Technological advancements in manufacturing, such as robots and industrial manipulators, are changing the way businesses operate. And as things become more complex in the manufacturing process, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can help boost business efficiency.
In this article, you’re about to discover what an ERP system is and how it can support your manufacturing business.
What is Enterprise Resource Planning?
Enterprise Resource Planning is a management software that helps warehouses optimize their process. It provides a system of integrated and centralized applications that help manage and automate various recurring tasks, like inventory management or shipping updates and notifications.
Generally speaking, ERP is a helpful tool across several industries – but in particular, it can be extremely valuable for manufacturers and warehouse facilities.
How Can ERP Support Manufacturing?
There are many aspects of manufacturing that can be supported and optimized by ERP software – let’s take a closer look:
1. Bill of Materials Features
The BOM (Bill of Materials) describes the specific parts or steps required to manufacture a product, including raw materials, assembly instructions and quantities needed of each component.
A manufacturing-specific ERP software is designed to easily track and manage the different aspects of your products’ BOM.
Say your warehouse manufactures tables. Your ERP system would work to:
- Create a list of pieces and products needed to complete the table
- Track data from several departments on the table production process
- Alert users when additional quantities of table components need to be ordered
- Estimate future table production costs
This feature is beneficial for inventory management and budgeting, making sure your warehouse has enough product to fit the demands of your customers.
2. Routing Tracking
Routing is a description or roadmap of the process you need to follow to assemble or ship a final product. At this point, a manufacturing-specific ERP solution helps you place descriptions in order based on how you need a product to be built.
For example, an ERP system can help you organize a picking process route that tracks the following:
- Where each part is located
- How many items are currently in stock
- Who is responsible for picking and packing the items
ERPs are even helpful if some steps of your product routing are subcontracted and executed outside of your company. You can fully manage your route with ERP software, even as it continues outside of your facility.
If you’re currently using a warehouse management system, many ERPs also have WMS integrations available, so you won’t need to be switching between systems.
3. Work Order Creation
Work orders are documents provided to the manufacturing shop floor as signals to produce a certain quantity of a specific product. The work order includes both your BOM and routing processes.
The customized ERP system will create an individual work order for each operation and their appropriate departments. If we continue with our table example, there would be one manufacturing order for one table and smaller work orders for every step needed to assemble the table.
The ERP system also gives manufacturing facilities the ability to create and track master production schedules, or MPS. Master production schedules organize production processes at a large scale – usually collaborating with other facilities and manufacturers. It outlines what items need to be manufactured, where and how soon.
An ERP-managed master schedule enables manufacturers to assign work based on their facility’s current workload and capacity.
4. Product Life Management
PLM (Product Life Management) is a way to manage the entire lifecycle of a single item, from beginning to end. This lifecycle may include:
- Product Design
- Product Engineering
- Product Assembly and Manufacturing
- Product Shipping and Delivery
- Additional Product Services or Repair
If your warehouse needs to track your products’ intricate lifecycles (both inside of your own facility and out), an ERP can help. This software keeps a record of your product’s progress and outcome so that manufacturers can have more control of their inventory’s process from start to finish.
5. Quality Assurance
ERP software is additionally designed to boost quality assurance and reduce product damage. With ERP software, you can set up automated audits and checks of new products or materials entering your warehouse.
An ERP system helps track and record can help you in every step of the Quality Assurance process:
- You’ll have access to real-time data on your inventory’s QA status.
- Your ERP software will be an accessible hub for everyone involved in the production process, ensuring everyone is working within the same procedure parameters and quality standards.
- In the case of a recall, your ERP system will have a record of all products affected, helping to reduce any negative impact.
When it comes to the quality assurance of your facility’s products, you can never be too careful or thorough. ERP software is the perfect tool to ensure the items entering or leaving your docks are up to your standards.
Warehousing Time – Savers
Like ERP systems, the Dalmec team is always focused on finding ways to save your warehouse time, money and energy. That’s why we offer our high-quality, long-lasting industrial manipulators.
Industrial manipulators give your employees the ability to pick up, transport and store heavy products with ease. They reduce physical strain on your employees while allowing them to spend more time on other important tasks. Plus, our manipulators can be customized to fit the unique needs of your warehouse.
Contact us today to learn more about how our material handlers can transform your warehouse.