ERP Systems: A Complete GuideERP systems have had a huge impact on manufacturing. Whether you have an ERP system or not, you’ve probably heard about how much they’ve changed the industry. Because of how important they are, it’s a good idea to learn about them. However, ERP systems can be fairly complex, and there’s a lot to know. Continue below and see the answers to some of the biggest questions about ERP systems. Each topic includes links to other articles so you can learn more.

Why Would You Need an ERP System?

An ERP system can greatly improve and bring value to your shop. They save you time by not having to manually enter information multiple times. Also, people in your shop can see everything they need to, clearing up communication. Looking at the big picture, ERP systems make everything easier by making your shop more efficient and helping it to grow.

Makes Your Shop More Efficient

Whatever size shop you have, you know it’s important to get the most out of your resources. If you had the option to hire more people to do more work or keep the same amount of people to do more work, the choice is pretty clear. National Flag Company started using E2 SHOP and they’ve loved it. As Artie Schaller, the general manager said, “Having all the data being tracked throughout the whole order is great; I can’t really explain how much of an improvement it is.” They can find any information they need at any point because it’s all in E2, and they know it’s all correct. This newfound efficiency has helped their shop tremendously.

Helps Your Shop with Growth

The more efficient your shop gets, the easier it is for the shop to grow. For Auto-Turn Manufacturing, Inc, E2 has had an overwhelming impact on their shop. As Gary Shotton, CEO, said, “It’s hard to point to just one aspect of how E2 has helped improve our business performance. I just know that instead of a growing, solid company built on a solid foundation, Auto-Turn would be no more than an outhouse without E2.” With better business performance, comes the opportunity to take on more jobs. Once your shop starts taking on more jobs, it starts to make more sense to expand the shop. It’s a positive domino effect for your shop.

What Does an ERP System Do?

Some shops have been greatly improved by using an ERP system, but what, exactly does an ERP system do? Depending on the size of the ERP system, it can do a great many things, some of which may be more important to your shop than others. There are too many to describe them all. Below is a list of five of the major features of an ERP system.

Cost Estimating

ERP systems can make it much easier to estimate cost on potential jobs. Cost estimating accurately can have a huge impact on your shop. With exact cost estimating, your shop will be making money on every job. If you’re making money on every job, then you don’t have to stretch your capacity to keep the shop doors open. This means that your shop can take rush jobs and make even higher margins on those. By estimating accurately, you open up the chance for your shop to make more money.

Job Tracking

A customer calls and they want to know where their job is. Do you have to run out to the floor to find out, or can you click a few buttons on your computer and tell them? With job tracking software, you can quickly tell your customers where their job is. This makes your day easier and it makes your shop look more professional. You can even be proactive and set up your software to automatically notify your customer once their job reaches a certain point.


Scheduling is the heart of the shop floor. With scheduling software, you can get all of your jobs done on time, and getting the schedule done only takes a few clicks instead of taking the time do it manually. You will drastically cut down on your late jobs using ERP software. If a rush job comes in, it’s much easier to change a digital schedule than a physical whiteboard. Scheduling software saves time and makes life easier for everyone on the shop floor.

Time Tracking

If scheduling is the heart of the shop floor, then time tracking is the pulse. If your shop isn’t tracking how long each step takes to complete, then how do you know how long it takes to make anything? With time tracking software, you will know exactly how long each process takes and that will help you make a more accurate schedule. Tracking time can also show which employees are the most efficient in the shop and which ones need a little help.

Production Tracking

Production tracking software ties everything together. It will track where your jobs are in the shop, if they’re on time, how much time your shop has already spent on them, along with many other things. Production tracking is important to manufacturers because it covers all the areas of the shop. In short, production tracking makes everything run smoothly in your shop and makes sure that all employees can see everything they need to see.

What is the Difference between On-Premise and Cloud Software?

Aside from all of these other considerations, there is one more thing to consider about ERP software. That is whether you want your software on-premise or on the cloud. Either way, you are able to use software that will greatly improve your shop’s bottom line. However, the way the software is deployed can impact the software’s flexibility. Read on below to see the differences between these two methods.

What Being On-Premise Means

Keeping your software on-premise means that your shop is responsible for owning all of the necessary hardware and maintaining everything. The upside of having your software on-premise is that your shop controls everything about it. The downside is that your shop has to buy and maintain all the hardware and software. Choosing on-premise software can be the right choice for some shops that are unable to store any information off-site. For many other shops, they may decide to have their software on the cloud.

What Being on the Cloud Means

Hosting your software on the cloud is often the easier option. Cloud ERP software is hosted outside of your shop by a specialized, data-storage company. Therefore, all the hardware and security software are the highest quality and kept up-to-date, so your shop never has to worry about it. Updates to your software are automatic and won’t interrupt the shop floor schedule. Backups are often automatic as well. Having the option to log in remotely gives the shop additional flexibility. For most shops, having their software on the cloud is the right choice.

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