How Optimizing Your ERP Can Contribute To Manufacturing Efficiency

In the dynamic landscape of modern manufacturing, efficiency is the key to staying competitive and meeting customer demands. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems play a pivotal role in streamlining operations, enhancing collaboration, and ultimately boosting overall productivity. The following details various ways ERP systems can be optimized to contribute to manufacturing efficiency.

Understanding the Role of ERP in Manufacturing

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, encompassing a suite of integrated applications, serve as central nervous systems for businesses, facilitating coordination across diverse departments including accounting, sales, supply chain and production. In manufacturing specifically, the ERP's role is magnified, addressing specific industry needs by providing planning, data capture, instructional, quality control and inventory tools, amongst many others. ERPs also provide real-time data access crucial for informed decision-making so that businesses can pivot their production according to internal and external influences.


Key Challenges in Manufacturing Efficiency

A major hurdle in manufacturing efficiency is the presence of data silos – pockets of information that impede decision-making. ERP systems, when strategically employed, serve as data unifiers, dismantling silos and promoting a holistic view of operations.

A key contributor to siloed data is the integration of legacy systems. A legacy system refers to an older, often outdated, and sometimes obsolete computer system, software application, or technology infrastructure that is still in use within an organization. These systems have typically been in operation for a significant period, and they might be characterized by outdated hardware, software, programming languages, or architecture. Legacy systems often pose challenges due to their incompatibility with modern technologies, potential security vulnerabilities, and difficulties in maintenance and support. Despite their limitations, legacy systems are often crucial for the day-to-day operations of an organization, making the process of transitioning to newer technologies, such as ERP systems, a complex and strategic undertaking. The challenge of integrating with legacy systems is met by devising strategies that ensure a smooth assimilation of modern ERP functionalities with existing technologies.

Additionally, the adaptability and scalability of ERP systems play a pivotal role, necessitating solutions that evolve with the business and cater to the demands of a growing manufacturing landscape. It is important to consider these factors and the support infrastructure in place when selecting an ERP and a technical support contract.


Strategies for Optimizing ERP Systems

Customization is a method for tailoring ERP systems to align seamlessly with the unique workflows of manufacturing processes. The customizability of each ERP will vary so the flexibility of a system should be considered. It is important to note that ERPs are designed to work most efficiently in a particular manner, and customizing an ERP to adhere to current physical processes may not be the most effective solution. Often adaptations to physical workflow processes in tandem with ERP customization can facilitate a more harmonious synergy with an ERP, so both approaches should be considered when optimizing a manufacturing process.

Real-time data analytics, a powerful tool in manufacturing, enables proactive decision-making, optimizing production schedules and resource allocation. Integration with the Internet of Things (IoT) further enhances ERP systems, providing real-time data from machinery. The implementation of mobile accessibility ensures that ERP systems empower manufacturing teams with on-the-go access, facilitating communication and decision-making directly on the shop floor.


Overcoming Implementation Challenges

Implementation challenges, notably resistance to change, are addressed through effective change management strategies, emphasizing employee training and engagement. Furthermore, cybersecurity considerations become paramount in safeguarding sensitive manufacturing data, necessitating the implementation of best practices for ERP system cybersecurity.


Future Trends and Innovations in ERP for Manufacturing

The future landscape of ERP in manufacturing is marked by the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), facilitating predictive maintenance and quality control. Blockchain integration is also emerging as a transformative trend, ensuring transparency and traceability in the supply chain through secure and decentralized data storage.


Case Studies: Real-World Example of ERP Optimization

A client of Brixey & Meyer has recently undergone a manufacturing optimization project aimed at increasing visibility and improving production output. Previously, the client had limited visibility into a section of their production workflow that dealt with rework. Without being able to see the volume, type, or lead-time of rework, the customer could not accurately attribute cost to the finished product and therefore overall profitability of a specific business channel. Additionally, due to lack of visibility into this process, it was very difficult to see where improvements could be made and resources focused. In this example, the client had an up-to-date ERP system but needed support getting the most out of the tools employed. By breaking down the physical and system workflows, and working with the ERP technical support teams, Brixey & Meyer were able to evolve the way the client planned, executed, and reviewed their rework process, leading to a significant improvement of visibility, higher accountability, lower rework, and therefore higher profitability.



Optimized ERP systems can be transformative for manufacturing. Manufacturers who proactively adopt and adapt ERP solutions to meet industry demands, benefit from the far-reaching impact on efficiency, responsiveness, and competitiveness in the ever-evolving global marketplace. By adopting the strategies outlined, coupled with a commitment to staying abreast of emerging technologies, manufacturers can unlock new levels of productivity and innovation for their business.


How Brixey & Meyer can help

The most effective way to ensure your business has an optimized manufacturing process is to involve Brixey & Meyer during your ERP selection. Because Brixey & Meyer are not tied to any one solution we are impartial when it comes to selecting and recommending systems and will always consider what is best for your needs. In addition to selecting systems, years of implementation experience has provided us with a wide network of pre-vetted implementation partners. The success of an implementation depends not only on the system selected, but the people selected to work alongside your team in making your transition a reality. In addition to ERP and partner selection, Brixey & Meyer are experts in optimizing current systems and processes, as explored in the above case study. We can assist you with getting the most out of your current system and technical support resources.

If you are thinking about making changes to your system in the near future we’d love to hear from you.


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