How distributors and manufacturers can get a competitive edge with ERP

Many conspiracy theorists believe that the Earth is flat. However, one thing is certain: the world is getting smaller. The pandemic demonstrated how interdependent humans are and put more emphasis on communication, interconnected processes, and supplier visibility.

A new trend began to emerge. Manufacturing plants are not just competing with other manufacturing plants. Across entire supply chains, entire supply chains are competing against each other. Now it's about a network made up of businesses that have downstream and upstream linkages.

The last year has seen a shift in the way that more resilient companies have remained resilient. Those who did not consider alternative supply chains were left behind. It was amazing to see the success of companies that had a digital initiative. It is clear that the more data and information flows, the better the flow of goods.

Better technology is needed to compete on a greater scale. However, many distributors and manufacturers still find the prospect of digital transformation daunting. This is a time-consuming, costly process that requires each company to take a unique digital journey. Digital transformation does not have to be a one-size-fits-all investment. It is essential to establish a digital foundation.

Building a digital foundation

Digitalization refers to the process by which all information is made digital. Many factories still use analog equipment that must be updated. Digitization allows data to be collected and analyzed for business insight. These analog parameters can now be measured on the machine, and they are also available in digital format. Digitization is another way to ensure that this information is easily accessible. These insights allow distributors and manufacturers to see all the processes within the supply chain and make any necessary adjustments to their business models or key processes.

Next is digitalization, which allows these parameters to be processed on the platform and sent to specific functions as useful data. Supply chains are now competing with supply chains. The more you can manage your business, the better.

Building your technology foundation from the foundation up

The rollout of the basic Shop Floor Data Collection Solution is considered a good start point for collating data. The ERP software, appropriate adapters, and drivers are required to enable integration. This will allow the business to make real-time decisions and get the data to the right places. Customers will eventually have greater visibility into production status and tracking their deliveries as Industry 4.0 tools become more common throughout the supply chain and factory.

Once you have your data, the next step will be to analyze and manipulate the data to gain meaningful insights. A platform that integrates both internal and outside data (such as the Internet of Things), and can deliver an end-to-end snapshot of your business is required.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a platform that can collect all data and use some form of analytics to interrogate and create management information for an organization, is what Enterprise Resource Planning is. Important to remember that your platform must be able to collect and analyze data at scale. This will enable the business to stay on top of the current issues.

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Businesses cannot compete in the global village if they don't have a digital strategy.

Even the most well-planned strategies and initiatives can fail for the wrong reasons. Our advice is to start simple, focus on the core objectives of your business and get it optimized first. Then, you will be able to compete with other supply chain partners.