Creating production efficiencies and streamlining processes to meet tight deadlines can often be a challenge for discrete manufacturers. This means that where productivity and output are vital in such a fast-paced industry, the question is not “should I invest in ERP?” but rather, “Which ERP software should I choose?”

But even with all the advantages of adopting a discrete manufacturing ERP, implementing such technology can be a huge task. In this article, we explore what you need to know to make decisions easier and how you can optimise an ERP system for your needs.

What are the challenges in discreet manufacturing?

To start with, finding the right ERP system can be made a lot easier when you understand the biggest challenges in discrete manufacturing. Be it Make-to-stock (MTS), Make-to-order (MTO), or Assembly-to-order (ATO), manufacturing workflows can go extremely deep, posing quite a few challenges along the way.

For instance, a Manufacturers Industry Report from April 2021 stated that 46% of discrete manufacturers were unable to deliver orders on time and 88% of discrete manufacturers experienced longer-than-usual lead times.

In short, discrete manufacturing is a complicated playing field. Supply chain management and continual supervision of materials is essential to ensuring consumer demand is met.

How does ERP support discreet manufacturing?

Discreet manufacturing ERP systems help manufacturers maintain control and visibility through every step of their processes. They unite different types of data, from inventory and customer information, to keep it easily accessible and searchable.

This makes reporting and analytics easier than ever. With information updates in real-time, discrete manufacturers can cut down on redundancy and errors, whilst promoting efficiency. A discrete manufacturing ERP system will also help you cut down on costs and allows for quick adaption to markets, encouraging and supporting future business growth.

Looking for ERP and operate in discrete manufacturing?

Our expert team at Nolan Business Solutions can help. With over 30 years' experience, we have the knowledge needed to provide software solutions that enable business growth.

What ERP features are essential for discrete manufacturing?

Regardless of your manufacturing mode, discrete manufacturing is all about converting raw materials into finished goods. Although the activities required vary by industry and company-specific requirements, the essential ERP features for discrete manufacturing include:

  • Production Scheduling
  • Supply Chain Visibility
  • Inventory Management

Production Scheduling

Scheduling allows you to use your production lines as efficiently as possible. The most successful discrete manufacturing ERP systems will have sophisticated scheduling modules that can be integrated quickly and smoothly into your production processes, whilst finding new ways to streamline them.

Supply Chain Visibility

As a discrete manufacturer, you’ll likely deal with specific parts that must be built from either raw materials or bought from other manufacturers. Each part can pass through many hands in the supply chain before it reaches you and then the consumer. The number of links can often make the supply chain weaker and less communicative.

However, with an ERP set up for discrete manufacturing needs, it’s possible to achieve newfound transparency in your supply chain. From the use of bar code checks, scanning systems, and universal tracking across facilities, ERP can help transform the way you deal with operate within your supply chain.

Inventory Management

Raw materials must be ordered, delivered, and usually stocked prior to being allocated for production. This requires material handlers to know exactly where the materials are, the necessary quantities that have been allocated, and to execute the ERP movement transactions to keep operations running smoothly.

Discrete manufacturing ERP systems can be used to embed best practice workflows for optimal inventory management. By gathering all of your inventory and shipment data into a single source of truth, it will make tracking where a product is, where it needs to be, and how demand might fluctuate over time infinitely easier, so that you can plan your warehouse needs accordingly.

ERP for discrete manufacturing with Nolan Business Solutions

At Nolan Business Solutions, we have over 30 years of experience providing complete ERP solutions, with development, implementation, and support services. If you operate in the discrete manufacturing sector and are looking to harness the power of ERP software, get in touch with our expert team today. We would love to hear from you.

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