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BusinessComputers and Technology

How an ERP System Helps Overcome Manufacturing Challenges?

Whatever business you are in, you have to face certain challenges because nearly all of its operations are prone to errors and inefficiencies. Likewise, the manufacturing industry has its own challenges that are complex and require a scalable solution. An ERP system is the right solution to solve nearly all problems experienced by discrete manufacturers.  

As the manufacturing industry is expected to grow leapfrog in the coming months, despite instability in economic conditions, it’s obvious that its related challenges will keep strengthening – demanding the right solutions to meet customer demands without suffering from lower sales and profits. Not only external challenges like fluctuating global economy, depleting consumer demand due to covid, supply chain and logistics problems, etc., manufacturers also face numerous internal challenges. 

Here are few of the commonly experienced manufacturing challenges that need prompt and accurate actions to overcome their detrimental impact on your business growth and development.

Forecasting Future Demands:

Often discrete manufacturers come across this challenge. They cannot predict the future demand for products and market trends – what customers are looking for. Now, when they cannot estimate future demands they cannot forecast how many items they could sell in the following months or within a year. This usually happens because they lack advanced reporting tools that allow them to evaluate their current demand and supply situation and in what quantity they need to manufacture products to garner a competitive advantage.  

Result: If you cannot forecast the future demands, you will fail to meet consumer requirements and hence, suffer lower sales and lesser profit margins.

Solution: Use an advanced reporting tool to forecast the market trends and consumer demand the right way. It will make it easier for you to estimate which items and in what quantity you need to produce them in coming times and meet target sales for increased profits.  

MIE Trak Pro’s sales and production management system can help you analyze customer behavior and preferences – which items they are interested in, their buying behavior and when they normally purchase certain products and in what quantity, and so on. Besides, the inventory and warehouse management components of this ERP solution allow you to identify your fast and slow-moving products and dead stock sitting on the shelves.  

Additionally, you can forecast the external challenges using this manufacturing software; evolving market trends, rising currency exchange and fuel rates, etc. Not only this, you should also make sure that your marketing and sales teams are always having updated information on these matters.    

Production Plants Efficiency:    

It is important for the manufacturers to achieve maximum efficiency of production plants. Improving the effectiveness of the shop floor and assembly line play a vital role in reducing overheads and production costs. Manufacturers are always in search of effective ways to control the cost taken by their production plants in addition to other company expenses. The easiest of all ways seems to sacrifice on the product quality; you need to invest less on the material procurement, especially if you are a small manufacturer and with only local clients in hand.

Result: Compromising on the quality of the products will result in reduced target sales and profitability because your customers will soon stop buying from you. No one wants poor-quality of defective items. You will start losing your business.  

Solution: Instead of a quality bargain, better negotiate with your suppliers for the discounted prices. Try to control your procurement cost with no compromise on the quality of the raw materials and components you need for production plants.

Another and the most reliable way to optimize and increase your manufacturing plant’s efficiency is to automate and streamline the production workflows. It will help minimize the labor-intensive tasks, decrease time consumption, material waste reduction and enhance the machinery performance by minimizing the possibilities of damage. Plus, the simplified supply chain and logistics will also help you increase the production plant efficiency. A manufacturing ERP facilitates all these factors, thereby enabling you to gain optimal efficiency and reduced cost of production plants. 

Inventory Management & Tracking:

Be it a manufacturing inventory with all the materials and supplies on hand that you need for the production of multiple items or merchandise inventory with ready-to-sell products, it’s management and tracking is one of the biggest challenges in the manufacturing industry. It becomes more difficult for the small manufacturers who are still managing their inventories and warehouses manually. Moreover, they are relying on the excel and google spreadsheets instead of a centralized database like an ERP software provides. It means they are not automating and making the inventory facts straight. With any information, prone to errors, manufacturers will surely fail in customer order fulfillment and timely delivery of finished goods.  

Result: If you cannot manage and monitor your inventory, you will be trapped in overstocking or there will be a dead stock on your shelves. Material shortages and unidentified damages are also common with inventory data inaccuracies.

Solution: You need an automated solution in the form of an ERP system with fully integrated and flexible inventory management app for routine audits and ensuring that you are not making unnecessary purchases. It will make your job much simpler through barcode scanners that accelerate the tracking process. 

Inventory management and tracking are time-consuming processes, but once systematized with the help of a modern ERP software you can not only save your time, but also keep a quick check on the items moving in and moving out. Checking your stock through an automated system will help you overcome the potential inefficiencies, data errors, overstocking and shortages, etc., so that you can keep up with the required inventory levels at all times. 

Managing Labor Shortage:

No business can run without human capabilities despite all the automation and robotics technologies that can identify specific problems and solve them to some extent besides filling the labor gap. But the human workforce is still needed to analyze and fix the manufacturing issues that cannot be handled otherwise; such as a sudden machine failure or raw material shortage or overstocking to name a few. Technology may help you identify all of these and send you alerts about approaching problems, but only humans can make well-informed decisions to resolve the issues. However, the current manufacturing industry is facing the threat of labor shortage.

Result: Manufacturers have to rely on the less qualified workforce that could bring them a lot of troubles in the long run.

Solution: Discrete manufacturers need to be extremely creative and selective while selecting the prospective employees. They can use the modern online platforms for job postings and hiring the qualified talents who are capable to work quickly, efficiently, and on target despite the pressure and continuously shifting work schedules. This is where state-of-the-art human resource management software comes in with a competency management component so that you can bridge the skills gaps besides making the most appropriate hiring. Moreover, it will help you track the employee performance, and see where they need significant training that will help them increase their expertise and work potential. This all and more is now available in modern ERP solutions like MIE Trak Pro.      

Let’s cut to the chase:

Some other commonly observed manufacturing challenges include increased ROI, identifying and managing sales leads, and coping with the ever-evolving digital transformation.

Bottom Line:

For all these challenges and whatever comes across your way in the manufacturing industry, you must have a fully integrated, scalable, and affordable ERP system that will help you develop and grow your business.

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