Fully integrated ERP systems could future proof smart manufacturing. Source: Shutterstock

Fully integrated ERP systems could future proof smart manufacturing. Source: Shutterstock

Why smart manufacturers need to optimize their ERP first

DEPLOYING digital solutions to solve traditional business problems have worked wonders for most industries.

Futuristic technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), and the rise in process automation has raised the bar for smart manufacturing.

In addition, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions have also revolutionized the way organizations design, plan, and execute their workflow.

By integrating ERP systems with emerging technologies such as IoT and AI, manufacturers could create more intelligent operations and further optimize their productivity.

Here are some of the benefits of deploying ERP to future-proof smart manufacturing operations:

#1 |  Improved business automation

ERP helps create a seamless operational environment by integrating data from different departments, thanks to its centralized database.

For example, an integrated ERP system could detect increased production volume from one assembly line and automatically notify the warehouse to make room for it, while also placing orders for additional raw materials.

Further, payments to vendors, issuance of invoices, and other routine tasks could also be automated using ERP.

In short, the software provides an easy way to communicate and coordinate tasks between inter-dependent business units.

#2 | Enhanced customer experience (CX)

The increased automation, which subsequently results in a quicker and more cost-effective service, increases customer satisfaction.

ERP systems could also be deployed to schedule periodic customer follow-ups, gain insights on service capabilities, and also track underperforming suppliers and vendors.

As customer experience is immensely valuable to businesses in the digital era, an investment in ERP could also be seen as an investment in customer experience.

#3 | Insightful decision making

In essence, an ERP system is a suite of integrated software that facilitates cross-functional interaction, that businesses use to store, manage, and process data on company activities.

By having all the information in one convenient platform, it offers business leaders a single source of truth, while at the same time providing enterprise-wide visibility.

This level of data enables them to make more informed business and strategic decisions.

In conclusion, smart manufacturing and operations help raise standards when it comes to productivity. While futuristic technologies such as IoT, AI, and ML may help companies achieve their operational goals, an ERP connects them all.

The solution ties all the different parts together, to ensure the entire operations that are made up of distinct and separate moving parts, work in unison to serve a common business goal.