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The 4 ERP Applications You Need to Master in Manufacturing Right Now
Let’s keep this simple. Manufacturing can be very complex, but it doesn’t have to be. For over 40 years Global Shop Solutions has been simplifying manufacturing in thousands of facilities in more than 25 countries. The results speak for themselves – 40 years of family ownership passed on to the second generation, zero debt, record sales and customer acquisition, more publicly available case studies (150+!) than any other ERP software company in the world, and an entire company focused on one single ERP software product. That’s right, your support dollars grow the very same product and employees your business uses and depends on. Your support dollars will never be laundered to private equity investors, banks, dividends, or to other products that you will never use in your manufacturing. After 40 years we have heard nearly every customer requirement and helped create nearly every type of product on earth that requires a raw material. The customers that absolutely crush their competition always have complete mastery of 4 very basic, simple, yet enormously critical ERP applications.
So first, let’s talk about the most used application in ERP today – supply and demand. If this isn’t the most used and most important application in your manufacturing then we need to review your business process and get you some training. If you are a Global Shop Solutions customer we offer over 80 training events covering over 225 calendar days a year with the vast majority being no cost or low cost. If you aren’t a Global Shop Solutions customer, then you need to schedule a demo ASAP and come join the family of the most successful manufacturers on the planet. But, back to Supply and Demand. This application is critical because it allows you to see all (and when I mean all, I mean all) your activity for a specific part including your inventory status, drilldown access to financials, quotes, customer service, on-hand quantities, etc. and your true cost (what did it cost me to make in total and broken out into my components – Freight, Labor, Overhead, Outside Services, Other, Material). Additionally, you will also know what purchase orders and/or sub-component work orders build your supply along with the sales and work orders that are generating demand. Imagine a world where your employee can reduce their workspace clutter and increase efficiency by going to a single screen for a part and being able to access any bit of manufacturing or financial data tied to it. Here at Global Shop Solutions we call that winning.
Next let’s talk about what keeps your company in business – customers and managing those relationships. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a critical application in your ERP software because it should allow you to have instant and complete in progress and historical information about a customer, prospect, or vendor.
An ERP software system that is built from the ground up and fully integrated into the other system applications will provide the CRM application access to documentation, events, communication, customer service transactions such as quotes and sales orders, contacts, and return on investment of marketing campaigns by customer. Being able to pull documentation, events, and communication from contacts at a specific business will allow you to quickly take the pulse of the relationship so you can act quickly to customer service requests. Access to financial transactions for a specific business allows you to follow up on open quotes, give details on order status, and view sales history so an employee can speak intelligently, accurately, and smart with a customer. Tracking the results of marketing campaigns allows you to understand what is important to each customer as you will be able to visually see what they are and are not responding to. The best part, is all of this information is available from a single screen and is updated in real time. Mastering CRM strengthens your relationships, allows you to increase sales by knowing your customer base and delivering a quality part on time, every time, and improves credibility of your brand.
You have to spend money to make money which is why another critical application you must master is work order status.This application allows you to see what you have invested in a specific job such as the breakout of costs into the six key FLOOOM elements (Freight, Labor, Overhead, Outside Services, Other, and Materials). Understanding these costs allow you to analyze where spending is too high and make changes accordingly. Work Order Status also allows you to view your estimates for a part you are making versus the actual costs allowing you to target inefficiencies in estimating or production. Perhaps the biggest benefit of work order status is it allows you to see the who, what, when, and where of a part in real time, anytime, from any device using Global Shop Solutions Mobile product. Mastering Work Order Status will make you smarter about where costs are being incurred, allow you to mitigate loss if estimating or production is too high or too low, and gives you the confidence of knowing who is working on what part when and where in the manufacturing process (or facility) the part is.
Last, but definitely not least, Shop Floor Data Collection (SDFC) allows you to capture, process, and run reports against live production data in real time. This includes time keeping for employees and jobs, document control, all material and outside service transactions, and recording scrap for quality. Time keeping for employees and jobs allows you to accurately measure, in real time, direct labor (time spent on a job), indirect labor (time spent on a business activity that may not tied to making a part such as an internal meeting), and red time (time spent that is not tied to making a part) providing you the right inputs to make decisions about employee performance, hiring, reductions, overtime, and making sure employees are working on the most urgent jobs. Shop Floor Data Collection also allows you to cut scrap by first providing an accurate way to record scrap and evaluate the causes of scrap, know the costs associated with the scrap, and create a corrective action plan to prevent future occurrences. Mastering this application will provide you with accurate time logs, the ability to prioritize jobs, and get you close to near perfect quality ratings. And as we all know, delivering a quality part on time, every time will increase your sales.
So let’s get back to how we started – by keeping it simple. Manufacturing is complex and for 40 years Global Shop Solutions has helped shift thousands of business from good manufacturing to great manufacturing with our ERP software by helping them master Supply and Demand, CRM, Work Order Status, and Shop Floor Data Collection.
Adam Grabowski is the Director of Marketing for Global Shop Solutions. He is responsible for strategically positioning the company and its ERP software product to make existing customers more successful and compete for new business opportunities in the manufacturing industry.