How important is flexibility when assessing your manufacturing ERP options and for remaining competitive? Acumatica’s new Whitepaper says it is top priority and explains why.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), manufacturers contributed $2.33 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2018’s first quarter and that most of the manufacturing firms in the U.S. have fewer than 500 employees (as of 2015). Obviously, SMB manufacturers pack a powerful punch, and Acumatica’s new Whitepaper, Manufacturing’s Competitive Needs and ERP Flexibility, highlights how their size fosters flexibility and how finding a manufacturing ERP that flexes with them provides a competitive edge.
SMB manufacturers: who they are, what they do, and how they can compete
Manufacturers of all sizes share many similarities. For example, they all share the end goal of producing profitable products using parts and materials from suppliers. They must oversee their inventories, sell their product, handle distribution, and manage financials.
Manufacturing differences, however, revolve around the requirements that come with the specific product that is being produced and the volume of products being made. The Whitepaper describes in detail the Association for Supply Chain Management’s Volume-Variety Matrix, which explains the amount of support that is needed based on the “low volume/high variety, high volume/low variety” spectrum. Often, manufacturers are producing both types of volume and variety simultaneously.
“It is not unusual for a plant to produce high-volume consumer goods in one part of the plant while another area of the plant operates in batch mode making sub-assemblies or components to feed into the assembly lines,” the Whitepaper notes. “The plant may also have a job shop that makes tooling, equipment, or special orders for key customers.”
This flexibility within their operations translates into needing manufacturing software that can keep up. Another factor businesses need to consider when making their manufacturing ERP software selection is whether they produce “discrete” (hard goods manufacturing) or “process” (materials or products that pour) products.
SMB manufacturers’ advantage
Regardless of similarities and differences, SMB manufacturers have a leg up on the competition by the very nature of their size. “[SMB manufacturers] generally can change business processes, manufacturing techniques, product designs, and production volume more readily than big companies with a complex management structure.”
The Whitepaper is quick to point out, however, that lack of resources and the prohibitive cost of large ERP packages may hinder their ability to make the changes. Because of this, SMBs have had to rely on industry-specific solutions that limit their inherent flexibility, especially when market changes (e.g. shift to cloud technology) occur. This means they need to find manufacturing ERP software that can adapt to their needs and to changes dictated by the market.
In the Whitepaper, you’ll learn the importance of flexibility and functionality in your manufacturing ERP package as well the importance of looking to the future when making your decision. The manufacturing ERP you choose should allow for:
- Communication and collaboration with customers, suppliers, subcontractors, service providers and the shop floor
- And more
“Your ERP choice should be a long-term decision. The chosen system cannot be allowed to limit your company’s growth or expansion. Technology must be an enabler, not an impairment to your business,” the Whitepaper states.
Grow with a flexible manufacturing ERP
Whether you manufacture electrical equipment, automotive parts, food products, cosmetics, or anything in-between, you require a manufacturing ERP that can flex, function, and adapt with your manufacturing processes and requirements. The right manufacturing software increases efficiency and the ability to compete with larger manufacturers. As you consider your options, Acumatica invites you to check out Acumatica Manufacturing Edition.
Acumatica Manufacturing Edition (enhanced in Acumatica 2019 R1) is a complete, multi-site cloud manufacturing control and planning system. It provides real-time coordination of your manufacturing activities (manufacturing, inventory, and accounting management) across the organization through seamless integration with Acumatica’s Distribution Management, Customer Management, Financial Management, and Project Accounting suites. The flexibility and usability you require is found in its make-to-stock, make-to-order, engineer-to-order, project centric, job shop, batch, and repetitive manufacturing functionality. Meeting your schedules and tracking your costs will never be easier.
SMB manufacturers’ future growth outlook is looking bright. The NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey of 466 manufacturers around the country found “manufacturers continued to report solid growth in activity this quarter, with the sector remaining one of the brightest spots in the economy and hitting nine consecutive quarters of record optimism.”
This is great news for SMB manufacturers. If you download Manufacturing’s Competitive Needs and ERP Flexibility, you’ll learn how flexible manufacturing ERP can encourage even more growth for your organization and how it can help you outperform the competition. Feel free to contact our team if you have questions about Acumatica’s award-winning cloud ERP solution and Acumatica Manufacturing Edition.