How Will ERP Help Manufacturers Face Megatrends?

Manufacturing Megatrends

Manufacturing Megatrends 

Some trends are here today, gone tomorrow. Others mark dramatic social or industrial shifts. These large-scale changes are known as megatrends, and they set the course for future enterprise practices.  

Preparing to face these major transitions, manufacturers should look to implement changes from top to bottom. But your organization must have a strong foundation to respond to new demands and drive strategic improvements. Only a robust ERP solution can provide such a foundation. Modern ERP software consists of comprehensive modules and agile architecture to support your everchanging enterprise.  

To help you get ready for manufacturing megatrends, we’ve provided the following infographic from Epicor, a leading ERP vendor for manufacturers. We also elaborated on these megatrends, explaining how ERP can set the stage for future manufacturing success.  

Epicor Manufacturing MegatrendsClick on the above image to view the full-size infographic.

Demographic Shifts 

Changing demographics will introduce opportunities and challenges to manufacturers. A growing middle class will create new markets, while consumer markets shift from the West to the East. Additionally, the aging population will benefit some industries, such as healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing, while hurting others such as construction 

Preparing for the changes that are coming with these demographic shifts will require nimble, scalable software. With Epicor ERP, manufacturers can modify supply chains based on up-to-date analytics, enabling faster decision making. Epicor also has the scalability to accommodate upswings in demand and production.  

But Epicor alone might not be enough to address this megatrend. Responding to new markets and consumer needs will require the creation of a connected enterprise. By integrating CRM and ERP, users have a complete view of forecasts and contacts to prepare for changes in demand and become a customer-centric manufacturer. Streamlining your enterprise from the shop floor to the top floor, a software integration makes your business more productive and responsive when it comes to serving your customers.  

Resource Scarcity 

According to the UN, energy use will continue to grow another 35 percent by 2020, but the resources for energy and raw materials dwindle each year. This scarcity is increasingly motivating manufacturers to rethink their resource consumption. ERP technology helps manufacturers go green by encouraging lean production and monitoring waste. 

With Epicor Energy Management, users can analyze and manage energy consumption and carbon emissions to develop strategies to become a more sustainable enterprise.  Additionally, Epicor’s Kanban tools allow manufacturers to access lean metrics to track their waste and enforce pull production principles that reduce inventory and materials. These features enable manufacturers to not only implement greener practices but also cut spending. 

Deploying ERP in the cloud also makes your business more environmentally friendly. According to WSP Environment Research, the carbon footprint per transaction of cloud software is 95 percent less than an on-premises deployment. Cloud ERP uses less wattage, making it a sustainable method of hosting ERP software.  


Globalization has already taken manufacturing by storm, but international markets will continue to grow in the coming years. Worldwide exports are predicted to triple by 2030, while developing countries will account for an estimated 57 percent of global GDP by the same year. This puts even more impetus on domestic manufacturers to expand their international outreach.  

Whether you’re opening plants around the world or targeting consumers overseas, your ERP system can bolster your global manufacturing efforts. Epicor includes multicurrency and global tax engines to simplify international operations. The flexibility of these engines enables users to meet unique tax requirements, process transactions in an unlimited number of currencies and easily make updates when necessary.  

In addition, Epicor includes a multicompany menu to enable authorized users to instantly access company data without navigating multiple logins. The ERP vendor provides the flexibility to run your global enterprise however you want, facilitating seamless communication across any number of servers and databases. Epicor also synchronizes production and provides visibility and consolidation of resources across multiple facilities to streamline operations throughout your entire business.  

Knowledge and Gender Gap 

Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues plaguing manufacturing is expected to only grow, and that’s the knowledge and gender gap. The talent shortage will continue, hitting developed nations especially hard. Women comprise only 29 percent of manufacturing employees, making them the largest pool of untapped talent in U.S. manufacturing. Attacking this problem will require manufacturers to make sweeping changes, and strategically implementing ERP can set the stage for workplace transformation. 

One way to address these gaps is to increase process automation. As manufacturers increasingly utilize ERP technology and shop floor robots to perform rote work, they can execute processes even during labor shortages. Furthermore, this will give users more time to concentrate on value-added tasks, creating a more stimulating environment that entices new workers. 

ERP software encourages other workplace changes that are especially appealing to women. According to a joint survey, only one in three women in manufacturing believe that manufacturing allows employees to meet family commitments. Cloud software can help users perform tasks from mobile devices, so they can go off-site to fulfill personal responsibilities without sacrificing their work. When manufacturers unlock their ERP solution’s potential to make jobs more rewarding and flexible, they can start the process of reversing these trends to create a stronger, more diverse workplace.  

Wrap Up  

Every business must make changes to adjust to megatrends. An ERP implementation won’t transform your business overnight, but it will set the stage for growth and improvement. By strategically utilizing your ERP software, your manufacturing enterprise can turn these industry shifts into exciting opportunities. Epicor ERP provides a strong foundation to help you face major transitions. With interconnected modules, robust architecture and user-friendly functionality, Epicor is your partner in future-proof manufacturing.   

An ERP consultant for over 20 years, Datix has helped businesses weather major industry changes. We’re a certified Epicor partner specializing in aligning software to each client’s unique needs. With a variety of services and solutions, our consultants are equipped to assist manufacturers in optimizing their business processes throughout their ERP journey. From implementations and upgrades to customizations and integrations, we do whatever it takes to transform each client’s business with software.  

Don’t let megatrends get in the way of future manufacturing success. Contact our ERP experts today to start your next software project!  


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