Manufacturers need specific software to support their operation
There are many software systems available to help companies execute various functions. For example, our team at Visual South works with many businesses that use QuickBooks and Excel to handle day-to-day operations. However, we often find that these companies—along with similar businesses running legacy systems—are looking for a better way to manage all their processes, especially if they have some form of manufacturing or production requirements.
Emerging businesses that make things or have works orders, jobs, production orders, and/or projects need a manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software application.
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The ability for manufacturers to manage orders is a primary benefit gained by leveraging a manufacturing ERP software versus a generic accounting system. In this article, I’ll explain why.
Order management to meet delivery dates
Being able to keep your promises to your customers is paramount to running a good business. And by extension, delivering on time without incurring drama and unknown costs is the critical component to having a successful manufacturing operation. A good manufacturing ERP system should allow you to know if you are making a promise you can keep at the time of quoting, even before an order is taken. If your business system does not give you that ability, then you are competing at a disadvantage with your competition.
Leading Infor manufacturing applications, such as Infor VISUAL and Infor CloudSuite, will tell you before an order is taken when you are making a shipment promise date that may be in jeopardy. These Infor manufacturing ERP software systems inform you in advance where there may be issues, while you still have time to take action. Additionally, they reveal what is causing the delivery date issue, whether it’s a material that is or will be unavailable, or internal resource constraints where you don’t have the readily available capacity to meet the demand. Neither Quick Books, Excel, nor many entry-level MRP systems have this capability.
The power of knowing what your problem orders are in advance allows you to better manage the order, or possibly adjust the customer’s expectations.
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The management of the order could include readjusting your schedule to shift lower priority jobs to a later production date. The Infor VISUAL and Infor CloudSuite solutions allow you to model the outcome of these changes, so that you can know rather than guess the result.
Infor systems also provide another layer, which is the ability see how material availability matches with resource availability. Infor ERP assesses if you have material on hand, if you have an open purchase order, and when the material is expected to arrive; if there is no material on hand or open purchase order, the manufacturing ERP determines the lead time for that material. The system does the work for you, so you can make an informed decision to look at alternate vendors, or possibly alternate and substitute materials. This tool helps you react properly and ship the product on time, keeping your promises to customers.
As we all know, a happy customer typically is a loyal customer. Simply by having a manufacturing ERP instead of a regular accounting system, you improve customer satisfaction and can effectively manage your orders with knowledge and certainty.
Not all business systems and not all manufacturing ERP systems are the same—each has its own unique functionality and strengths and weaknesses. These tools are not a commodity. If you want to evaluate the options available to you, start with a plan on how to manage the evaluation process. Visual South has many resources that can help, such as this guide to switching systems.
For over 25 years, Visual South has helped hundreds of manufacturing companies better utilize their Infor ERP applications. Get more information about how you can improve your operations and use manufacturing ERP software as a tool for that improvement by visiting our website, or having a conversation.