In Part 1 of this 3-part series about ERP for Specialized Manufacturing, we featured ERP for the Aerospace and Defense (AD) sector. If you missed that article, you can still read it here:
We began Part 1 with the premise that not all manufacturing is created equal, and it follows that not all ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) for manufacturing is created equal. We learn in Part 1 about ERP for the Aerospace and Defense industry that this sector has specialized requirements beyond the day-to-day demands and complexities of manufacturing in general.
Based on 31 years of experience, we know that the same is true for every other manufacturing sector you might choose to look at. Here are a few…
Getting back to the topic at hand, which is specialized ERP for the Industrial Machinery & Equipment (IM&E) industry, we will begin with a high-level view of the industry itself.
Industrial Machinery & Equipment Industry
The Industrial Machinery & Equipment sector comprises the manufacture of all mechanical machinery for use in mining, manufacturing, energy, and construction sectors, as well as the manufacturing of machine tools, material handling systems, heavy machinery, industrial machinery, and propulsion and powertrain technologies.
The Industrial Machinery & Equipment market in the U.S. is estimated at $162.9 billion and accounts for a 28.8% share of the global market. The global market, valued at approximately $563.0 billion, is expected to reach $797.5 billion by 2025 with a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.1%.
Today, Industrial Machinery & Equipment manufacturers face pressures to provide more services, value, and product innovation. Concurrently, opportunities are emerging worldwide to rebuild infrastructure and improve sustainability, thus triggering demand. To profit from this expansion cycle, manufacturers must refine, optimize, and further automate processes.
Having worked with IM&E manufacturing clients for the better part of 31 years, Strategic Systems Group (SSG) can boast a deep understanding of their processes and operations. We are, therefore, aware of what they expect an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to handle and accomplish for them.
A manufacturer in this sector must have an ERP system that can handle various moving parts, which should be carefully considered and streamlined to optimize operations. Examples include:
- Costing of Product Manufacturing
- Financial Reporting, including A/P, A/R, and GL
- Inventory Control which includes:
- raw materials
- bulk stock
- finished goods
- Production Control which includes:
- material issues and receipts
- production planning
- production processes
- Product Engineering, including:
- bills of material (BoMs)
- work centers
How IM&E Manufacturers Can Obtain Optimal Results from their ERP Systems
The first step toward optimization requires recognizing the challenges of your industry and the climate you are working in. As a manufacturer within the Industrial Machinery & Equipment manufacturing industry, you’ll most likely face challenges such as:
- Disconnected systems
- Inaccurate supply chain forecasting
- Inaccurate inventory forecasting
- Sudden, unexpected failures of customer equipment
- The need to offer faster turnaround times
While these challenges can create headaches, they are not insurmountable. Having an efficient, top-notch ERP system will make a noticeable difference in all the following functional business areas:
- Accurate price forecasting
- Better financial controls
- Tracking and honoring warranties on machines sold
- Accurate product costing
- Maintaining accurate, configurable BOMs
- Advanced planning and scheduling
- Conscientious and actionable traceability
- End-to-end supply chain visibility
- Enhanced quality assurance capabilities
Resolving the Top 6 Challenges Faced by Industrial Machinery & Equipment Manufacturers
At Strategic Systems Group (SSG), we see challenges as opportunities and room for improvement.
- Support for Complex Equipment Continuity
As an essential after-sales service, Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) requires a detailed record of customer equipment configurations and completed maintenance work to reach service level agreement requirements. Additionally, lot and serial number traceability, dependable parts warranties, replacement details, and history are critical.
- Customer Collaboration
Clients often struggle to create a single touch point to view customers, contracts, and orders within a fully integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. In addition, you must be able to manage special customer pricing for high-profile clients, meet or exceed customer expectations, and increase margins with precise quoting.
- Regulatory Compliance
Industrial Machinery and Equipment manufacturers must demonstrate compliance within their core processes and implement appropriate controls for accurate record-keeping to meet the level of attentiveness required.
- Managing Product Schedules
Consolidated end-to-end details, planning, and activity control are required to enable your business processes to function – from design, procurement, and production, to delivery and installation. After-sales field service ensures that your customers’ operations run smoothly.
- Rapid Time to Market for New Designs and Variations
Clients need accurate product configurations, streamlined order taking, and automatically generated factory and purchase orders with all the relevant information. This includes the materials and operations required to render the correct configuration of the finished product.
- Stable Profitability during Times of Fluctuating Costs
Industrial Machinery & Equipment manufacturers need the capability to oversee costs and profits across the business and to identify problems as they unfold. These problems might include: disparity in anticipated and true raw material and production costs, delayed supplier delivery, and outdated, slow-moving, or obsolete inventories.
This concludes Part 2 of our 3-part series about Strategic systems Groups (SSG)’s ERP for specialized manufacturing sectors, the first being Aerospace and Defense manufacturing. Stay tuned for Part 3, which will cover our Healthcare Manufacturing specialization.
Also, while this was designed as a 3-part blog series, I would be remiss if I mentioned a fourth area of specialized manufacturing ERP that Strategic Systems Group (SSG) has developed over the last 31 years: Apparel manufacturing.
Take the next step…