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De-mystifying ERP Software for Manufacturers and Distributors: Part 1

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

In the first of a three part blog series from Solution Systems, we will provide you with a walk-through of what ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is, and the benefits it offers to businesses.

It’s a good bet that the overwhelming majority – if not all – manufacturers and distributors desire to achieve the highest level of productivity at the most reasonable cost possible.

Enterprise Resource Planning software (otherwise known as ERP) is a fully integrated software program tailored for manufacturing and distribution, which brings all the different processes within a company into one place. It allows employees to become more productive, by way of automating every business process under your roof [or roofs if you have multiple locations].

The additional promise to integrate those processes to enhance communication between them only adds to its attractiveness for the forward-looking business owner who wants to take advantage of technology.

Benefits include:

Different departments within the company can communicate with ERP software. Information can be shared, substantially reducing the time employees spend on manually entering, re-entering and having to forward information onto other departments; it’s all right there in one place. Errors also are substantially reduced because there are fewer chances for employees to make them. With less data entry time logged by employees, there are fewer costs due to mistakes which naturally lifts up your bottom line and frees up your employees to become even more productive.

Stronger control over inventory and spending is another added benefit. Having a better way to know what inventory you have, and what you need to fulfill for customer orders is essential in keeping them happy, and keeping the flow of your business moving forward. Other features include tracking maintenance and warranties of the equipment you use to manufacture your products, or the equipment you sell, in addition to similar abilities based on your specifications. Ordering, approving and paying for purchases also are streamlined; the business now has the ability to take quicker advantage of special offers and savings because the process simply moves faster.

Cutting down on the time between ordering products and delivering them not only allows you to get paid faster, but first and foremost, makes you a champion for your customers. When you can produce, sell and deliver your products expeditiously, everyone wins.

Customers can be assisted more easily when information they need is at the fingertips of your employees. Whether its tracking a product that has already been ordered, when repairs or replacements are needed or being able to check stock on an item they want, all of these enhanced abilities lead to stronger overall customer satisfaction.

Visibility, control and accountability allows managers and executives to have a bird’s eye view into where inefficiencies exist and who is responsible for them, because of the strong integration capabilities of ERP software. Being able to break down financial, technical, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for marketing and sales and other initiatives provides solid insight into what needs to change, and what is working to support the company’s growth.

Being able to step ahead of your competitors is a direct result of ERP implementation, simply because you have allowed it to become easier for your employees to communicate through the software to get the best possible job done right and on time, while exceeding customer expectations.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series: The ERP Return On Investment: How to Gauge the Benefits Against Cost

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