ERP for Electronics Companies: External Requirements

As well as the basic needs and financial needs of the electronics industry, ERP software must cater for external requirements which are unique to this industry.

If you are selling electronic components, or anything to automotive customers, you will need to ensure you can meet their requirement for EDI communications. There is a complete sequence of transactions from quoting to paying that are all defined in electronic communications between the buyer and seller. The individual transactions are probably already contained in any ERP system. There are third party players who can provide the communications links through EDI for you. But, if your electronics ERP software can provide the links, you can control the communications yourself and avoid the cost of the third party.

Floor plan is a common method to finance inventory for auto dealers and sellers of other high-ticket products including outboard engines and pianos. You might be the seller in some electronics business to a dealer who wants to floor plan his inventory. You need to provide communications to your customer and the bank that will pay for the products.

Maybe you don’t produce the products you sell. You take an order and a third party drop ships the product to your customer. Maybe a contract electronics manufacturer builds your product for you. Do they deliver to your store? Or do they ship to another third party such as a 3PL? All the business links in your supply chain will have communications needs and that communication will always include data from your electronics ERP system.

Improving Communications

Many businesses have sophisticated needs for their ERP and are not necessarily large multi national concerns. Your business might be entirely in your garage, or a small start-up experiencing rapid growth. But you sell through your web site and you want to sell through Amazon and EBay. Your electronics ERP will need to accept orders from your web site or connect to orders from Amazon. Those orders will need to drive your components procurement and electronics manufacturing processes. The transactions must be captured for your accounting processes.

Today’s ERP systems are made of complex inter-related modules where different modules will fill the needs of most electronics companies. They all allow for simple customization through user-defined tables and data elements. They have almost any transaction a business might make already programmed. You can probably use any on the available ERP systems and meet your needs.

The important difference may be your choice of reporting tools. You will need one, and your needs might be simple or complex. You will also need someone who can understand your needs, and those of your partners - the electronics industry relies on strong communication between disparate parties. This person must develop these communications continually improve them through the use of external electronics ERP functionality.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller