Global ERP, Global Manufacturing: A Match Made in Heaven

Manufacturing today is more global than it has ever been. We have large and small, high-tech and low tech manufacturers in almost all countries. Businesses have moved to developing countries, sometimes for access to low-cost labor and other times to be near resources. Despite the transitions, manufacturing is still alive and well in previously established global centers of manufacturing. Because of this global landscape, our manufacturing ERP systems are under increasing pressure to provide global ERP functionality.

Global ERP systems are also fueling this evolution. Communications are instantaneous and consistent in any direction. A demand might appear in India and be automatically routed to the manufacturing facility that can best supply the need. That facility might be in Laos or Latvia,the same product with the same quality can be made in either. Components for either plant are purchased from suppliers around the globe by a buyer located in Uganda or United States or anywhere else.

Customers Get the Benefits

One way our global manufacturing ERP systems enhance this worldwide production of goods is through quality modules in the ERP. Inspection plans for incoming materials are written for the entire company and used by all global sites. Much larger samples are reviewed in a global ERP system and feedback from more systems continues to enhance planning processes.

The same goes for work in process – one inspection plan is used by production in all locations and the additional inspections help improve the processes.

In global ERP, statistical process controls are designed for any plant using a particular process. The workers can see how they are doing in real time wherever they are and the data from real production is captured in real time and available for engineers anywhere in the world to monitor.

Customers get the benefits. They expect a quality product and they are likely to get one with no concern over where the product was manufactured.

Another benefit of a global ERP for manufacturers is consistent documentation of exports. Products are made in many different countries, they are moved through others and consumed in another. Documentation of various kinds is needed at almost every border crossing. The forms and paperwork can be designed by experts. Fields are automatically filled in by the manufacturing ERP system. The result: the customs people see exactly what they need for expedient passage. Like all of us, they will work on the easy jobs first. We can turn our products into their easy jobs.

Implementing global ERP allows us to have the best of both worlds. We can have manufacturing anywhere it makes sense. We can sell our products anywhere our customers happen to be.

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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

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Tom Miller

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