Epicor for Demand-Driven Manufacturing
The traditional, supply-driven method of manufacturing doesn’t cut it in today’s competitive marketplace. Customers expect their needs to be met instantly, but the outdated technologies and strategies of supply-driven manufacturing inhibit decision making and often result in fluctuating inventory levels, inaccurate forecasts or extended lead times.
That’s why more discrete manufacturers are moving towards a demand-driven approach. Demand-driven manufacturers organize their schedules and operations in line with customer demand, resulting in improved process flows and more on-time deliveries. But to embrace this method, businesses need the agility, visibility and supply chain control of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Read on to learn how ERP can transform your business into a demand-driven enterprise.
Supply Chain Visibility
Building a demand-driven supply chain means going beyond rooting out inefficiencies and waste. You also have to think fast to react to changes in consumer demands. Demand-driven manufacturing requires you to zoom out and look at the supply chain as a whole.
For example, in traditional supply chains, you might establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the efficiency of an individual activity or resource. Demand-driven manufacturing doesn’t ignore these details, but it takes a broader scope, establishing KPIs that measure flow and throughput and the ways in which each asset and phase of production contributes to getting customers what they want.
The beauty of ERP is its ability to paint a picture of everything going on in your supply chain in real time. Epicor ERP includes a personalized home page that gives each user critical metrics, drill-down capabilities, trackers and built-in business intelligence to increase manufacturing insight. Dynamic, real-time information helps you detect roadblocks and changes, so you can quickly update production schedules or make improvements that will satisfy buyers.
No business should lose visibility as it expands into global locations. Epicor’s multi-company menu gives approved users throughout your business access to data across sites from a single login. Orders, forecasts, reports and more are instantly updated and available to all your users, no matter how many languages, locations or databases make up your enterprise.
Nuanced Production Planning
Manufacturers tend to assume that a push-based strategy will help them maintain consistency and take a proactive approach to their processes. Push systems plan production lines, inventory needs and material purchases based on forecasts of customer demand. But this strategy isn’t especially amenable to rapid changes and often results in excess inventory.
That’s why demand-driven manufacturers look increasingly to pull production strategies. Pull systems work backwards from a customer’s order, so you only supply the materials you need to fulfill the order—no more, no less. A foundational component of just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing and a strategy for fulfilling lean principles, pull production minimizes inventory levels and dramatically cuts waste.
Push, pull or a little bit of both, Epicor can help you meet consumer demands. Epicor includes Kanban tools which automate material replenishment, enact pull production workflows and measure lean performance metrics to reduce inventory and attack waste. Users can flag parts for Kanban control at the part, warehouse, or individual bin or cell location level, giving you full control over your manufacturing processes.
Additionally, Epicor’s predictive analytics features analyze historical data to facilitate accurate demand planning. Its material requirements planning (MRP) capabilities will leverage this insight to order the right quantity of materials and equipment before starting production lines. Epicor’s comprehensive tools support manufacturers as they refine their strategies and experiment with push, pull and push-pull systems.
Silos are a fixture of traditional manufacturing environments, but demand-driven strategies are all about eradicating information gaps and uniting every facet of the enterprise to focus on one thing: the customer. When employees are logging in and out of various platforms, hunting for the right metrics and oblivious of company goals and developments, there’s no chance that everyone will productively work together to satisfy consumers.
Software integration provides the perfect solution for ensuring your entire organization operates from the same accurate, real-time data. Users can truly optimize end-to-end processes when they take advantage of data from both their ERP and CRM systems. Customer data isn’t just for sales and marketing teams anymore; shop floor managers can leverage this information to improve demand planning and deliveries, while engineers enhance products in line with consumer feedback. Sales and service reps have immediate access to inventory, order status and pricing, enabling them to provide accurate customer service.
Integrations can sync invoices, RMAs, shipments, accounts and more back and forth between your ERP and CRM to provide 360-degree insight and automate processes throughout your enterprise. Connecting your software platforms maximizes the value of your software so you can become a demand-driven manufacturer.
To become a lean, customer-centric business, manufacturers must embrace demand-driven tactics with the help of their ERP software. Epicor prides itself on giving manufacturers the power of insight, agility and choice. After 45 years of creating ERP solutions, the vendor understands that business success is about finding ways to fit innovations into their existing strategies to create the optimal supply chain. Using Epicor, you can develop demand-driven methods that align with your unique business needs.
Datix will help you transform your manufacturing processes. An Epicor Gold Partner, we’ve provided manufacturing and distribution solutions for over 20 years. Our experienced consultants understand how to make the most of your ERP software. Additionally, with our Unity integration solution, we can instantly connect your front and back-office systems to optimize your business from the top floor to the shop floor.
Ditch your old habits, and strengthen your enterprise—get started today by reaching out to Datix!