Future-proofing: The key to manufacturing ERP sustainability

Enterprise resource planning implementation is an immense investment. In fact, the average ERP adopter devoted more than a million dollars to system installation in 2018, according to researchers from Panorama Consulting Solutions. With this much money on the line, manufacturers pursuing implementation must collaborate with vendors to develop and deploy sustainable solutions that remain relevant for years, no matter the marketplace conditions. Platform future-proofing through architecture design and feature selection is the ideal methodology for achieving long-term ERP viability. Here are some of the system components manufacturing firms should focus on when embarking on this kind of longevity-centered ERP planning:

Cloud computing architecture
Enterprise cloud computing services are essentially industry standard nowadays — Flexera estimated that 94% of businesses worldwide leverage the technology. While adoption rates are generally lower among organizations pursuing ERP implementation — cloud-based or Software-as-a-Service platforms accounted for 64% of all the ERPs implemented in 2018, per Panorama — the cloud is usurping the on-premises server as the system building block of choice. The reasoning here is easy to understand: cloud-based ERP solutions are far more scalable and easier to manage than traditional systems made for on-premises deployment. These characteristics make cloud computing architecture the ideal base for the sustainable ERP, making it possible for manufacturers to right-size their installations on the fly to account for new external or internal variables.

Enterprise mobile support
Mobile technology propels the modern marketplace. From front-of-house business-to-consumer processes to backend production workflows, smartphones, tablets and other on-the-go assets associated with the internet of things are embedded within numerous revenue-driving operational functions. This is particularly true within the manufacturing space, where an estimated 82% of firms currently oversee IoT initiatives, according to analysts from Tech Pro Research. Enterprise mobile reliance here and in other sectors is bound to increase as time progresses, as IoT technology grows more sophisticated and ubiquitous. This state of affairs makes mobile functionality an essential component of the future-proof ERP. Platforms that are capable of facilitating IoT deployment at scale are primed to generate returns as mobile functionality becomes more important.

Advanced business intelligence
Businesses cannot compete without accurate and easy-to-access data. Whether it is internal production insights collected through shop floor IoT sensors or customer information collected through online interaction monitoring software, data is essential to organizational sustainability and growth. This is why enterprises across the globe are expected to spend more than $100 billion on business intelligence hardware, software and services in 2019, per the International Data Corporation. These expenditures could top $200 billion by 2022. With data clearly here to stay, manufacturers intent on implementing ERP technology with an extended shelf life must pinpoint systems that simplify business intelligence collection and access. Reporting and bulk information management features are among the key items to consider in this case, as these tools make it easier to handle large amounts of information, no matter its source.

Is your manufacturing firm interested in implementing a future-proof ERP platform that is meant to last? Consider connecting with Accent Software. As a certified Microsoft Business Solutions partner, we provide vendor-vetted Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation services, giving manufacturers of all sizes the opportunity to adopt a quality ERP solution designed to facilitate operational growth via cutting-edge platform features.

Contact us today to learn more about our proven products and services.

4 things executives should know about manufacturing ERP software

Modern manufacturing executives function within an immensely unstable environment where challenges are numerous and wins are transient. For this reason, many balk at the notion of enterprise resource planning adoption or enhancement. Why invest in expensive, new or updated software when the shop floor continues to evolve? In reality, high-quality, effectively implemented ERP technology can grow with the business and underpin mission-critical production processes, no matter the general state of the marketplace. This is perhaps why manufacturers oversaw approximately 43% of all the ERP adoption initiatives undertaken in 2018, per research from Panorama Consulting Solutions. Business leaders within the industry who want to break out of their moderate ways and follow in the footsteps of these and other adopters — an estimated 95% of which saw process improvement immediately following go-live, according to Panorama — should assess the state of the ERP before taking action.

Here are three things these forward-thinking executives should know about manufacturing ERP technology:

ERP solutions are changing
The ERP marketplace moves with technological innovation and user demand, meaning most vendors are constantly iterating to remain relevant. This is good news for adopters, as they have numerous products to choose from, including ERP solutions from both emerging providers and established software powerhouses, TechTarget reported. Additionally, interplatform integration is more common than ever before, leading manufacturers pursuing implementation to customize their instances with external modules.

ERP solutions are moving to the cloud
Businesses across every sector have embraced enterprise cloud computing. Even so, many have been reluctant to move forward with cloud-based ERP technology for fear of losing control over their data caches and abandoning investments in legacy hardware and software. However, this is starting to change, as most information technology leaders see the cloud as the "gateway to modernization," analysts for Accenture found. An estimated 85% of the companies that implemented ERP solutions in 2018 opted for cloud or Software-as-a-Service products, per Panorama. This is likely to become the norm.

ERP solutions are the future of decision support
Manufacturing leaders depend on shop floor insights, leveraging this actionable information to develop overarching business strategies that lead to revenue. ERP solutions already support this key function but some emerging features are poised to pull this technology into the center of the decision-making process, ERP Focus reported. Internet of things integration and expansive real-time data collection components further enhance ERP systems and thereby empower the executives who depend on them.

Are you among the manufacturing executives considering ERP implementation? Consider connecting with Accent Software. As a certified Microsoft Business Solutions partner, we provide vendor-vetted Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation services, giving manufacturing organizations of all sizes the opportunity to adopt a quality ERP solution designed to facilitate operational growth via cutting-edge platform features.

Contact us today to learn more about our proven products and services. 

ERP technology in 2019: Unpacking the ROI

Enterprise resource planning technology remains immensely popular among manufacturers. In fact, these businesses accounted for 43% of all ERP implementations completed in 2018, according to research from Panorama Consulting Solutions. Despite this reality, some within the sector are questioning the relevance of ERP technology, wondering whether sticking to familiar manual processes rather than pursuing sweeping technology-driven progress is the ideal tactic for surviving or even thriving in these turbulent marketplace conditions, per Industry Week. The reality is, ERP platforms generate real return on investment in 2019 through these transformative improvements:

Operational data transparency
Modern ERP systems integrate with multiple shop-floor information conduits, from internet of things sensors installed on mission-critical production machinery to barcode scanners leveraged in shipping and receiving operations. This brand of whole-operation connectivity allows operational stakeholders to gather real-time information, which can be used for shaping optimization efforts, according to ERP Focus. When executives and production leaders have access to the rich, cross-departmental insights ERP technology provides, they can make informed business decisions that facilitate real improvement and lay the groundwork for sustainable revenue gain.

Optimal backend efficiency
A good number of the manual workflows ERP solutions are designed to replace are incredibly inefficient and weigh heavy on the bottom line. For instance, American businesses lose around $47 million per year as a consequence of institutional knowledge loss alone, analysts for Panopto discovered. ERP solutions reduce the likelihood of these financial failings by allowing operational teams to use automated tools that reduce the need for manual work while logging the essential platform activities that lead to seamless production workflows that unfold as required, no matter the personnel involved, CIO reported. These solutions also add efficiency to the decision-making process, as manufacturing leaders can easily tap into the data they need to move forward with changes big and small.

Agility and scalability
The modern marketplace moves with great fluidity, propelled by ever-changing customer expectations and desires. Manufacturers must meet consumers' needs lest they risk relinquishing their footing in the industry. ERP technology is among the most effective tools for achieving this objective. Such solutions generate actionable operational insights that allow production stakeholders to predict emerging shifts and put into place refreshed processes designed to make products that are right for the moment. ERP platforms also enable manufacturers to scale up or down depending on market activity.

Together, these and other advantages that come with ERP implementation have an immense impact on revenue, making this technology key for modern manufacturers.

Is your manufacturing firm prepared to embark on ERP implementation and in need of a solution that can generate ROI? Consider connecting with Accent Software.

As a certified Microsoft Business Solutions partner, we provide vendor-vetted Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation services, giving manufacturers of all sizes the opportunity to implement an effective ERP solution designed to facilitate operational growth through cutting-edge platform features. Contact us today to learn more about our proven products and services.   

Mapping ERP objectives to shop floor success

Why ERP technology is the key to continuous improvement in manufacturing

How the right ERP technology can help manufacturers succeed in 2019

4 production scheduling features every manufacturing ERP should have


Production scheduling is among the most important components of the manufacturing process. For this reason, firms embarking on the enterprise resource planning implementation journey often devote considerable time to assessing the production scheduling capabilities of potential solutions. This is often easier said than done, as this particular shop floor function encompasses numerous operational variables, from asset maintenance to human capital management.

However, adopters in the manufacturing sector are not doomed to wade through extensive ERP documentation looking for elements that might support production scheduling. There are some must-have platform features that have been proven to bolster this essential activity.

Here are four of those salient ERP features:

The scheduling module is essential to production planning success. While most ERP solutions come equipped with these mission-critical components, functionality varies. As a result, firms should pinpoint platforms with particularly robust scheduling components – most notably, those that facilitate backward and forward shop floor planning, according to IT Toolbox. This functionality allows operational stakeholders to define start and completion times, and develop reliable projections from both ends.

Material requirement planning
This feature enables shop floor leaders to assess the supply and demand for inventoried assets of all kinds using recorded and forecasted sales figures. This information is critically important to personnel involved in production scheduling, which makes MRP an essential ERP feature for modern manufacturing organizations, ERP Focus reported.

Business intelligence
Business intelligence adoption is strong in the manufacturing arena, where around 30 percent of companies have data collection and analysis tools of some kind in place, according to research from Dresner Advisory Services published in Forbes. Production scheduling is among the many functional areas that these innovative solutions support.

With this in mind, manufacturing firms navigating the ERP implementation process should search for platforms that either offer built-in business intelligence tools or integrate with industry-standard third-party options, according to ERP Focus.

Sequencing is absolutely critical to production scheduling success. Stakeholders at every step in the supply chain must be able to coordinate their respective activities in a manner that keeps the entire organization moving.

Routing components support this sort of large-scale planning, giving personnel in every department the top-down transparency they need to collaborate and ultimately facilitate success, IT Toolbox reported.

Is your organization on the hunt for an ERP solution with these key production scheduling features? Consider connecting with Accent Software.

As a certified Microsoft Business Solutions partner, we provide vendor-vetted Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation services, which allow companies across all sectors to adopt quality ERP software designed to facilitate optimal production scheduling practices.

Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.