3 Features Every Manufacturing ERP User Wants

The manufacturing industry has not taken to cloud ERP as much as some other industries. But the cloud “attitude” has already taken over at many manufacturing ERP providers. This shift in focus has lead to a disparity between ERP vendor focus and the requirements of manufacturing users. Here are three functional areas of ERP systems that manufacturing users expect from modern systems.

1. Industry Support

Modern customer support too often means placing a call, wading through a complicated phone menu and selecting something as close as possible to the problem you want solved. Completing an online form with a limited selection of support choices is the other option.

Manufacturing users want to connect with vendor support staff who understand manufacturing processes. Individuals who have used manufacturing ERP to help produce and sell a product. Too often, they have to deal with a generalist who just fielded a call from a distribution business, and before that, a service business.

Manufacturing users want to connect with vendor support staff who understand manufacturing processes.

Manufacturing users are pretty good at figuring things out and developing their own solutions – that is part of everyday life for them. When they finally resort to vendor support for help, they need that support to be knowledgeable and on point. Make sure your manufacturing ERP users are happy with their current ERP support structure.

2. Social Collaboration and Intuitive Interfaces

Imagine a world where I can state a problem, within my organization, regarding the manufacturing ERP we use. Having stated the problem, I can receive help from other manufacturing ERP users within my organization - no matter where they are based - who have already found an actionable solution.

This is what ERP social collaboration is all about; the pooling of system knowledge to improve user adoption and process improvement. The success of social collaboration in any enterprise system depends heavily on the user experience and, therefore, on the user interface.

Reccommended Reading: Manufacturing ERP - 10 Steps to Success

All manufacturing ERP users will have their favorite app and user interface features. They want their ERP to feel the same and be just as easy to use. Many applications outside of the manufacturing industry spend a lot of time and money trying to make their products intuitive. Manufacturing ERP users expect the same level of intuition in their enterprise systems.

3. Business Intelligence

Business intelligence tools help users make the right choices. We can analyze volumes of data in a fraction of a second. We can apply well-defined rules to data analysis allowing us to provide a suggested action tailored to any ERP user in any part of the business.

Manufacturing businesses understand their people are more than just another tool and can be relied upon to work through problems and processes in an autonomous manner given the right data. Use BI to provide your manufacturing ERP users with that data.

From a C-level executive to the newest production worker, your ERP users should be utilizing BI tools. Why not have an alert that instantly shows a production worker the optimum job and operation to start next, as soon as they click complete on the previous operation? How about a dashboard for sales, based on existing orders and current production status? Why not implement CRM that lists all the prospects to be contacted today and a suggested message or talking point?

Manufacturing ERP users will always expect more from their current system. It is your job to implement, maintain and upgrade ERP in a manner which supports these user requirements in the best way possible.

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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

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