9 ERP Project Management Features You Need to Run Your Next Project
ERP project management can be seen from several perspectives and different vendors will align their software toward different target markets. A project might be a sales campaign collecting many orders from many customers along with all the related production. It could also be a big job such as the manufacture of ships that contains sub assembly jobs like the engines, hull, and other parts of the vessels and each of those will have sub component jobs. As the variety of projects differ, so will your requirements for project management functionality. Here is a rundown of the ERP project management features you will want to consider.
Whatever your project is, you want your ERP system to be a tool that keeps people, parts and processes on track. This means being able to allocate resources where and when they are needed for the completion of the project to the completion of the project.
A project that starts will rarely finish with the same definition that it had at the beginning. New technology comes along that needs to be incorporated into later deliveries of your product. Your ERP needs to track these changes, reschedule and adjust workflow so that the revised version is quickly in process. This ERP project management feature should also monitor the disposition of any components that no longer are needed.
Projects are sold based on estimated costs plus markup. Your ERP has to track actual costs as the project moves along and provide comparisons to the estimate to help ensure profit at the completion. Would your projects require this tracking to be on a real-time basis?
Corrective actions are there to fix project problems. The term might refer to an overall change of course when the project profit is in trouble. But could also refer to specific quality processes to manage deviations from the plan at discrete operations within the overall flow.
Time & Billing
Some projects need to be done right now whatever the cost. A bridge collapses on a major highway for example. The state might hire a contractor to replace the bridge on a time and billing basis. The contractor will track actual spending and mark it up for progress billings during the life of the project within their ERP system.
Real-Time Information Access
One of the major features of ERP project management systems is the ability to provide common up-to-date information in real-time to all the people involved from management to execution levels.
Some projects are transacted with an incentive payment for early completion and perhaps a penalty for late completion. Your ERP project management module should be aware of the dates and schedule the project for early completion. The system should also provide alerts warning of any possibility of late completion.
Engineer to Order
A project might be to design and manufacture something at the same time. These will include significant engineering, scientific, or perhaps architectural involvement designing the project before manufacturing or construction begins. Tracking research work will require a different tool set in ERP than tracking production work. These projects will also rely heavily on available to promise (ATP) in order to manage promise dates for completion.
Transactions include time charged to the project. They also include material or services bought for or charged to the project. These charges are events that might trigger an alert to management. They are also building blocks that stack up to the overall cost of the project and the profit contribution of project phases.
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