advantage.
Flexibility & Scalability: An ERP software brings a lot of flexibility and scalability to your business. Flexibility in the sense that it handles different languages, currencies and accounting standards, and manages your multi-location business – all in one system. It is scalable in the sense that when your business grows, it makes adding new functionality to the system easy. This could mean easy management of new processes, departments, and more. These abilities support comprehensive management and control of your business activities, better client service, and ensure the expansion is seamless and smooth. Moreover, if your business is flexible and scalable, its competitiveness improves big time, as it is well prepared to move into the future and thus, a step ahead of the competition.
Business Analytics & Data: A good ERP solution rids your business of manual record-keeping or other traditional approaches, and betters data quality by improving the underlying processes. Consequently, having high quality data allows businesses to leverage the power of ERP solution’s analytics tools for effective planning & forecasting, predicting the demand and supply position, and sound decision making. Also, with an ERP system, reporting follows an automated template system, allowing various departments to access information seamlessly. With access to accurate, and real-time data, and intelligent analytics as well as reporting, an ERP solution keeps your business ready to proactively react to the changing market needs, and thus, gives it a competitive edge.
Cost of Operations: An ERP system establishes automated, and streamlined processes, thus helping the manufacturers reduce overall operational cost, including labor expenses, cost of equipment maintenance, inventory and warehousing costs etc., and make savings wherever possible. Also it introduces fundamental innovations in managing resources, which eliminates delays and further reduces the cost of operations. Reducing operating and maintenance costs is key to improving the bottom-line. With its consistent processes, an ERP solution ensures that these gains achieved in the short term are sustained in the longer term, thus creating a true source of long-term competitive advantage.
CRM & Supply Chain: A direct benefit of using a good ERP software is improved customer relations as a result of better business processes. For any business, delivering high-quality products & services as well as customer service are of paramount importance. Using an ERP solution, businesses can achieve it. They can interact with customers better and improve relationships with them through faster and accurate access to their information, history and buying patterns. Businesses understand that winning a customer for life means he won’t go anywhere, which effectively means there’s no chance for your competitor. Now that’s what you call the competitive edge.
Moreover, having the right ERP system in place means improved procurement, inventory, demand forecasting, etc., which in turn means a smoother supply chain. Any hurdle in the supply chain can bring the manufacturing business to a grinding halt, affecting it adversely. But an ERP software efficiently manages the supply chain of a business, and makes it more responsive through planning, end-to-end visibility, inventory optimization, and monitoring & assessment. This way, an ERP software turns supply chains into a source of competitive advantage, as an effective supply chain can deliver cost savings, while the synergies between the components of the supply chain lead to greater profitability.
Regulatory Compliance: By having the right ERP system in place, firms can better comply with all the industry-specific regulations as well as safety requirements. What’s more, an ERP solution can even allow building the most important and recurring regulatory requirements right into the system. By meeting all the requisite regulatory requirements, the manufacturers can earn greater trust and confidence from all the stakeholders, namely the auditors, regulators, inspectors, and the consumers. This trust eventually translates into a competitive advantage, resulting in a higher market share and greater profitability.
Reduced Complexity: Last but certainly not the least, this is perhaps the most important point in favor of ERP systems improving the competitiveness of a firm. Integrating all areas of the business such as materials and inventory, production, operations and sales, accounting and finance, etc., an ERP software ensures every business function relies on a single database and delivers accurate, real-time information. In addition, it introduces a neatly designed system of workflows, which makes all the employees more efficient, and reduces the complexity of the business. After all, a simplified business is always ahead in the pecking order than other businesses that are complex.
Fair to say, a good ERP system is indispensable in the modern economic scenario, as it not just helps the businesses improve their competitiveness, but also to hold on to it. BatchMaster has been lending process manufacturing businesses a decisive edge over their competitors through a range of industry-specific as well as micro-verticalized software for over 30 years. For more information, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.