Selecting the Correct ERP Applications for Your Manufacturing

ERP software is a valuable tool that many manufacturers use to manage important operations like their vendor relationships, financials, shop floors, and more. Improving your bottom line, increasing accuracy, and reducing costs can all be accomplished with ERP software. 

Even though every manufacturing operation is unique, there are several common issues that all manufacturers face. Do you ask yourself any of these questions?

  • What can I do to better control my labor and production costs?
  • How can I keep a more accurate inventory?
  • How can I move parts through my shop faster?
  • How do I improve my quality?
  • How do I improve my scheduling so I can deliver on time?
  • How can I better serve my customers?
  • What can I do to grow my sales and improve my bottom line?

 If so, you are not alone. And there is great news – ERP applications can help you tackle these problems and answer these questions.

If you’re not sure where you struggle, take The Manufacturing Health Test to find out.

Get an Integrated ERP System with These Top 5 Applications:

Below are the top 5 ERP applications that manufacturers use to improve their business:

  1. Shop Management: Everything begins and ends on the shop floor. A great shop management application will help you manage all your jobs with the detail and accuracy you need.
  2. Planning & Scheduling: Stay on top of every job in real-time with a planning & scheduling application. You’ll be able to optimize your scheduling so you can deliver a quality part on time every time.
  3. Inventory: A perfect physical inventory is possible with an inventory application in your ERP software. Accurately track all your material needs with real-time data and reporting, reduce cycle counts and physical inventory counts.
  4. Job Costing Accounting: With a job costing application in your ERP software you’ll get up-to-the-minute visibility into your job profitability during and after products. Always know exactly how much labor and material went into a part and how your cost breaks down so you can improve margins and lower your costs.
  5. CRM: Provide a higher level of service for your customers with real-time data. With a CRM application, your sales team will be able to track leads and opportunities and never miss a beat.

What’s next?

These five applications are only the beginning of what you can do with ERP software. It’s time to talk to an ERP expert who can explain each application and how it affects your manufacturing. Schedule your ERP demo today and see which ERP applications are right for your business. – Learn More About Global Shop Solutions

6 Steps to Create a Strong ERP Strategy

Build it and they will come, it’s been said. Building an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software strategy will bring your teams to a level playing field with the knowledge and information to implement, use, and succeed with ERP software. Before we can show you how to build one, we first need to define it.

What is an ERP Strategy?

An ERP strategy is the guide that manufacturing companies follow to influence and execute the implementation, application, and use of ERP software. The successful implementation of ERP software is the result of a calculated and well-planned ERP strategy.

As the manufacturing world modernizes, more and more companies are taking the plunge and making an investment in ERP software.

Manufacturers need software and technology to stay ahead of the curve but choosing to implement an ERP software is not a decision that is made lightly. Even if organizations have achieved success and things are going well, there is always room to improve and create processes that are more efficient. ERP software helps you take a deeper look into your business processes and identify areas where improvements can be made. This is the value of ERP software.

A Successful ERP Implementation Includes Three Important Factors:

  1. The right ERP software that fits your company’s needs
  2. The participation and engagement of your company’s people
  3. Processes that will minimize challenges and make for a smooth implementation

Couple those with a well thought out ERP strategy, and you’re primed to begin your journey into simplified manufacturing. So exactly how do you create an ERP strategy that works for your business?

How to Create an ERP Strategy

Learn the six steps to create a successful ERP strategy. We recommend you do these six things prior to or at the start of your ERP software vendor search.

  1. Identify and address IT issues: The IT system currently in place must be able to support the installation of an ERP software that will improve productivity and efficiency and generate more revenue. You might need updated hardware installed. Work with your internal IT team, your ERP vendor candidates, or consult with outside IT professionals to identify what you need.
  2. Set a budget: An ERP implementation often includes upfront costs, and it is not uncommon for an ERP implementation to exceed initial budgets. It is wise for companies to earmark appropriate funds to support the entire implementation, including a contingency budget should any costs overrun.
  3. Plan for integration tasks: If you have a legacy software programs you use such as Nesting or CAD software, there might be times when the new ERP system won’t be able to effectively communicate. You will need to adjust business processes or get tailored ERP software that will allow all your software systems to communicate with one another.
  4. Create a change management and training plan: A change management plan is needed to reinforce the importance of the software and the need to be able to use it correctly. Training is an important part of the ERP implementation process and getting staff members to understand how to use and embrace the new platform is paramount. Remind them that it is a great opportunity to remain open-minded. 
  5. Conduct a risk assessment: ERP software has a huge value. Decision-makers should identify any areas where risk exists and address it before the installation begins. Plan to be proactive rather than reactive.
  6. Outline an ERP roadmap: Before you commit to an ERP vendor, it’s a good idea to outline a roadmap to ensure a smooth implementation. Define clear roles and responsibilities, define a set of objectives, identify milestones, and determine if you have enough resources.

ERP software can take your manufacturing from good to great. It begins with building an ERP strategy. To learn more about how ERP software can benefit your business click here to visit the Global Shop Solutions website.

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12 Project Management Software Considerations for your Business

Project management software helps organizations achieve project success by letting users monitor and manage associated tasks to ensure they are accomplished on time and according to budget.

How does project management software impact projects across organizations? A crowbotics project management adoption statistics report reveals an overwhelming 77 percent of high-performing projects use project management software.  

Choosing project management software that meets your requirements does not need to be a complicated task. That is if you already know what things you need to consider before you pick the project management platform for your business.

The following is a comprehensive list of critical criteria for selecting project management software. While needs and requirements vary from business to business, this guide will help you choose the best project management solution for your organization.

Key criteria to look for in a project management software

1. User-friendliness

First and foremost, you need to consider project management software that can be used by everyone in the team. Project management software requiring extensive training does not need to be a deal-breaker, though. Hence, you need to evaluate if its features are worth your team’s time to get acquainted with the system. You can do further research and then try to compare the product with other alternatives. Some project management systems may offer the same features and benefits yet have an easier learning curve.

2. Scheduling and Planning

Your project management software should help you effectively manage projects and stay on top of individual tasks and project schedules. Visualization is an effective way of pinpointing potential bottlenecks and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. So, make sure that your project management software provides you with tools to do just that. One particular must-have tool in project management software is a Gantt chart. A Gantt chart provides a visual representation of tasks and project schedules. This tool lets you see at a glance if you are on track or already falling behind schedule.

3. Task Management

Another must-have feature of project management software is task management. It should allow you to create a list of tasks and deadlines and assign each task to a team member. After you have assigned these tasks, you should then be able to track each task’s progress and generate reports, so you can assess process efficiency and take action when needed.

4. Resource Management

Project management software should help you effectively plan, schedule, and allocate resources efficiently. Resource management includes labor, time, materials, machinery, equipment, and money. Project management software that has a resource management tool will allow you to see individual workload and availability. With that feature at your disposal, you would be able to balance workloads, prioritize tasks, and optimize efficiency. Effectively managing these resources ensures that no one is burdened with a heavy workload, workers are not idling, and materials, equipment, and tools are available when needed. Ultimately, you will enhance employee retention and ensure that your team will accomplish the project on schedule.

5. File-sharing

Your project management system should allow you and your team members to share and have access to documents, media, and other important digital files. Project managers should also have a way of controlling how these files will be added, viewed, read, and edited by assigning different levels of access. The project management software often has a range of options to make file-sharing possible, including media storage devices, shared hard drive, cloud-based storage, and SharePoint sites. A rule of thumb is to make sure that your project management solution supports multiple platforms, including Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and various devices.

6. Communication

Communication plays a critical part in every project’s success. Many projects fail, and potential clients choose to walk away simply because of communication problems. In fact, according to this communication statistics report published by Project.co, 96 percent of people believe that the firms they have done business with could improve communication and project management. Therefore, your project management software should help you enhance communication within your team.

Built-in communication tools help make sure that responsibilities, goals, and expectations are clear from the get-go. These tools also help streamline communication and facilitate collaboration. If your project management software does not have an efficient communication tool, it’s time to explore other options.

7. Monitoring and Reporting

You should have access to monitoring and reporting tools to get an overview of how the project is doing. Ideally, your project management software will have project dashboards where you can view real-time updates complete with visuals like charts and graphs. Project dashboards help everyone involved in the project stay updated about how much of the work has been completed, which tasks are in progress, and how much time is left before completion, among other important metrics. Dashboards should be customizable to allow you to set preferences and display only the KPIs and data that matters. Likewise, project dashboards should be easy to read and interpreted. Factors that affect its scannability include layout, colors, fonts, white spaces, and amount of information.

Project dashboards should also be accessible in that it can be shared with stakeholders and external users. Typically, you would do this by generating a shareable link that lets them see the updates without granting them access to the system itself. Accessibility also entails the ability to be viewed from any type of device. Some project management software offers a guest portal that allows stakeholders and non-users to view progress and sign off on approvals. – Read more

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