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From shop floor to top floor – How SAP B1 can help improve the manufacturing process

It’s difficult to predict what the next few weeks may bring in manufacturing never mind the next couple of years, thanks to economic uncertainty, global supply-chain issues, political crises and energy price rises. Using raw materials and energy, employing people to design, make and test products and handling sustainability issues also gives manufacturers a longer list of things to manage than other industries or businesses. So, how do they begin to cope with all of these complexities?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) delivers a single version of the truth right across the business and helps manufacturers to optimise their processes, operations, planning, project management, compliance and much more besides. It breaks down the silos between departments and geographies and allows much more accurate forecasting across the entire business.

SAP Business One is a powerful engine for SME manufacturers, and here we provide five of the top reasons why it makes good sense to integrate it with key business functions:

1. Greater Visibility
The demand for greater supply chain visibility and greater transparency in manufacturing continues to gather pace in a world that increasingly wants to understand the provenance and sustainability of finished goods. In short, the more we know about a manufacturing business, the more control we have over it and over all the important things – costs, suppliers and partners. Having a current view of all the moving parts means that margins can be better managed and protected and costs kept to a minimum. That means on-time delivery, accuracy, quality and reliability for the customer.

With real-time Shop Floor Data Capture (SFDC), you have true visibility of where every production process is up to and tight control over your costs.

2. Efficient stock management
From production through to the end customer, keeping track of raw materials and finished goods is a complex jigsaw puzzle. SAP Business One allows the efficient management of stock so that production output matches market demand – no glut or shortfall in either materials handling or in the finished goods. Materials, tools and techniques are transparent, preventing a slowdown in production due to insufficient materials or a waste of resources.

With a fully integrated Warehouse Management System (WMS), stock is received, moved and used in real time making stock accuracy and reliability sky high.

3. The ability to be proactive
It’s all about the data that an ERP solution can deliver. Where manufacturers have the data to see how they perform they can begin to predict events that might improve their processes. And as advanced technical innovations develop – like using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, it will be possible to better identify patterns in the data. If manufacturers can begin to predict when machinery needs updating or maintaining for example, then they can eradicate downtime much more effectively and proactively plan for maintenance cycles, reducing the chances of breakdowns and costs.

4. Foundations for growth
It stands to reason that as a manufacturing organisation grows, the complexities grow too – new sites, facilities, machinery, people. The world is also more interconnected than ever, and so it may span geographies – shipping and transportation, sourcing materials, international buyers, sub-contractors. Geographies bring new currencies, new compliance, new skills too. The capability of SAP Business One to expand with the manufacturing organisation to handle the dynamics of doing business internationally means that the organisation has laid the foundations for growth and expansion – and not simply at home.

5. Deliver best practice
So much of the manufacturing process is about skills of the people on the shop floor. When a task requires the experience and knowledge to carry it out, the way information is received, upon which to forecast or make decisions, matters. SAP Business One allows the team’s knowledge and skills to be put to best use when guiding the key manufacturing processes, and it has been incorporated into the solution based upon decades of working with other manufacturers. As people learn the most effective way to use their new ERP tools, best practice is adhered to.

SAP Business One helps SME manufacturers harness the benefit of ERP systems, improve efficiencies and deliver transparency and agility for success.

Frontline brings the skills, expertise and experience of delivering SAP Business One. We’ve helped hundreds of customers to unlock its potential no matter their unique challenges or the market in which they operate. We’ve helped customers navigate their way to achieve the outcomes they want, and our experts can help you achieve your goals too.

If you’d like to talk to a member of the Frontline ERP team, please get in touch today!

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