Adopting next-generation, digital Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions is no longer an option, but a core business imperative for manufacturers. A key factor necessitating this adoption is the emergence of “Industry 4.0”, or the fourth wave of industrial revolution, with technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Analytics, Big Data and Cloud transforming the value chain.
Consequently, the lines separating the physical and digital worlds are increasingly getting blurred. For manufacturers like you, to effectively capitalize on this accelerating convergence, you will have to deliver tailored, omni-channel customer experiences, drive greater collaboration across the ecosystem, boost supply chain visibility, and reduce time to market.
At an operational level, this will require a reengineering of your processes and empowerment of the workforce–both enabled by the latest digital ERP solutions. Augmented by disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Mobility and IoT, modern enterprise applications can help you institutionalize an agile business model, and promote real-time, informed decision making.
By harnessing the advanced ERP suites’ data analytics capabilities, you can strengthen the digital connectivity between key stakeholders including designers, managers, workers, consumers, and even your industrial assets.
This, in turn, can foster a re-imagination of core functions across the manufacturing ecosystem, including procurement and sourcing, operations, marketing, sales and service. As a result, you will be able to strengthen customer centricity, accelerate innovation, increase operational efficiency, and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Advantages of Digital ERP
Built on a flexible architecture, today’s ERP solutions are easily upgradeable and scalable, and can be effectively integrated with new applications as well as legacy systems. Key advantages offered by digital ERP solutions include:
Real-time data and “smart” insights: With the growing adoption of “smart”, connected devices and applications, you have a steady stream of real-time data at your finger tips. Digital ERP Systems can help companies harness this data more effectively at every stage of the manufacturing lifecycle, thereby gaining better visibility into their production assets for optimal operational planning and execution. Further, you can use the predictive analytics functionalities of advanced ERP applications to glean deeper insights around dynamic market conditions and competition.
Robust reporting: Today’s latest breed of ERP solutions include, convenient, self-service reporting features that let you accurately track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and proactively predict and fulfill customer needs and expectations.
Easy accessibility: Driven by Cloud Computing and Mobility, ERP applications can be provisioned anywhere, anytime. You can thus foster a “smarter” and informed work culture across the enterprise. Moreover, by deploying a Cloud-based ERP system, you can embrace manufacturing as a service to significantly reduce your TCO.
Effective integration: Real-time business computing is now a reality, thanks to the availability of connected ERP solutions that have blurred the lines between IT and operational technology (OT). They serve as a single, centrally streamlined business solution, which allows stakeholders across various departments to proactively collaborate and brainstorm.
Greater visibility: The complexity associated with multi-site manufacturing will now likely be a thing of the past, as Cloud-based ERP solutions can simplify operations by ensuring better supply chain visibility and product traceability. You can maintain tight control over purchases of raw material, and synchronize supply with demand. It is also possible to track costs, and target areas of improvement, by gaining end-to-end visibility into accounting, distribution and other functions.
For instance, Philips is implementing a Cloud ERP setup to unearth new monetization opportunities across its evolving connected manufacturing ecosystem. The consolidated, robust system also helps the company track products, subscription and service components.
Social savviness: Manufacturing ERP is increasingly embracing social capabilities, enabling key stakeholders to track sales orders, follow each other, communicate more easily, and collaborate on crucial initiatives.
The road ahead
Digital ERP looks set to play the role of a game changer, empowering you to accelerate innovation for cost-effective, customer-centric digital transformation. However, to realize optimum value from ERP, you need to choose a reliable and flexible solution that aligns with your business imperatives and operational needs. Also, put in place strategic measures to control and protect your centrally connected network from data security risks.
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