5 Core ERP Features Every Manufacturer Needs

Core ERP Manufacturing Features

Essential Out-of-the-Box ERP Tools

Sure, you can customize your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to fit any and all of your manufacturing needs, but taking on extensive customizations can ultimately do more harm than good for your company. The more customizations you execute, the more money you suck up from your revenue pool. Plus, they put your system at risk of becoming slow or unwieldy. Some tweaking can work wonders for your business, but when you take customizations too far, you’ll likely end up with a costly mess.

For that reason, discrete manufacturers should seek out particular ERP features straight from the box—and when I say discrete manufacturers, I mean all of them, from SMBs to multi-billion-dollar enterprises. When shopping for ERP software, be sure to pick out an instance that includes these five features out of the box.

Financial Management

One of the first solutions any manufacturer will need is financial management software. With this system, users can maintain a general ledger to record financial transactions, prepare statements and more.  Financial management solutions should also protect your data, keep records up to date and maintain and audit trail.

But don’t think that QuickBooks or Excel spreadsheets will cut it. Spreadsheets and point solutions offer limited functionality and transparency, which result in extremely narrow insight that only one or two users can access. The better route to take is to find an ERP vendor, such as Epicor, which offers a financial management module right out of the box.  In contrast with the rigidity of QuickBooks, Epicor Financial Management provides a flexible general ledger that enables users to maintain multiple books, track accounts and maintain reports. Users throughout your business can access this critical information, improving collaboration and decision making. As your business grows, the scalable system will easily support process changes as well as multiple locations and currencies.

Planning and Scheduling

Every manufacturer needs tools that enable them to take a proactive approach to their operations. When companies leverage sophisticated forecasting and scheduling tools, they can make accurate predictions and respond to instant changes to meet customer needs. Epicor’s planning and scheduling module includes tools for both long-term planning and daily control. Epicor can generate forecasts from various historical sources throughout your ERP system to power effective decision making. For day-to-day planning, Epicor also provides real-time data and continually monitors demands so users can quickly update production schedules. Additionally, Epicor’s material requirements planning (MRP) tools enable users to utilize forecasting and demand planning tools to accurately determine which materials are needed and schedule their production.

Inventory Management

Managing inventory serves a critical role for every manufacturer. When inventory management strategies fall short, businesses could incur tremendous waste, documentation errors and late deliveries that result in giant sums of money down the drain. Without an ERP system, manufacturers can’t easily access critical data, including inventory levels. Epicor transforms the struggles of inventory management into a straightforward process. Epicor ERP automates the process of calculating and monitoring your inventory drivers, safety stock and order size to keep inventory low while avoiding shortages. Sophisticated tracking tools enable users to get the right products to the right customers. Employees possess reliable inventory data at their fingertips, saving them a trip to the warehouse to determine item availability.

Supply Chain Management

From raw materials to finished product, manufacturers can’t afford to let any process fall through the cracks. Therefore, comprehensive supply chain management (SCM) modules are a must for connecting processes and ensuring every operation runs smoothly. Epicor’s supply chain management module includes flexible tools that support an array of manufacturing operations, such as MTO, ETO and CTO processes. Whether you need to track a few transactions or manage multiple global warehouses, Epicor SCM offers the robust tracking features, process automation and visibility that supports an array of discrete manufacturing needs. Unsurpassed visibility allows users to know everything about products no matter what department you’re in. This knowledge powers effective strategizing, collaboration and quality control.

Robust User Experience

Finding the right ERP solution isn’t just about checking off the boxes for necessary modules and suites. No amount of advanced tools will make up for a poor user experience. As you look for an ERP system, pay special attention during demos to evaluate the software’s usability. Are the dashboards intuitive? Is data easy to access? Are the modules seamlessly interconnected? A major advantage of Epicor ERP is its user-friendly interface. Each user can personalize dashboards to show their most important datasets and charts. A unified solution built for manufacturers, Epicor simplifies operations throughout your enterprise and offers 360-degree visibility to help users cut down on waste and optimize performance.

Wrap Up

No two discrete manufacturers are alike. However, all manufacturers share some basic needs that should be handled by a robust ERP system straight from the box. Every manufacturer should run their business from a single platform that’s equipped with core, user-friendly modules. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more sophisticated ERP solution than Epicor ERP. Epicor has stayed abreast of manufacturing needs for over 40 years, continuously improving its solutions to offer comprehensive out-of-the-box features while providing the flexibility to make necessary configurations and customizations.

At every stage of your ERP journey, you need an ERP expert to mitigate risk and guide projects to completion. Datix, an Epicor Platinum Partner, is that kind of expert. We offer out-of-the-box Quick Start ERP implementations, customizations, integrations and more to meet an array of manufacturing needs. With Quick Start, manufacturers gain a cloud-hosted Epicor ERP instance implemented by our premier consultants on a swift schedule at a low price. We’ll take care of upgrades and maintenance after go-live, ensuring high ROI and lasting performance.

Make sure your ERP selection process doesn’t go astray. Get in touch with Datix to implement the best ERP solution for your manufacturing needs!


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