Optimal Support for All Processes
The pressure from competition, deadlines, and costs is high in manufacturing companies. Therefore, business processes and IT support for them must continually be optimized. With consistent processes adapted to the requirements, ERP industry solutions make a decisive contribution to this.
Industry solutions – high process coverage is standardIf a company wants to optimize its business processes throughout the entire value chain by using a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, it cannot avoid an industry-specific solution, since, exactly like all other ERP systems, industry-specific solutions cover all processes consistently in one system, from materials management (procurement, inventory, and distribution), production, sales, and marketing, through finance and accounting, to controlling and personnel management. They also handle company-wide reports, cross-departmental integration of customer order information, master data management, and product and document data management. Only in this way is it possible to locate and enhance potential for optimization throughout the value chain. However, the additional, decisive strength of ERP industry solutions is the fact that they cover all industry requirements in depth, and the scope of their standard functions provides 80 to 90 percent of the required functionality. For instance, this includes special functions for planning and management of complex manufacturing processes or key processes for cost accounting, which generic ERP systems cannot offer. This custom-fit pre-configuration is possible thanks to the solution vendors' years of experience from completed implementation projects for companies in the industry. This experience is incorporated into their industry solutions in the form of "best practices".
The advantages for the companies are obvious: the pre-configuration ensures that all the departments' requirements are covered as far as possible so that complex system adjustments are not needed. The results are comparatively short implementation times and, to the delight of the controlling department, a straightforward budget. Nonetheless, the industry solutions also include flexibility and scalability to cater to the company's individual special characteristics and keep pace with developments. One tip that companies should always take to heart: they should reduce "customization" – system adaptations to company-specific peculiarities – to a minimum, not only in view of short implementation periods. The individual adaptations will need to be upgraded to the new version of the software when a release change occurs, at a great cost in time and money. This cost trap can be avoided with a little willingness to change the company's own processes and with the consulting expertise of the ERP implementation partner.
Author: Tobias Kintzel, SYCOR GmbH