May 16, 2020

Is it time your manufacturing business invested in ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning
Digital Manufacturing
ERP solutions
4 min
Is it time your manufacturing business invested in ERP?
Doing business in the digital era has opened doors for many smaller enterprises which, thanks to advances in technology, are now able to compete with th...

Doing business in the digital era has opened doors for many smaller enterprises which, thanks to advances in technology, are now able to compete with their larger counterparts on an even playing field. However, failure to keep abreast of the latest tech developments can leave manufacturers lagging behind the competition, so it’s in their interest to take action to ensure this doesn’t happen.

One way in which manufacturing businesses are ensuring all processes run smoothly and effectively is by rolling out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Doing so can temporarily cause a shift in focus, and take away resources from operations, but those enterprises that implement ERP properly can almost guarantee their operations will improve significantly as a result.

In this post, we’ll start from the beginning, taking a closer look at the reasons why your manufacturing business should consider investing in ERP.

1. Your processes are inconsistent

As your business expands, it is essential that you take the time to ensure all of the processes you have in place are capable of growing with you. In a competitive market, there is no room for improvisation, and the most successful businesses will always take steps to put processes in place that ensure the smooth running of operations.

ERP solutions are designed to help businesses streamline their operations, giving you more time to focus on what’s important, rather than the administrative functions involved to make sure these things can happen.

2. Your processes are complicated

Are your processes managed with manual systems, or even spreadsheets? As businesses grow, what previously worked may prove to be ineffective, so it is vital that you roll out new ways of working in order to make sure everything is working correctly.

Whether you are tracking production on a whiteboard, or passing a clipboard through a specific job lifecycle, manual errors are likely to happen, and these mistakes can prove incredibly costly for your business.

ERP helps to reduce the likelihood that human errors will go unnoticed, allowing individuals from across the company to collaborate and view progress easily and efficiently.

3. … and some of them are unmanaged

If the complex nature of your processes have resulted in some of them being swept under the carpet, your business could face spiralling costs and even more problems when the extent of the issue eventually comes to light. If you have forgotten about important operations, it is time to take a step back because identifying these unmanaged processes can make for more efficient and reliable operations.

4. Your departments are disconnected

As businesses expand, it can be increasingly difficult to ensure communication remains as simple as possible, particularly between departments. If your manufacturing team is failing to communicate with its counterparts across the business, you face a disconnection, leaving your employees attempting to connect the dots, rather than getting the job at hand completed.

5. Your business lacks visibility of performance

It should go without saying that you cannot improve the performance of your business without being able to properly measure the successes and failures you endure. Without key operational information, or accurate cost reports, how can you view whether you are achieving your goals?

ERP gives organisations a much needed overview of the business performance as a whole, giving you valuable opportunities to spot where mistakes are happening, and put processes in place to avoid them.

6. Your current system is outdated

Old, inflexible and cumbersome systems can leave you frustrated, struggling to keep up with your competitors. Take some time to consider your existing system, does it really work for you? If it no longer fits, it is time to make some changes.

Overall, making the decision to upgrade to ERP can be daunting for businesses that may have become set in their ways. This is not a process that can be carried out half-heartedly, and organisations must put in the necessary legwork to ensure the switch is a success. However, those that do take the bold leap, and dedicate the necessary time and resources to it, can benefit from more streamlined, organised and easy to understand operations, which means they can focus more time on what’s important.

Lauri Klaus is the Founder and CEO of KeyedIn Solutions. With 20+ years of ERP software experience, Lauri understands that technology can transform a business. During her tenure at Epicor Software, Klaus advanced from development to EVP, Worldwide Sales and Service. She managed more than 1,400 sales and service professionals and mentored them to prioritize valuable client relationships. In 2011, Kl identified a gap in business software and formed KeyedIn Solutions, a company driven to enable business success with Cloud software, including Cloud ERP. Vision. Execution. These are the things that Lauri is known for and believes in.


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Jun 8, 2021

IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery

Elise Leise
3 min
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that while markets are rising and manufacturing is coming back, it’ll push for global immunisation

After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022

Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery. 

Lingering Concerns Over COVID

Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high. 

Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery? 

IMF: Current Boom Could Falter

Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”. 

Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”. 

Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.

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