9 Questions to Ask Your Aerospace & Defense ERP Vendor

Aerospace & Defense is a large and complex business and there are many unique requirements for an Aerospace or defense ERP system. Here are a few questions for your ERP vendor:

Can it provide the certifications and program requirements needed by my customer and the government that is the end customer? If the certs are not 100% perfect, you don’t get paid. Is there a more important requirement?

Is the aerospace & defense ERP truly global? My business runs in plants around the world. I have suppliers in countries across the globe. My customer uses the products everywhere, including above the world. I need to link the whole supply chain and I need to track my business wherever I operate through my defense ERP system.

Can I communicate with suppliers and customers? I need to use EDI and XML to share information with all the businesses and governments in my supply chain. I need a web portal for customers and suppliers within the aerospace ERP. I need to use these web portals to receive crucial information in real time.

Will the ERP help with progress billings? My programs run for years and I like to be paid. I need detailed cost breakdowns by project and sub-project for each billing within the defense ERP software.

Does the aerospace & defense ERP have powerful reporting capability? I need to provide bills of material and routings with the planned build. Then, I need to report exactly the material and labor used in each operation.

Is quality management tightly integrated in the ERP? My customer requires a variety of quality checks throughout production and the program. All the data collected must be kept in the ERP system and be easily reported.

Can I trace all the materials used? Traceability of many key materials is required from my suppliers and where I used those materials in each serial numbered unit I ship. I need to trace materials by lot number or serial number or date code. I must be able to provide reports to answer any reasonable request.

Will the ERP help me with bidding for my next contract? This won’t be my only job. I want to be able to extract data from past jobs along with other data and analyze all of it within the ERP system. I want powerful analysis tools included.

Does the ERP provide project management tools? I have used MS Project in the past. I could continue if data can flow directly to Project. I would prefer to have those tools integrated in my aerospace & defense ERP.

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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