WHAT DATA SHOULD MANUFACTURERS BE LOOKING AT TO GROW THEIR BUSINESS
Since Covid19 threw a spotlight on the risks associated with reliance on off-shore manufacturing of critical equipment, there has been a surge of interest in Australia’s manufacturing capability, leading to a boom in demand for many. However, many manufacturers are finding the rapid increases in demand are placing a strain on inventory, supply chains, demand planning and other areas.
This article will help you to understand how some manufacturers are managing to rapidly respond to changes in demand.
WHERE IS THE DATA THAT IS GOING TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW?
With fast access to the right information and data, at the right time, your business can thrive, but how do you get a handle on which data you should be viewing and when?
Many mid-sized manufacturers, or manufacturers striving to get to the next level of growth, are viewing their data in silos. Frequently that data is maintained using spreadsheets or is held in disparate systems that aren’t accessible across the business. All too often essential information is controlled by one or two “essential employees”.
You may be struggling to generate reports on the true cost of goods, manage inventory efficiently, or track a customer’s sales history then read on.
DISPARATE SYSTEMS ARE COSTING TIME AND MONEY
If your team are reliant on numerous spreadsheets, downloading and manually handling files from different subscription based systems that only fulfil one or two functions, or inefficient risky processes, then you aren’t able to access the right, reliable, information to make responsive business decisions.
WHY DATA MATTERS
In order to grow your business and effectively compete then you need timely insight into the real cost of goods and services being sold. Without the right data at the right time how will you be able to tell what’s working and what’s not?
Timely and practical information will allow you to improve production and overall business performance.
What would you change if you had a true and timely understanding of inventory wastage, aging debtors, best performing sales reps or regions? With a clear understanding of what’s driving your business you can make the right call when it matters.
HIGH VALUE DATA FOR MANUFACTURERS
- Cost of Goods.
- Inventory Management
- End to end marketing to sales to accounting and finance.
- Workflows that streamline and optimise your business processes, ensuring you can grow your business without having to add more people.
- Accounting and finance insight that facilitates forecasting of what-if scenarios.
This is the information your bigger competitors have at their fingertips that is enabling them to continually react faster to volatile market conditions, while continually improve and refine their operating margins.
HOW TO UNLOCK DATA FOR GROWTH
A Single Source Of Truth
Siloed data needs to be shifted to a single integrated system. Bringing all of your manufacturing, customer, accounting, inventory and distribution information into a single solution with the capability to handle all these business functions ensures you are only handling data once and are able to generate the reporting necessary to drive your business to the next level.
With an ERP system all modules work together seamlessly – transferring vital business information to each division, making the right information accessible to the right people at the right time. Allowing each area of your business to access the data needed to respond rapidly, including your accountant, who can see instantly where your business is at. Integrated inventory to purchasing, production results with material requirement planning (MRP), sales orders to accounts receivable, all together in a single system.
Reporting When You Want It
Access to user specific dashboards that can call up a customer’s sales records, key contacts, service history or even debtor related information to ensure payment of accounts before new orders are despatched.
At the inventory level, you can track production picking, receiving, cycle counting, picking, transfers, and receipts for better inventory management.
Building role specific reports from a single database of information that support crucial workflows or business divisions gives you the ability to make informed decisions instantly and respond.
Multiple Currencies, Multiple Entities, Multiple Sites
Trying to manage multiple entities or sites using separate databases quickly causes data integrity and accounting issues.
Problems can be compounded when disparate sites are sharing things such as suppliers, services, employees, or portable equipment.
It quickly becomes next to impossible to track materials and stock, which can lead to inefficiencies, poor customer service, “lost” inventory and compromised data.
With an ERP as your single location for all data you will have true, accurate, real-time, business-wide visibility and business intelligence from any part of the system as well as master data management. You will be able to drill down into the details behind every transaction with confidence that your data is accurate and consistent.
Scalability – Increase Capability Without Increasing Headcount
It is often said that the biggest barrier to growth is the cost of adding more staff. An ERP ensures your business processes are optimised and scalable so that you can drive maximum growth with minimum headcount increases.
The right ERP will enable you to implement streamlined and optimised processes. You may be able to increase the productivity of, or re-purpose, your existing personnel. Growth does not always have to mean an increase in the number of resources required to achieve a goal.
Optimised Workflows and Staff Training
You don’t have to be shackled by legacy systems, disparate systems, spreadsheets and manual processes held together by a handful of essential employees. As you seek to implement an ERP look at the employees who will be using the system on a daily basis into the future.
If you engage your team early in the decision-making and implementation process and they start to see what their roles will look like after the implementation of the new system they will be invested in its success.
This is a fundamental tenant of effective change management as it eliminates the fear of the unknown and the fear that many people have of change.
Training your employees on how to use your new system, so that every user understands how to get the best from the system is also critical to maximise the chances of success. If your workforce don’t know how to use the new system or understand why or how your processes have changed they will try to revert back to the old ways, which will result in spreadsheets holding siloed data all over again.
WHERE TO START
Ndevr are specialists in ERP implementation for manufacturing operations as well as supply and distribution, engineering and construction, and real estate driven operations. Led by CEO Maureen Clifford, who is a former director, CFO and CIO, of Fisher and Paykel and established F&P’s Australian manufacturing operations in the 1980’s, we believe whole heartedly in delivering the best possible system for your business, representing several world class vendors, including MYOB Advanced.
Contacts us now, to talk to someone about the challenges involved in scaling your manufacturing operations for growth.