Manufacturers need the powerful tools available in ERP systems. When ERP systems first appeared on the market, manufacturers were among the first businesses of any kind to use them. Now, the ERP market is thriving, with software constantly being updated and upgraded. There are many possible manufacturing ERP modules to choose from in systems today. The overload of choice can leave some businesses confused about which features are the best fit for their business, that’s why requirements gathering is so crucial. While it’s important to remember that each business will have unique ERP requirements, manufacturers of all kinds should find the four requirements listed below to be of use in the…Read More
Manufacturers and companies that have supplied to the A&D Electronics market have long had to settle for substandard, generic ERP business solutions that did not meet their specific requirements and business practices in their industry. This resulted in the added expense, inefficiencies of manual processes, bolt on software solutions, and customizations to augment their old ERP systems.
Infor, with the release of…Read More
A key factor inERP project success is the strength of the team who help to implement it. It’s a common mistake, when implementing a new ERP system or upgrading an old one, to frame the project as the sole responsibility of the IT or accounting departments, forgetting that it will impact people enterprise-wide.
Here are three steps to help you structure your efforts and avoid common mistakes when thinking aboutputting together your ERP project team . . .Read More
Home renovations can be challenging. As a “do-it yourself” kind of person, it was even more of a challenge to bring in a project manager and other assistance for a large renovation project. If I am only relying on myself, then there is no one to blame if I am behind schedule or if the project isn’t turning out exactly the way I planned. Relying on others to show up, care about the project, and your budget is a lot to ask. That is why the project manager could potentially be the most important piece of the puzzle.
It is the same concept when selecting an ERP professional services provider. There is a lot of information available about how to choose ERP software, but what about the real challenge of implementation? Implementation is definitely more costly and time consuming than the actual software purchase . . .Read More
ERP and other Industrial / Manufacturing Software Implementation projects can be (and usually are) complicated endeavors with many facets that need to be managed and executed effectively. The simple definition of a “Project” is that it is a temporary activity with a Start date and a Completion date and milestone dates in between. The purpose is to create a unique result (i.e. implementing a new ERP system). If you’ve been involved with a project that seems to keep on going, maybe even well past the original “Completion Date”, then chances are it is being poorly managed, even though it may seem successful and some objectives have been achieved.
Key Factors for Project Success:
This “open-ended”, never-ending project syndrome is most likely due to several (missing) factors. These factors should have been set in the earliest stages of project definition and typically include:
Project Objectives are usually set by the Management team. It defines the purpose of the project; what are the benefits to the company, department, or individual in qualitative and/or quantitative terms. Without aRead More
Selecting a new ERP software often requires more than just research, demos, and budgets. Often, it is the team that we assemble for a project that determines its success.
Team sports are a prime example of how this works. If you have a basketball, baseball, or football team that doesn’t recognize and utilize the strengths of each player then you typically end up with dysfunction. Every member of a team has a role to play in reaching the goal of a winning season. An ERP selection committee is much like a sports team with the goal of a winning season.
Assembling a winning team does not necessarily mean you focus solely on power users or department managers. In fact, itRead More
I just returned from the 2016 IBEX boat show in Tampa, getting out right before the hurricane, and the winds outside could not compare to the energy and invigoration of the marine suppliers and buyers on the exhibit floor. The industry is definitely alive and well which is going to push the limits of the boat industry supply chain if the upward trends continue. We all keenly remember the near death of the industry just a few years ago and during that time it was a survival mode operation only. Little investment was made in business systems technology, supply chain optimization and systematic efficiency improvement.
Turning to today where the industry has been seeing near 20% annual growth in many segments, this...
With the economy on a continued recovery the demand for boats, especially small to mid-sized styles is increasing dramatically according to the recent NMMA U.S. RECREATIONAL BOATING STATISTICAL ABSTRACT. While not yet back to pre-2007 numbers, it’s still significant growth. This level of growth has opened up the need for boat builders to become more efficient and streamlining of production. Prior to 2006, many builders just made capital investments in plants and equipment which during the downturn put many of them out of business. Cash flow dried up and the capital equipment became a major liability.
Learning from the missteps of the past during those pre-2006 growth years, how can the smart boat builder gain production levels to meet today’s demand without breaking the bank with capital investment? Other industries have faced similar issues such as the automotive markets. Suppliers to the automotive industries have felt the same pain and been in the same scenario. So what did they do to avoid the problems of the past?
Production efficiency in boat assembly can be increased and optimized thorough the use of ...Read More
If you took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to spend some time on the water, chances are you saw a lot of boaters. The number of boats on lakes, waterways, and oceans during holiday weekend is incredible. It makes you wonder how many people own the boat they are driving or are they renting it for the weekend. Regardless, of the number of boats on the water and who owns them, boating is a huge industry with many possibilities.
If you are in the market for a boat, and looking to join the ranks of other boaters, how do you know what you want? If you look...Read More
We all know that to be ahead of our competition we need to get there fast. The question I would pose, “Is it necessary for ALL things”? We realize that technology has driven the universe to run at a much faster pace. We think we need it now - not later. So does that mean that we should all be doing things exactly the same way? Should everything have a cookie cutter approach? Does one size fit all?Read More
ERP Software isn’t just for big companies anymore. There has often been the perception that investing in ERP Software is impossible for smaller companies. However, an examination of the current ERP Software landscape would probably surprise small businesses that have shied away from investing in ERP software in the past.
There are two substantial concerns for small businesses when it comes to ERP Software.
The first concern focuses on . . .Read More
Companies that supply components and complete systems for military and defense electronics are facing ever increasing challenges with meeting regulatory requirements such as the ones referenced above from May 12. Regulations such as this not only affect the design and packaging of components and systems but the engineering, ERP, and business systems that are used to design and build these products.
Companies that do not have in place proper. . .Read More
To achieve a successful ERP Project implementation, you must begin with the end in mind. The end in mind should be that the new ERP system supports your business processes and is aligned to meet your organizational objectives/goals. This is nearly an impossible undertaking without creating the proper Project Teams up front. Regardless of project size, it is highly recommended that three distinct Project Teams be created:Read More
As a consultant and software expert on a large ERP implementation project some years ago, I was asked regularly how to accomplish a task or enter data in the new system. When I saw that some people would just take my advice and run with it, I started adding the comment “Trust Me”. This would give them pause, and often responded with “Ok, you want me to fully test this, right?” Of course I did! While my advice may have been sound, fully testing data and validating processes are critical aspects of any ERP implementation.
So, how do build that trust? You’ve invested in a good solid Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system. You’ve tagged the best . . .Read More
Once upon a time, there was a business that was trying to grow and update its current operations. One of the items to be updated was the software that the company was using for its core operations. The software was several years old, and the promised update had been postponed multiple times, leading the company to make the decision that it was time to scrap the software.
There were multiple departments that weren’t even utilizing the legacy software because the . . .Read More
Executive buy-in is terminology that often gets tossed around when exploring and / or implementing an ERP project. Typically, the executive management will not be involved with the day to day implementation. In fact, there may be limited executive representation throughout the ERP selection process. Typically, the ERP selection team should primarily be comprised of the company power users from each department, and company leaders.
So, what role does the executive management team play? Executives have a . . .Read More
I was watching a college basketball game a few nights ago, and found myself considering the preparation and execution that goes into each and every game. In the last 3 minutes of the game, the team that was behind began the usual routine of fouling the other team’s players in order to regain possession of the ball. Possession translates to points. What caught my attention is that they forced the team that was in the lead to put the ball in the hands of their worst free throw shooter. It was strategy. Make sure the guy that is least likely to hit the free throws has the ball when we foul. Make the foul count.
Believe it or not, ERP Software purchases and implementation should be viewed like a strategic, competitive game. There are lots of . . .Read More
Most customers go through a rigorous evaluation and selection process before making an ERP software purchase decision. Of course, it’s important to verify that the purchased software meets or exceeds all of the company’s business requirements and has a proven, successful track record within their industry. However, the ERP software is only a suite of tools that can be configured to meet functional requirements. Obtaining the real benefit to the purchase of a new ERP system is achieved through the implementation. A well planned, managed, and executed ERP implementation project is what will deliver the optimum results, improve overall operational processes, and provide an immediate return in terms of more efficient business procedures and customer satisfaction.
The objective of this article is to discuss different ERP implementation strategies and how realistic resource planning is important to success.
There are several common ERP implementation approaches or strategies. These are . . .Read More
We’ve all heard the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, but perhaps not always paying attention to the subtle life lessons that we were supposed to be learning from this simple nursery school story. I suppose the first lesson was not to go into a stranger’s house without being invited. Despite whatever life lessons we were supposed to learn, the thing that stuck out to me was that Goldilocks wasn’t satisfied with just any food, or chair, or bed. Goldilocks was determined that everything needed to be just right. Just right for her that is.
Goldilocks is reminder of why we should not accept an ERP system that is too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, or too big. ERP can bring a level of efficiency and scalability to your business that you need, but choosing the wrong ERP system can be . . .Read More
In college, there was an introduction to Marketing class that required all of us to give two presentations during the semester. Presentations are a lot of work to prepare for, and were over with in a very short period of time. I hated the preparation, but I was always happy to have the presentation completed, because that meant I would have a couple of classes where the rest of my classmates were giving their presentations, and I didn’t have to have any assignments due in the class. It was time that I could use prepping for other classes or just enjoying the break.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way with an ERP demo. You may not be the one giving the presentation, but there is still plenty that will need to be done before, during, and after the demo. The vendor software demonstration is a critical part of the ERP software selection process, according to . . .Read More