Manufacturers have long used enterprise resource planning to manage their finances, take control of payments, and gain visibility into processes. With nearly every manufacturer using ERP software, the difference between leaders and followers isn’t whether or not they have embraced ERP, it’s how they are leveraging it.
According to the recent Aberdeen Group report on the current state of ERP in manufacturing, leading manufacturers (top 35%) are only slightly more likely to use ERP software than their peers, embracing the software at 97% compared to 88% among followers. This means that the leaders are using the software differently. How so? Read on to find out.
How Leaders are Using Manufacturing ERP Differently
The recent Aberdeen Group report, Creating a Modern, Effective Manufacturing Environment with ERP, explored the different ways leaders use ERP, and found that leaders are more likely to embrace communication, utilize the data available, and leverage more modules than their less successful peers.
Embrace Modules and Integrations
Just because a company uses ERP, it doesn’t mean that they are using modern ERP. It also doesn’t mean they are using all of the tools available to them. Across the board, leaders were more likely to implement both general and industry-specific modules than followers, with the biggest gaps occurring in warehouse management (70% vs. 45%), fixed asset management (70% vs. 53%), and general ledger (90% vs. 75%).
Beyond that, followers also were less likely to extend their ERP by connecting it with other functions. Whether in the form of CRM integrations (67% of leaders, 40% of followers), advanced warehouse management (56% vs. 20%), or standalone financial planning and budgeting (54% vs. 39%), followers consistently came up short.
One of the key selling points of Modern ERP is its ability to facilitate internal and external communications. Through integration, leading manufacturers can use modern technology to share data with key stakeholders including suppliers, customers, and regulators, as well as those within the organization.
Smarter Data Use
Demand planning is a consistent challenge for all manufacturers, but the ability to rise to this challenge is what separates leaders from followers. According to the Aberdeen study, leaders were able to leverage the data they had available in order to plan more effectively and efficiently, utilizing additional modules, better collaboration functions, and smarter data management in order to predict and prepare for changes.
Followers, even those who had the data available to them, faced challenges collating and analyzing the data in order to make informed decisions that improve their business’s presence in the supply chain. They weren’t able to use data properly to plan for demand variance, and the study found that the problem only looks to get worse if the manufacturer looks to expand.
Get the Guide: Creating a Modern, Effective Manufacturing Environment with ERP
ERP is nothing new, but ERP is also one of those software options that has seen massive technological advancements in the past decade. With the average time between ERP projects at nearly a decade, you may have missed some of the new features that have appeared, and may have fallen behind. We invite you to download the entire Aberdeen Group Report, Creating a Modern, Effective Manufacturing Environment with ERP, provided free courtesy of Acumatica and Clients First. Download the entire guide here.
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