Manufacturing 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.