Three Challenges Solved with ERP Software

There’s one thing you can always count on being a job shop owner — change.

erp software shoptech e2Over the last two decades, North America manufacturing has struggled to regain the strength it once had in the 90s. Job shops took a big hit in the early 2000s with more and more manufacturing moving offshore, forcing shops to adapt quickly or go to the graveyard. With technology advancing faster than many shops can keep up, businesses must do more than just produce a good widget. They must be able to think strategically about their business and shift to a more tactical approach to survive in the ever-changing landscape.

Along with all the change shop owners and their teams face, there seems to be three constant questions that can pile on the stress and threaten the productivity of every shop, especially when it comes to scheduling.

Three Questions Directly Impacting Shop Productivity

  • Do you have the materials on hand?
  • Do you have the time on the floor and the machines available to complete the job?
  • Can you meet the delivery date and on budget?

Sound familiar? If you have resource planning software (or ERP software), you may be breathing a sigh of relief and remember the days when these questions seemed like a monster on your back. We all know that in business if you don’t change and adapt to the new ways of your industry, you might as well count on that monster taking you down. The relief felt by shops who’ve understood the value of this type of software accepted that their shop needed to change to keep up. Understanding these three fundamental challenges and then allowing yourself to be open to solutions can help your company thrive during change.

See how Shoptech ERP software has helped tame the scheduling monster at Kaymor Machining and Welding.

Download Case Study (PDF)

So let’s start with challenge #1:

Do you have the materials on hand?

Your stock room probably isn’t a never-ending flow of sheet metal, bolts and plastic parts. Inventory control and material management is most likely high on the list of controlling your company’s cash flow. Having a systems software in place means that at the click of a button, your purchasing agent will know the most updated price and accurate lead times for the materials and parts needed for any given job. ERP software also helps to make the process of adding new parts or materials to your system easier and more efficient. Since it consolidates every mode of reporting into a single format, redundancies decrease and efficiencies increase because every part of the system is “talking” in the same language.

Onto challenge #2:

Do you have the time on the floor and the machines to complete the job?

If you’re putting your trust in an Excel spreadsheet for the time it takes to complete any one job, you’re probably not going to be 100% accurate in future estimates. You need to be able to reschedule your floor in seconds and look at potential bottlenecks immediately. The beauty of a system like E2 is that it can tell you everything you need to know about a machine’s status and availability, problems or issues that the floor may be working through and how that could affect the proposed job. You can see every process by machine, employee or by a certain time period, allowing you to have full control and confidence over what’s to come. With ERP software, you’ll be running the right job, on the right machine and at the right time, allowing you to perform at peak efficiency.

And finally, challenge #3:

Can you meet the delivery date and on budget?

Someone once said that whatever you are looking for is not as valuable as the time you spend looking for it. That can’t be truer than on a shop floor. If you don’t have real-time data at your fingertips when you need it most, the information may be as useless as the time you spent gathering it. Manual time reporting can cost companies real profits with inaccurate job scheduling and quotes as well as with increases in shipping costs. Imagine if your labor reporting was instantaneous. And if you no longer had to account for human error or job delays that cost you that rush shipping rate for your big client’s new widget. And being able to evaluate a job’s time estimates vs actuals allows you to provide more accurate quotes in the future as well as see the big-ticket item — if you made or lost money.

So, are you feeling the weight of that monster being lifted yet?

A turnkey software package that addresses everything from quoting, ordering, purchasing, accounting, quality, data collection and scheduling could be the change that your company needs to thrive and become more profitable in a changing environment. No more will you be in the clutches of the monster who refuses to adapt. You will be open to what your company needs because you have the tools and resources to see your business as it is and what you need to make it thrive amidst change.

What shop monsters are you currently battling and what are you doing to make the necessary changes to improve your shop’s productivity?

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