Top 6 Excuses for Not Implementing ERP (And Why You Shouldn't Make Them)

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 10:30:00 AM by Exact MAX

shield-417828_640As a small or mid-sized manufacturer, you likely have a lot on your plate. You might be feeling squeezed by larger competitors, or you could be struggling to maintain margins while keeping up your pledge to offer superior customer service. And with limited resources to take on new projects, it's easy to look for plausible reasons to avoid taking on new projects—especially one as sweeping as implementing a new ERP system.

While the reasons not to implement ERP might sound perfectly reasonable on the surface, the reality is that running a company without ERP can really hurt. Here's why.

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5 ERP Myths Debunked

Topics: Implementation, ERP, Best of Breed, SMBs

Posted on Aug 14, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Exact MAX

myth-or-factERP has been around for nearly 50 years. Thousands of companies have successfully implemented it during that time, but the same myths come back time and again. Here is the reality behind persistent ERP myths.

Myth 1: Small Companies Don’t Need ERP

Many small and even mid-sized companies still believe that ERP is too complicated for them and that they can run their businesses efficiently without the benefit of an ERP system. While it is possible to run a business with just spreadsheets and hand-written lists, it is incredibly time consuming and error prone—not to mention expensive. The reality is that with an ERP system designed specifically for small businesses, implementing ERP makes business processes more efficient and saves time and effort. With ERP, a small company can compete successfully with larger companies because of the insight and efficiency that ERP brings. There's not reason to shy away from ERP if you're a small to medium-sized (SMB) manufacturer. 

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5 Steps to Great Navigation & A Website That Sells

Topics: Front Office, Small Business, Manufacturing

Posted on Aug 5, 2015 1:00:00 PM by Anthony Trejo

web-store-paymentMy most recent web project made me realize once again how many moving parts there are when creating a website. Choosing a domain name, CMS and hosting seems trivial once the actual design and coding of the site begins. Everything seems ready to start working into the actual design, looking at palette colors, company logos and images. Yet before then, a very crucial part comes up: website navigation and user experience.

Yes, your company does manufacture great products. And I am sure that we all want to put everything out there - from product catalogs and order forms to press releases.  But, how do we choose the optimal navigation for our website? How do we lead our user through its journey to product discovery and purchase? That has to do with simplicity. And simplicity is not easy.  This time we will cover desktop websites only, leaving mobile sites for the next time.

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7 Ways to Achieve Manufacturing Success with ERP [Infographic]

Topics: ERP, Strategy, Infographic

Posted on Jul 30, 2015 9:30:00 AM by Exact MAX

7-ways-to-achieve-manufacturing-success-with-erp-previewManufacturing is complicated, with many competing priorities vying for the lion’s share of attention. Each priority is like a “house” on HBO's Game of Thrones, and it isn’t easy to tame even one house, never mind all of them. But tame them you must, if you want to rule the throne of manufacturing.

Here are few tips for bringing your 7 ERP houses into alignment.

1. House of Compliance

Most industries must conform to government regulations, and there are harsh penalties for failure. In Q1 2015 alone, there were more than 417 FDA recalls, a 5 percent increase from the prior year. The cost of a single recall can reach $600 million, according to Aberdeen Research. A hit like that can put an end to your hopes of leading the industry, so make sure your ERP system has strong and true lot and serial traceability.

2. House of Plenty

It's a fine balance between too much and too little when it comes to inventory. You need enough to keep the plant fed, but not so much that you drain your coffers and stuff your warehouses. Best-in-class companies track forecast accuracy so they can react quickly to changes in demand. If you want to win the throne, you need to be one of the 85 percent of manufacturers who report better visibility and real-time access to inventory insight from a complete ERP system.

3. House of Innovation

The world moves at a faster pace than ever before, and rapid product innovation is the doorway to gaining market share. If innovation is the door, engineering change order (ECO) management is the key that unlocks that door. Data integration that streamlines business processes is a key driver of product innovation, according to 59 percent of respondents in a recent survey.

4. House of Hierarchy

Designing for manufacturing flexibility helps enable mass customization and supports outsourcing of complex processes, and that means you need accurate bills of materials. According to Aberdeen Research, 42 percent of manufacturers consider maintaining bill of material accuracy a growing challenge. When selecting an ERP system, pay careful attention to the BOM functionality, or you may find yourself at the mercy of a monster from beyond the wall.

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The 11 Core Elements of an ERP System [Infographic]

Topics: ERP, Infographic

Posted on Jul 21, 2015 10:00:00 AM by Exact MAX

Let's Play "ERP Operation" & Dissect the Perfect ERP Solution

Manufacturing ERP Core Elements - Infographic Preview

Many people call a company’s ERP system its “backbone”. It certainly is the backbone, but it’s also the heart, soul and lifeblood of a company.

Here are some of the top reasons why...

1. One Centralized Location for All Your Information

Like your brain, your ERP system is the memory and consciousness of your company. It stores history of every customer and supplier interaction, as well as what happened on the shop floor. It knows where all your inventory is, and it knows when orders are due to ship. Whether you decide to run your ERP on premise or in the cloud, you need a central location for knowledge.

2. Integrated Reporting and Analytics

Integrated reporting and KPIs are like your company’s eyes. They show you which processes are working and which are out of kilter. Tracking performance is the first step in improving performance.

3. Data Import

We take nourishment from food, and your ERP system runs on data. Look for one that makes it easy to import data from other sources so you can nourish your entire business.

4. Customer Relationship Management

CRM is the ear of your organization, helping you to understand what your customers need and want. Maybe that’s why 69 percent of leading manufacturers use both CRM and ERP.

5. Materials Requirements Planning

MRP is the heart of every ERP system, helping to keep materials flowing smoothly so your operation runs efficiently.

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Quick ERP Assessment: What Solution is Right For Your Business?

Topics: ERP, Quiz

Posted on Jul 8, 2015 12:50:47 PM by Exact MAX

ERP is no small investment, so it's important to find a system that your manufacturing company can stick with for the long-haul.

One of the first steps to take in your search for the perfect ERP solution is to uncover your business challenges and ensure that the solution you ultimately choose can help you address those challenges head on. Use this interactive tool to get a jump-start on your ERP search and learn what to consider when choosing an ERP solution.

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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Auto-Fill Fields in Inventory Transaction Grids

Topics: Tips & Tricks Tuesday

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 1:08:43 PM by Exact MAX

How can I auto-fill fields in selected rows or an entire column of an Inventory Transaction Grid with the same value?

The following demonstration uses the Non-Inventory Purchase Receipt Grid. The same process can be used for other Inventory Transaction Grids.

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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Shop Order Creation and Sales Order Assignment from RMAs

Topics: Exact MAX, Tips & Tricks Tuesday

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 3:16:00 PM by Exact MAX

Did you know you can create the Shop Order to repair a part returned under an RMA and assign the Sales Order to return the repaired item directly from the RMA screen? A Sales Order to ship a replacement or a Credit Memo to credit the return can also be assigned from the RMA screen.

Creating a Shop Order from the RMA

Once the RMA has been created, the Shop Order for the repair can be created from the RMA Return Info Tab. This can be done even before the RMA is received so that the order will be visible for shop planning purposes.


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How to Improve Visibility Across Complex Supply Chains

Topics: ERP, Supply Chain, Planning & Change Management

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 11:00:00 AM by Exact MAX

Manufacturing Supply ChainOne unforeseen consequence of globalization is the dramatic increase in supply chain complexity. Manufacturers who source the same component from multiple vendors now deal with very complex global logistics systems. Not only have lead times extended, they've become less predictable (or more variable), resulting in pressure to increase inventories. As an article in Industry Week noted (The Key to Supply Chain ROI -- Improving Visibility To Drive Out Inefficiencies In Your Supply Chain), "even minor supply chain disruptions, such as a port delay, a vendor losing an order, or a container not passing inspection, can have significant impact on the supply chain.”

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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: The Tools Menu

Topics: Exact MAX, Tips & Tricks Tuesday

Posted on Jun 16, 2015 2:26:00 PM by Exact MAX

Did you know Exact MAX provides an easy way to keep frequently used documents and tools “at your fingertips” from within each MAX Module?

This is accomplished through the Tools Menu:

Exact MAX Tools Menu

Use the Tools menu for whatever you need “at your fingertips” such as:

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About This Blog

Insights, opinions and news relating to the world of manufacturing and ERP software. Read the full introduction here.

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