Most manufacturers aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They aim to innovate and find better ways to meet their customers’ needs while running efficient manufacturing operations for standard products.

With today’s robust cloud-based manufacturing ERP systems, you can accomplish both of these goals, and more. Let’s consider three ways ERP can help you run a competitive, innovative, and profitable manufacturing company:

1. Set the Business on a Connected Foundation that Supports Your Strategy

A modern ERP system serves as the basis of your operation. Using a powerful ERP platform in the cloud gives you decision-driving visibility and functional capabilities.

Cloud-based analytics and purpose-built manufacturing ERP product suites for discrete and process manufacturing connect your operation and streamline production. You should also connect your PLM (produce lifetime management) and other critical systems to the same ERP foundation.

An integrated manufacturing ERP environment fulfills a basic business need by feeding all your roles and processes. From back-office financials and R&D to production and distribution, you get accurate business information and can unite behind company objectives. You can immediately eliminate duplication of effort and process misalignments anywhere in the operation.

With such a foundation, it’s easier and less costly to manage change, innovation, and business growth.

2. Accelerate Innovation and Improve the Productivity of Manufacturing

Whenever business activities take place, you generate data. A wealth of financial, transactional, engineering, production, customer, vendor, and other information layers on top of the historical data already in your systems. In the cloud, data storage is practically unlimited.

However, not all data is actionable, and not all real-time data is meaningful.

With the right analytics and data management tools working in conjunction with your manufacturing management software, you uncover critical information, such as insight into production and supply chain management. You can also add market and competitive intelligence. Armed with understanding, you can make sound planning decisions that benefit the business today.

In a connected ERP environment, you structure your workflows based on data insight and ensure timely action. Real-time production data or data evidence immediately becomes available to the people responsible for production, procurement, engineering, and maintenance.

A data-driven integrated manufacturing ERP environment enables engineers to review information from the field, use that information to improve or customize their product designs, and pass the designs on to production without stopping any processes.

Shorten the time it takes to launch innovative products to your markets, and streamline new product testing to quickly advance from prototypes to full-scale manufacturing.

3. Bring Greater Efficiency to Engineering, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain Management

If you manufacture heavy equipment, industrial machinery, or any products that share a purpose, manufacturing ERP with centralized information and strong attribute management functionality works to your advantage. It’s easy to standardize and reuse designs, BOMs, or even packaging.

You can thereby simplify the engineering design of products while increasing their performance or durability. Innovation, production, and distribution benefit from better economy and efficiency.

Once you consolidate certain parts, components, or materials that are used over and over in your production, you can bring new efficiencies into your supply chain management.

You might be able to reduce your required parts inventory, sourcing fewer items at better terms or shorter lead times. Lowered costs and improved product designs directly impact business outcomes, resulting in a better customer experience and higher margins.

Standardizing certain parts and components may also give you a better selection of qualified vendors. Give your business to those companies that reliably deliver items of the quality you want. You might also be able to reduce the number of vendors you deal with by sourcing from the most dependable companies.

Gain all these advantages with a connected, modern manufacturing ERP platform. The right solution will give you a solid footing for transformative growth.

To find out more about what you can achieve with today’s manufacturing management software, download our whitepaper Manufacturing the Future