The manufacturing industry has changed and is relying on data and analytics from a manufacturing ERP system more than ever to support its business endeavors. Data is required to provide visibility over the company’s operations. Managers use these data and analytics to make better decisions for the company. The delivery system that collects the data and stores it must be reliable; the data must be timely and accurate. The manager must be able to access it in a format that is understandable.
Organizations have spent several decades trying to find software applications to provide decision-support capabilities. In most cases, there has been a succession of tools that worked in some cases but were not broadly successful. The reason is that staff had to learn a different user interface (UI) for analytical tools than the UI they were accustomed to in their day-to-day operational activities when working with an ERP system. So, if a manufacturing ERP can deliver all the information that staff need for decision-making, then they can have the insights needed to take the necessary actions.
Data Use Challenges
Many manufacturers are data-rich but when it comes to using it, they are insight-poor. This is because they do not have the appropriate IT architecture for staff to use data to run their operations better and give better customer service.
Often organizations do not have the high-quality, trusted systems to provide analytics for reporting and decision support. The challenge is that data is not seen as a key asset that requires quality control and governance.
In most companies, the first mile of data and analytics has occurred—amongst executives, and in marketing and sales. The issue is to address the last mile problem and make adoption more broadly available across the organization.
In other situations, businesses face various data challenges.
- Management reporting and scorecards are used, but prepared manually
- The visibility into business operations is limited or non-existent due to lack of access to information
- In a rapidly changing business environment, the information needed to quickly know what is going on is unavailable
- IT developers spend a lot of time creating custom reports, which need to be redone with each business change
- Reliance on spreadsheets means too much time is required to manually extract and reformat data which can also contain errors
Manufacturing ERP Contains Essential Data
An ERP system contains all the essential data that personnel need to make decisions about their processes and operations. Whether it’s information about suppliers, procurement, inventory management, factory operations, sales or service, an integrated ERP solution has the data necessary to make decisions. It then becomes a question of how to present that information.
In addition, an ERP which is extensible and enables integration with third-party products using industry-standard technologies provides an environment in which data from various sources can be consolidated. So, shipment information from a logistics partner can be integrated and consolidated with supplier orders to provide a fuller picture of when goods are expected to arrive. In another case, Internet of Things data from the factory floor can be collected and aggregated with data about manufacturing jobs to give more detail about production operations.
How to Build Data and Analytics Capability
To set up a functional data and analytics capability involves several steps.
- Understand business priorities and how data can support them
- Understand how data can be used to link business goals and metrics
- Start promoting data as a key asset
- Decide on an architectural framework for managing the data, and the software tools that will be needed
- Identify the roles and competencies needed to deliver and maintain the environment
It is important that the tools selected can provide relevant data in real-time, with the ability to drill down to see the detail underlying the information.
Review and Refine
- Evaluate value and get feedback
- Reassess strategy
- Make changes accordingly
Visibility a Priority
There is no doubt that visibility into performance and operations is a priority for manufacturers. This initiative will require a much greater use of analytics throughout the organization. A manufacturing ERP stores a large volume of data created by the company and lays the foundation on which to build a trusted data and analytics capability.
SYSPRO ERP from PositiveVision gives you a customized solution based on your company’s needs. With more than 50 different modules to choose from, you can build the specific manufacturing ERP system you want. You can add more modules or swap them out as your business grows and changes. Discover more about SYSPRO ERP solutions by contacting us to speak to a product expert.