The Hidden Ingredient
In today’s world, modern businesses need the power of an ERP system, the benefits it brings to the table are great, and ERP systems have fundamentally changed how businesses operate, with its ability to do MRPs on the fly, and its ability to plan ahead, in today’s agile business environment it is a must, however planning is only half of the equation, there is another ingredient that is very much important, and that is the ‘execution’.
The Current Situation
I love ERP systems, however as someone who also has an automation background, it just sort of feels a little bit awkward when i see shop floor workers having to use a pen to record information and at the end of the day use their keyboards and mouse to log everything back into the system, it just gives me this tingling feeling inside knowing that there will always be typos & errors, papers could be lost, things could get disorganized, and take it from someone who has first hand experience, this can cause lots of issues down the line.
If you think about it, It’s like having a Ferrari race car run on petrol that’s mixed with water, you’ll keep wondering what is going on when the engine gives up on you, and without a good solution, you’ll always keep on wondering.
An ERP has so much power and functionality, there must be a better way to integrate what happens on the shop floor into the ERP system right? That’s what we thought, and upon much much more digging we realized that this is something that is critical to the performance of an ERP, the increased additional responsibilities (data entry) onto an individual already burdened with heavy workload, often lead to data inaccuracies, and it will accumulate and eventually bring unpredictable results into any ERP system, this happens all the time: the ERP says there are 80 items in the warehouse, but actually there is only 40, then the MRP output would be totally wrong, the purchasing plans and the production plans are all calculated based on incorrect information, wasting valuable time and money.
So in order to solve these issues, we went back to the drawing board, and after numerous research & experiments, we’ve organized our findings & solutions here so you could get some inspiration.
Soltuion 1: Replacing Manual Input
ERP is at the end of the day, a digital system, its excellence also comes from the fact that it uses computer chips and networks to calculate and aggregate all the information of your organization and generates plans. Now i know that we’re not in the age where computers can just read our thoughts yet, but the second best option is already being used everywhere – barcode scanners! Through many projects that we’ve implemented, it has worked wonders when it comes to replacing keyboards and mouse, there is a reason why supermarkets have been using them from the 1980s, have a look at JUST-BARCODE, a solution that HItachi Automotive used to boost their efficiency.
Solution 2: Simplifying the ERP for end users
As an executive, or an accountant, an ERP feels like an endless source of value, it provides you with analytics and you get predictable results, but from the operators perspective, it is an extra step, something that may complicate things down the line, and this is not just once or twice, it is every single day, and if things change, they’ll have to relearn everything.
So that’s why we use our platform to simplify business operations, we developed unified interfaces & supporting hardwares, everything is organized in a simple efficient manner, so the operators don’t have to worry about relearning things, they just use it and go, data is collected automatically, all operators have to do is follow the business processes.
Here is an example, our realtime warehouse management solution automatically tells the forklift operators where to pick up and store items, everything is tracked real-time with our tracking technologies, when the item moves in and out of the warehouse, the inventory count is reflected accordingly in the ERP, you’ll know exactly where stocked items are in real time, no more paperwork & no more data errors, more importantly this is all plugged right into the ERP system, it can be integrated with Dynamics, Syspro, Sage, SAP and many more ERP systems.
After many implementations, i can tell you that one of the most important things when it comes to ERP implementation, is knowing what actually happens after the planning, and getting real-time, error free data is the hidden ingredient to a successful ERP project.
If you’d like to discuss how you can benefit from the same ideas that we’ve used to help our customers achieve ERP success over the last 20 years, feel free to contact us, we’re always ready to help. Feel free to email us at [email protected], or click the ‘Start Project‘ button to leave a message.