How ERP Combats Discrete Manufacturing Challenges

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Discrete manufacturing leaves little room for error. With increasingly complex supply chains, global industry pressures and high customer demands, a manufacturer must uphold accuracy and efficiency in every area of the enterprise.  

But in many cases, discrete manufacturers don’t have the right technology to keep up with business challenges. Papers, spreadsheets and legacy applications don’t give organizations the speed, agility and precision required to ensure operations run smoothly.  

A modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can not only keep up with manufacturing challenges but also give businesses a competitive edge. By automating workflows and delivering valuable insights, ERP software provides users with full control over their processes. Let’s dig into some of the specific discrete manufacturing challenges that ERP can help your company overcome.  

BOM Management 

Without an accurate bill of materials (BOM), you could find yourself with supply chain inefficiencies, the wrong materials and disastrous financial reporting errors. You don’t want someone to enter incorrect quantities or make a BOM mistake that could jeopardize your production performance. ERP software automates data managementtracks manufacturing processes and provides visual tools to simplify BOM management.  

However, not all ERP systems are created equal. Some are designed to support process manufacturing or have limited BOM capabilities. Therefore, you’ll want to carefully scope out different ERP vendors to find a solution that supports your specific manufacturing requirements. Epicor gives users nuanced control, allowing businesses to manage single-level or multi-level BOMs. Users can easily view and edit a product’s components and subcomponents using simple drag-and-drop tools. They can also include links to product documentation for easy access.  

Rising Prices 

The rising cost of materials is making it harder for discrete manufacturers to improve profit margins without hiking up prices. Though the trade conflict between U.S. and China is said to be softening, high import taxes on goods from China are still expected to hit American manufacturers hard this year. ERP can’t change the cost of materials, but it can give you the visibility and analytics to help you develop cost-effective strategies. 

With accurate demand forecasts, you can determine the best times to order particular materialsYour ERP can also break down the cost of each product’s components and display cost trends to help you make well-informed purchasing decisions. Additionally, Epicor’s lean metrics measure waste, so you can find ways to reduce raw material usage. The software’s real-time visibility gives you the ability to adjust your purchasing, pricing and inventory processes in accordance with material costs.  

Skills Gap 

A pressing concern on every manufacturer’s mind is the widening skills gap. As senior managers and experienced workers leave factories in droves, millennials are slow to replace them—so slow that over million jobs are expected to go unfilled this decade. Fortunately, there are ways for discrete manufacturers to use ERP to adapt their business processes to a younger workforce.  

One study found that 61% of people who lack interest in a manufacturing career are concerned about dangerous conditions and lack of critical thinking. ERP tackles both these concerns through process automation. With automated production processes, workers won’t be spending so much time performing risky tasks or rote labor, leaving them more time for decision making.  

Additionally, ERP can simplify training, allowing new employees to quickly acquire necessary skills. The software consolidates and organizes data, so when a worker retires, their processes and data remain behind for recent hires to learn. ERP also includes mobile capabilities and intuitive dashboards to provide a modern, user-friendly experience to improve the onboarding process for young employees.  

Wrap Up  

As discrete manufacturing gets more complex, paperwork and outdated software won’t be able to keep up. Epicor ERP, a leading manufacturing software solution for over 45 years, includes the modern features and reliable functionality that can tackle any business challenge.  

An Epicor Gold PartnerDatix will ensure your software is aligned with your business requirements. Our certified consultants leverage their first-hand manufacturing experience to implement scalable ERP solutions from start to finish. We’ll work with you to solve your biggest pain points through our software.  

Make sure your discrete manufacturing business is ready to handle any challenge in 2020. Get started on your ERP project by contacting Datix today!