“Manufacturing ERP Software”. If you’ve been around manufacturing for any length of time, particularly if you’re a manager or if you’re in an IT department, you’ve probably heard this phrase mentioned somewhere. It seems quite a mouthful and is in fact rather catchy.
What does it really mean?
ERP stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning”. If you look at this web site you’ll find ERP includes management tools for a number of areas, including Financials, Customer Relation Management, Scheduling/Advanced Planning, Quality Assurance/Management, Supply Chain Management, Plant Level Performance Reporting, Business Intelligence, and Inventory, Warehouse and Distribution Management.
Manufacturing ERP looks at the entire organization as a whole, giving access to tools across the board for better managing the entire enterprise, not just one aspect of it. There’s nothing piece-meal about it. While it covers a number of different areas, that these areas interact isn’t something that can safely be ignored.
The problem with a lot of ERP software systems is that they’re either “canned” and users have to change how they do things to fit processes and such into the software’s box, or the software needs to be “configured” for the enterprise, which can take six months or more.
A custom-tailored ERP software system built from a well-constructed framework can take a lot less time to develop, be much less expensive, and can be designed to fit the organization’s needs, not the other way round.
This is what organizations really need anyway.