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How ERP Helps Solve Logistics Issues for Discrete Manufacturers

How ERP Helps Solve Logistics Issues for Discrete Manufacturers


Apr 18, 2017
Manufacturing and Distribution

For any given project, discrete manufacturers are responsible for coordinating the people, facilities, and supplies necessary to get it done. One misstep in any of these areas, and operations can be delayed or potentially shut down altogether—consequences that could have serious implications for your supply chain and bottom line.

The logistical challenge isn’t insurmountable when you leverage technology solutions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to monitor and maximize:

  • Communication From the shop floor to internal departments, external suppliers, and customers, the amount of regular communication required throughout a project lifecycle is often daunting and sometimes inaccurate thanks to out-of-date data. An ERP system provides centralized data collection, which means data can be accessed, edited, and shared in real time. All parties are working from the same operational “big picture,” ensuring proper supply chain, inventory, and logistics workflow management that drives accurate and on-time order delivery.
  • Tracking Order transparency continues to transition from “nice to have” to customer demand. This poses a particular challenge to discrete manufacturers, given they simultaneously fulfill multiple orders. An ERP solution provides the flexibility needed to maintain full visibility into every project. Active orders can be tracked at a granular level from the floor level up the chain, giving customers the real-time project(s) insight they want and the full visibility into status, inventory, and timelines you need to align production with scheduling.
  • Planning Demand forecasting is, by nature, variable and difficult to anticipate. Predictions for probable product demand is made even more complex by the distance between suppliers and end users that creates an information gap. There is no feasible way of understanding past, current, and future customer trends that influence demand. It’s a bit of a shot in the dark. Underestimate and you’re under-serving the market. Overestimate and you’re left holding costly overstock. An ERP solution removes the guesswork. It eliminates information gaps by capturing and reporting data that translates to true market intelligence across the supply chain and, ultimately, better planning outcomes.

A common thread in solving logistics issues for discrete manufacturers is accurate information, making ERP a vital part of the process. Reach out to a Wipfli expert today to discuss your needs and potential technology-based solutions.

Author(s)

Suzanne Koss
Suzanne Koss, CPIM
Partner
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