Choosing the ideal enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for your current and future business needs is critical. ERP is a major investment for any company, but it’s essential to successful manufacturing businesses. Whether implementing a new ERP solution or upgrading an existing one, the process for an ERP solution should be a top priority for manufacturers. Appropriate resources and staff devoted to finding the best ERP solution should understand the basic capabilities of ERP and how they can tailor the tool for a specific manufacturing organization’s needs.

Functionality and Ease of Use

Among the top selection criteria for an ERP solution are functionality and ease of use. An ERP solution must work well and meet expectations but offer room for future expansion. In other words, the solution should be scalable, able to add functionality as the company grows. A manufacturer may currently sell to the domestic market but reach a global market in the future. Every business process will need to adapt to global compliance, and the ERP application should be scalable to handle customs, shipping, and other regulations associated with global manufacturing.

Seamless Integration

The purpose of an ERP platform is to contain all information critical for running a business, which is why many manufacturers have a vested interest in solutions that offer integrated suites. The preference for a solution that includes applications that perform together seamlessly is high because of the potential benefits. Employees can find and access the data they need to do their jobs better. Processes become streamlined, and decision makers can use the integrated platform in a single dashboard that shows the data they need. An integrated ERP platform also serves as a system of record.

Mobile Connections

The future is mobile, and so mobile one focal point manufacturers should look for in an ERP solution. Along with mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, the demand for wearable technology is growing. Smartwatches continue to evolve to become more user-friendly and capable of syncing with other mobile devices to enable hands-free operations.

Big Data Analytics

Manufacturers have become more dependent on IT and accumulated vast amounts of data that can quickly become underutilized. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to connect more physical devices and users to the Internet, this data generation is speculated to grow at an exponential rate. By selecting an ERP platform that has the capability for analytics, manufacturers can begin to use these data for more accurate forecasting as part of a smart approach to building business strategies for the future.

As wearable technology and the IoT continue to collect more data, manufacturers need to monitor technical advances they can use to their advantage. Solutions once designed as a luxury for consumers have become profitable business applications. Through innovation, businesses have been able to save time and increase efficiency, which reflects the bottom line of organizations that choose to adopt new technologies.