Are you having trouble keeping up with the rapid changes occurring in the manufacturing industry? Technology is transforming everything from consumer behavior, customer demands, technical capabilities, and even legislation. In order to address these changes, manufacturers need to innovate and streamline their practices continually. ERP software for manufacturing is just one piece of a strategy to remain competitive.
How the market is changing:
Technology innovation cycle is shorter. Technology improvements bring about many opportunities to add new services and cut costs. Advancements in technology enable greater manufacturing automation, new products, and service options. The problem isn’t advanced technology; the problem is how fast the technology is changing. It can be difficult to keep up.
Product life cycles are shrinking. Rapid changes in technology mean that product life cycles are shrinking. Think about the lifecycle of a mobile phone. New features and functionality are added every few months—a three-year old phone is considered ancient. This mentality is permeating nearly every manufacturing industry segment. What was new last month, is now old.
The world is getting smaller. Being competitive in today’s market means participating in the global marketplace. Being international is more than just sales; it includes global production and distribution as well. Many manufacturers are seeing more global competition which drives down prices.
Regulations are increasing. Thrown into this mix of industry transformation are increased regulations regarding sustainability and safety. The ‘throw-away’ aspect driven by shrinking product lifecycles have further drawn attention to the environment. In addition, with the globalization of the market, manufacturers need to consider international laws.
How manufacturers need to respond:
The market is changing and manufacturers need to change their business strategy and practices to remain competitive. Here are six business strategies that will help manufacturers compete.
Simplify manufacturing processes. Because manufacturers need to move more quickly than ever, it is critical to minimize production and design costs. Businesses can’t afford to implement processes with high costs and a long return on investment. Instead, manufacturers need to move to automated manufacturing and lean production to cut costs and deliver product quickly.
Narrow product focus. Market transformation may also require changing business strategy to focus on niche products and narrower markets. Instead of a broad product mix, focus needs to be on shortening product development and lead times and improving product and service quality.
Tighten controls. In order to improve product quality as well as meet new regulations, more money may need to be spent in quality control. It is more important than ever to establish repeatable quality production. In addition, manufacturers need to know the rules for international business and follow them.
Learn to be flexible and agile. In order to respond quickly to rapid changes in the market, manufacturers need flexible skills and resources. To create agility, they need to reevaluate organizational design to improve communication and generate quick response. Flexibility and agility will enable manufacturers to improve R&D efficiency and the pace and value of innovation. Those who fail to embrace the new reality will be left behind.
Expand operations. While narrowing product focus, manufacturers cannot narrow their geographic focus. Instead, they need to expand to include international sales implementing multi-channel distribution systems and perhaps global production. Partnerships may be essential in order to improve time-to-market and lower costs.
Improve customer relationships. In a fickle marketplace, customer relationships are more important than ever. After-market service and maintenance have become even more important to the revenue stream and the profitability of the company. Manufacturers need to consider service as a product.
Sound overwhelming? ERP software for manufacturing can help
When you need to be more agile and flexible while streamlining processes, modern ERP software for manufacturing is your answer. A modern ERP, like Sage 100 or Infor CloudSuite, offers specialized add-ons while maintaining central data control. With a complete ERP solution, you can streamline processes, produce a superior product, and improve customer satisfaction.
With ERP software for manufacturing, you will see these benefits that will help you navigate the challenges of today’s fast-paced market.
- Faster product development and time to market
- Production increases while controlling costs
- Control, traceability, and inventory management compliance that guarantee higher quality
- Workflow, audit trails, and document management systems that satisfy legislative requirements
- Enhanced forecasting and better supply chain management
- Higher customer service levels by improving the order process, automating deliveries, and better managing customer interactions
If you are looking for ways to adapt to a rapidly changing market, Emerald TC can help you evaluate ERP software for manufacturing, such as Sage 100 or Infor CloudSuite. Contact us for a free evaluation.