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Mitigate Common Business Challenges with ERP Software for the Manufacturing Industry

Mitigate Common Business Challenges with ERP Software for the Manufacturing Industry


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Mitigate Common Business Challenges with ERP Software for the Manufacturing Industry

3 Aug 2023

Aptean Staff Writer
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With the booming of manufacturing facilities nationwide, it’s critical that you implement industry-specific technology to mitigate key challenges and drive growth to your business. In fact, 80% of surveyed North American manufacturers in the recent Aptean 2023 Manufacturing Forecast Report agree that technology is important in driving growth and a whopping 98% have developed plans to move to a fully digital environment.

Future proofing your manufacturing processes through digital transformation is key if you want to stay relevant in the industry. Manufacturers have found success in selecting a technology partner that can deploy, update, optimize and monitor all your system components—continue reading to learn how.

The Value of Implementing Technology in Manufacturing

Successful manufacturers are leveraging digital transformation initiatives to address critical challenges and to promote growth in their organizations. In fact, looking back at our Aptean 2022 Manufacturing Forecast revealed that 72% manufacturers said they have a digital transformation roadmap in place for some or all their department to ensure every investment supports their underlying business objectives—and enterprise manufacturers are more likely to be ahead of the curve in this area.

You’ve heard of enterprise resource planning or ERP—it’s a software solution with manufacturing functionality designed to help your business digitize and automate day-to-day operations for faster, smarter decision-making in your industry. Yes, ERP does that—and even more. Consider deploying an industry-specific manufacturing ERP software if you’re itching to address other critical challenges and achieve growth in your business.

In the same report mentioned above, we learned that 89% of manufacturers believe that technology is important to working more efficiently—and a third have already been using software to help mitigate increasing costs.

4 Common Challenges in Today’s Manufacturing Businesses and Their Solutions

Manufacturing is a complex business mainly because manufacturers use purpose-built processes to convert raw materials into finished goods that they then sell to distributors or directly to customers. Below are shared challenges which are common in manufacturing operations and how an industry-specific ERP can help solve them.

1. Workforce and Skilled Labor Shortages

Although factory construction is thriving in the U.S., employment has remained stagnant since January. In a Business Insider report, manufacturing employment has only grown by approximately 4,000 jobs.

If your business can no longer meet your customers’ demands due to lack of manpower, loyal customers may turn to your competitors.

The Solution: Identify Processes that Can Benefit from Automation

To mitigate labor shortages, you may consider identifying repetitive tasks in your processes that you think can benefit from automation—an ERP can do that for you. The aforementioned Aptean report revealed that automating repetitive tasks have helped address labor shortages. In fact, 50% of the surveyed manufacturers are already automating more tasks while 36% will ramp up their automation process over this year. In addition, this 86% of organizations will be using automation to mitigate labor shortage and attract new talent.

With industry-specific ERP software for manufacturing in place, automating your processes allows you to do more with the same number of people because they don’t have to get bogged down in performing manual tasks. When done efficiently, automation could help reduce your workforce cost.

Additionally, with a purpose-built manufacturing ERP, you can automate inventory management, performance efficiency, order management and production scheduling.

2. Complex Supply Chain Management

Typically, manufacturers’ supply chains involve several stops and multiple transactions, often leading to a complicated journey. It’s critical that you oversee the path from end to end, from ordering raw materials and receiving at the warehouse to conducting the production process and finally delivering the finished products.

Manufacturers shoulder the costs whenever there’s a long delay in delivery or if there’s a sudden uptick in raw material prices. Since supply chain disruptions are common in the modern business environment, it’s important that you streamline your process to mitigate financial losses.

The Solution: Implement End-to-End Supply Chain Management and Distribution Tools

Implementing an ERP solution allows you to leverage traceability tools to help you manage and optimize supply chain management. For example, the supply chain management capabilities can help improve processes, visibility and control across your supply chain.

With supply chain management capabilities in place, you no longer must constantly monitor inventory and worry that you may run out of materials for production. Once your inventory is consumed or drops below your set reorder point, your ERP alerts you by sending a purchase requisition to a buyer—who will then review it and send a purchase order to the supplier.

If your manufacturing operation includes distribution of goods to retailers or end customers, integrating ERP with transportation management software (TMS) may help you optimize route plans and potentially reduce costs because of delays, address resource inefficiencies and satisfy customer requirements.


of organizations will be using automation to mitigate labor shortage and attract new talent.

3. Inefficient Production Process

Poor product quality, increased waste materials and dissatisfied customers are common challenges if bottlenecks occur on the shop floor and other parts of the production process. To maintain integrity and improve customer satisfaction, it’s important you have a plan in place to ensure your finished products are safe, meet your quality standards and deliver on their value proposition for end users.

Manufacturing impediments could happen unexpectedly when processes aren’t optimized. The resulting delays in fulfillment and customer dissatisfaction could cause profit loss.

The Solution: Utilize Production Planning and Scheduling Tools

With production planning and scheduling tools within an ERP, you no longer need to use cumbersome methods like manually building your daily production plans and printing them out or drawing on a whiteboard that could cause errors in the manufacturing process. These tools help to optimize what products to make and when—which could increase overall production efficiency.

When choosing the best ERP for your manufacturing operation, it’s important that it ticks all the right boxes.

4. Lack of Real-Time Visibility and Data Integration

Information silos are a common challenge for organizations, and decision-makers often find it difficult to strategize when the information they need isn’t at their fingertips. When making major business decisions, it’s critical that you have all the updated data you need.

Achieving data integration across the entire organization can be challenging and may result in inaccuracies if different departments are using disparate systems or paper records. It’s critical that you have access to valuable information on time.

The Solution: One Source of Truth

With an ERP, all your data is integrated throughout the entire organization in real-time, making it a single source of truth, and key decision-makers can access critical information anytime and anywhere with our cloud software deployment. Having one unified database allows you to oversee and monitor procurement, inventory, production, quality assurance and sales. Moreover, having important business data in one place makes it easier for you to leverage business intelligence tools which is essential when performing analysis to inform critical business decisions.

As an example, manufacturing company Metalworking Group (MWG) has implemented Aptean Industrial Manufacturing ERP Made2Manage Edition to help them gain visibility into operations, improve material management, streamline scheduling and increase customer satisfaction.

Challenges like workforce and skilled labor shortages, complex supply chain management, inefficient production processes, and lack of real-time visibility and data integration are common concerns for manufacturers, especially those that haven’t undergone digital transformation initiatives. In today's current manufacturing environment, it’s critical that you implement an industry-specific ERP solution to keep up with your evolving business and industry demands—and your competition.

Implementing ERP software for manufacturing is a viable solution if you’re looking to streamline your day-to-day processes and succeed despite the obstacles inherent to today’s business landscape presents.

Ready to future-proof your manufacturing process? Contact us today if you want to learn more about our industry-specific industrial manufacturing ERP or request a personalized demo from one of our industry experts.

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