Home Blog Manufacturing ERP Handbook: Supporting the Needs of Industry 4.0

Manufacturing ERP Handbook: Supporting the Needs of Industry 4.0

Ray Rebello | August 23, 2017

If you want to be a Leader in the evolving manufacturing industry, you need to allow modern technology to be a part of your strategy. Implementing manufacturing ERP software to integrate and automate your processes is a key step in successfully taking your business to the next level.

According to the Aberdeen Group’s newest Whitepaper, the manufacturing industry is in a state of flux.

“Truly, the manufacturing industry is changing. Increased competition is leading to a focus on servicing customers. To succeed, manufacturers must explore new ways to deliver innovative products and services.”

Author Nick Castellina, Vice President and Research Group Director, Business Planning and Execution at the Aberdeen Group, says that manufacturers looking to succeed need to understand that “Industry 4.0 is here”. Industry 4.0 is the concept of combining automation of manufacturing processes with analytics through technologies such as cloud, analytics, and the Internet of Things, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.

Free Whitepaper - ERP's Role in the Modern Manufacturer: Supporting the Needs of Industry 4.0

How can manufacturers such as you successfully adapt to – and adopt – these technologies without disrupting your daily operations in the process? Castellina says the answer lies in implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution and manufacturing ERP software.

While this post will examine the report’s conclusions about cloud manufacturing and what it can mean for your manufacturing business, you can also read it for yourself; check out the free Industry Handbook, “Manufacturing ERP Handbook”.

Leaders, Followers, and the difference cloud manufacturing can make

In the Whitepaper, Castellina separates manufacturing businesses into two categories: Leaders and Followers. Leaders were the top 35% of the 130 respondents based on their delivery competency, inventory accuracy, and the improvement in profitability and productivity they experienced over the past two years. Those placed in the Leader category cited the following strategies as ways to improve their operations and how they “compete” in Industry 4.0:

  • Streamline and accelerate processes to improve efficiency and productivity
  • Modernize technology infrastructure and applications
  • Optimize the supply chain and improving interoperability and collaboration

Castellina says the combination of these strategies along with servicing and growing customers “are the keys to success in the modern manufacturing environment.”

And the foundation for all of these strategies is an ERP. Eighty-three percent (83%) of the surveyed manufacturers have implemented an ERP solution. Interestingly, the type of manufacturing ERP they chose seemed to influence their status as a Leader or as a Follower. Case in point, 31% of Leaders selected cloud manufacturing versus only 10% of Followers; Leaders tended to skip traditional on-premise models.

Acumatica customer and President of Ray Allen Manufacturing, Steve Cates can attest to the difference cloud manufacturing makes. Ray Allen Manufacturing, established in 1948, offers professional K-9 equipment. For the company to continue growing, Cates recognized the need to let go of their legacy system and embrace new technology. Acumatica’s manufacturing ERP software, along with our unlimited user licensing model, was the perfect fit.

“The benefits since we’ve been on Acumatica have been vast,” Cates says.

The manufacturing company experienced a high return on investment (ROI). It has reported process efficiency due to the integration of their systems, achieving increased customer service and satisfaction leading to increased profitability. Read the full case study – ERP system for Ray Allen Manufacturing.

With success stories such as this, the benefits of modernizing operations through the cloud and MRP (Material Requirements Planning) ERP are clear and manufacturers who recognize them are profiting big time.

Leading manufacturers understand the benefits of cloud manufacturing

As Castellina points out, the ERP you choose must “support the technologies that enable faster access to more useful data that enables efficient, agile, and automated processes.” Cloud solutions, such as Acumatica’s MRP ERP solution, give you the ability to take care of business whenever you need from whatever location you happen to be (check out the Acumatica Roadtrip as an example), including international operations. These solutions also provide real-time data from a configurable dashboard, customization, and continuous updates from your software vendor to stay abreast of new best practices and regulations.

Additionally, sixty-nine percent (69%) of Leaders have integrated business analytics into their cloud manufacturing ERP of choice, giving them the ability to fully utilize their data. The report says that “analyzing the effectiveness of processes, determining profit trends, and monitoring customer data can lead to better more insightful decisions that will positively impact the bottom line.”

The Whitepaper also says that the Internet of Things (IoT) plays a major role in whether a manufacturing company leads or follows. Simply put, IoT is the connection of any equipment or device you use to operate your business through implanted sensors to collect updated and accurate data; this data is then used to promote improvements in product and service delivery. Castellina goes more in-depth in the report as to why the IoT promotes success for manufacturers who choose to utilize it – read how you can get the most out of Industry 4.0.

Technology is going to continue to morph and your ERP solution must be able to keep up.

Use ERP and manufacturing ERP software to become a Leader

“By using ERP to support visibility, agility, collaboration, and emerging technologies, manufacturers improve performance across a variety of metrics that are indicative of their overall success as a manufacturer in Industry 4.0.”

Leading manufacturers are realizing that the many changes in the industry are influencing their profitability. Because of this, they have turned their focus to finding fresh ways to provide innovative products and exceptional service by adopting cloud solutions such as Acumatica and MRP ERP.

As we’ve only skimmed the surface on what the report has to say about Industry 4.0, manufacturing ERP software, and the role it plays in the success of your manufacturing business, we suggest you take a moment to read it in full: ERP’s Role in the Modern Manufacturer. We also hope you’ll contact our team at Acumatica – we want to be your partner as you revolutionize your manufacturing business. Implementing our manufacturing ERP software may be the impetus you need to become a leader in the industry.

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Former Director of Product Marketing at Acumatica

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