The first thing you have to understand is that most manufacturers don?t sell directly to the public. The ones that do typically do so through a retail arm of the same business; but, for the most part, the goods a manufacturer makes are sold to retail businesses at ?wholesale? prices. For those that don?t know wholesale is the act of buying in bulk so that you can slightly inflate the price your business charges for the goods.
The way IT fits in is substantial, especially since energy costs and payroll can threaten to squash the profit margins a manufacturer sees. In order to keep things running efficiently, the modern small manufacturer needs the following tools:
- Supply Chain Management – From procurement to managing outsourced contracts, a manufacturer needs a way to track its resources.
- Production Control – The physical production of the goods you sell, covering the management of your staff, machinery, and IT your business uses in this process.
- Quality Control – Testing the products is a must.
- Customer Relationship Management – From marketing to product support, a manufacturer needs to be able to manage their potential and existing relationships.
Being the core considerations of any manufacturing management team, these four elements are usually accomplished using computers. As a result, finding cost effective tools that will manage these processes (and any other they deem important) is essential. One tool that meets the needs for larger manufacturers is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. For smaller manufacturers, this platform may be overkill as it provides enterprise-level support to a business.
The tools used by most manufacturers are baked into the ERP; and, because of this, they can be pricey to run and maintain. The key to finding out if the ERP is right for your business is to ascertain if, by rolling out one of these platforms, your business will see increased efficiency, productivity, and sales in order to take on this kind of major business overhaul. Let’s take a look at how an ERP can solve a lot of the operational problems manufacturers run into.
Enterprise Resource Planning
The first thing you need to know about an ERP solution is that it will take some time to implement properly. In fact, if you don?t have an idea about how your operations would be represented inside a computer system, having an expert to rely on becomes massively important. Our IT professionals can help you decide which system is right for your business, how to go about implementing the system, and how to get the most out of it through proper use and continued support.
The typical ERP has options to help manufacturers manage their business. Firstly, they have options to manage vendors and suppliers, ensuring the procurement process is squared away efficiently. It has operational tools to help manage human resources, payroll, accounts receivable, scheduling, and productivity management, ensuring that your business is functioning in a manner commensurate with demand and on-hand supply.
Additionally, the ERP has options to handle both quantity and quality control, providing managers the information needed to scale production, human resources, and distribution systems as needed. A company that doesn?t have strong quality control faces the risk of losing their market share to companies that don?t need to have as much customer support. No matter how good a company’s customer support is, producing useful and reliable products results in fewer resources that need to be spent supporting the products a company creates.
Outside of presenting your business with the software tools you may need, we can benefit your business in the following ways:
Once a manufacturing business is already established, the main focus then has to be improving its efficiency. The faster goods can be manufactured the higher the profits will be. There are literally dozens of other factors, but all-in-all the less time and money it takes to create the goods, the more profits the company will see.
Managed IT services? number one aim for any business is to help them improve their operational efficiency by handling the relationship between their process and their technology. At White Mountain IT Services, our IT consultants can get the tools you need in place, while our certified technicians implement and maintain those systems, promoting efficiency and overall organizational effectiveness.
Supply Chain Management
Managing the supply chain effectively takes a little more than a piece of software–it takes a dedication to forging and maintaining successful relationships. As a part of our Managed IT service, we offer our clients comprehensive vendor management. We know that you are most effective when your focus is on your business–and, since we depend on your success–handing vendor relationships can open up dozens of hours every month to train your focus on creating (and maintaining) the business you?ve set out to make.
If your small and medium-sized manufacturer is looking for innovative tools and/or service to help you take your business to the next level call us today at (603) 889-0800.