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.
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