As manufacturers pursue digital avenues to improve their production performance, in an effort to meet the growing demand from customers, it’s important to have a grasp on the essential manufacturing ERP modules that can really make a difference for your business.
“96% of emerging businesses that excel in their respective industry rely on some form of ERP solution.”
– Aberdeen Group
The more advanced ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions on the market combine a wide range of modules, each with their own unique capabilities.
It’s important to note that not all ERP systems are designed and developed in the same way, and so it’s worth the time and effort to invest in a solution that has expertise specific to your industry.
DELMIA | Works for example, is a manufacturing ERP solution that was created from the ground up by manufacturers, for manufacturers.
The system, owned by Dassault, provides specialist manufacturing capabilities to businesses operating within the plastics, automotive, aerospace, medical device and pharmaceuticals industries.
You can read more about why DELMIA | Works is a great fit for businesses in manufacturing by clicking here.
So now let’s dive into the 6 essential manufacturing ERP modules that you need, to help you understand what to look for when searching for your next ERP solution.
6 essential manufacturing ERP modules within DELMIA | Works
Sales Order Management
The Sales Order Management module is a crucial part of any ERP system, as that’s where the wheels are set in motion when an order is created inside of the ERP.
Within DELMIA | Works, the Sales Order Management module is able to communicate with each of the other modules in real-time, for example by engaging the production scheduling module it allows you to see if and when a job could be completed, and if it can’t, it can advise you what needs to be done to make it possible.
As DELMIA | Works was built by manufacturers, for manufacturers, it understands that you may have multiple releases and allows you to automatically split orders in advance and designate them to be shipped to different sites/delivery addresses, and on different dates, as required.
This gives your scheduling team plenty of advanced notice and allows for a much more efficient scheduling process.
“DELMIA | Works provides you with the information you need to be able to make decisions, instead of spending all your time trying to find the information in the first place.”
– Nick Jackson, Proximity
If a client doesn’t need a specific part of an order for six weeks, but needs part of it in two weeks, you can manufacture the more urgent parts early and delay the production of the other parts until further down the line, providing an unparalleled level of flexibility in a manufacturing ERP solution.
The Sales Order Management module will also take into account any maintenance that may be planned on any machinery or equipment, and factors this in so that you can provide you clients with an incredibly accurate timeline for when the job can be completed.
If a customer makes a change to an order, for example requires a double shipment or wants to push something back, because Sales Order Management is communicating with all the other modules with DELMIA | Works, you can instantly see the impact of this change in real-time across all of your manufacturing operations.
Inventory Control & Supply Chain Management
Inventory Control allows you to record and hold information about all of your static parts, the parts that you need to order and which suppliers you’re able to get them from.
If you know exactly who can provide specific materials, you can immediately contact an alternative supplier should the preferred supplier be unable to deliver what you need, rather than frantically trying to find a new supplier at the eleventh hour.
Within DELMIA | Works, you can use the Vendor Central to manage suppliers in the same way that you would manage your customers within the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) module.
The Vendor Central module provides the ability to score and rate your suppliers and provide them with feedback if they’re not delivering the service that you expect from them.
By utilising a system such as this, which takes care of a lot of the administration of suppliers, it frees up more time for your employees to actually perform the tasks that make money for your business, rather than spending time chasing information from suppliers.
If you’re working in an industry that deals with sustainable or hazardous materials, which require supplier safety certificates, DELMIA | Works can store all of these, removing the need for admin time to be spent keeping on top of these certificates.
You can create specific reports to show you inventory and supply chain information that you need, exactly when you need it. For example, you could set a report to land in your inbox at 9am every morning to show you everything that’s arriving on that day or what you have booked in for arrival but hasn’t arrived yet.
Estimating and Quoting
Estimating and Quoting is an often overlooked manufacturing ERP module, as many businesses fall back on programs such as Excel to produce their quotes within a spreadsheet.
However when you have a system such as DELMIA | Works which is taking care of the rest of your business operations, then it makes complete sense to keep the estimating and quoting element of the sales process housed within that very same system.
The power of the Estimating and Quoting module really shines through when you consider that it can look at everything that’s going on in your business to give you accurate information with which to build out your quotes.
For example, if you tell DELMIA | Works that you need to make a 5% margin on a job, it can look at the cost of materials, the labour and resources required, and everything else in order to tell you how many units you would need to make in order to secure that 5% margin.
It also means this can feed directly into the Financials module that would be utilised by the accounting team, so they’re instantly receiving information that is accurate to the job that it relates to.
Even if you had the best financial system in the world, it still requires the information being put into it to be correct, and so by having DELMIA | Works doing all the hard work with pulling in data, building out the quote and pushing it through to finance, the margin for error is drastically reduced.
Accurate data being pushed through from the start means fewer fires to fight when the job is closing in on completion.
Document Control is another extremely powerful module and one that a lot of companies are actually using for their business, however they’re often using third party software as their document control solution.
Within DELMIA | Works you have the added advantage of this system sitting as one of the modules within the ERP, meaning it’s connected to everything else that’s going on in the business.
Document control enables a business to only let people access the most up-to-date versions of documents,removing those occasions where someone may be working off something that’s out of date or no longer relevant.
When you go in to access a document within DELMIA | Works, you can be sure that you’re only going to be granted access to the latest versions that are correct and up-to-date.
You can create a secure document library with an approval process and build workflows for situations where documents may need amending or to be signed off before being put into use.
Documents can also be locked, which disables the ability for people to access them if they are incorrect, or require further amendments.
For any documents which may have an expiry date, you can create alerts and reminders for the relevant people to check and update these documents ahead of the expiry date arriving.
By using a good, disciplined process to control the document usage within your business, you can prevent people from ever using out of date documents.
Preventative Maintenance is a process which many companies seek the help of third party software to manage for them.
The benefit of having preventative maintenance as a built in manufacturing ERP module is that it can feed into the scheduling and costing modules, for example incorporating any planned maintenance when trying to calculate the start or completion times of upcoming jobs.
Preventative maintenance can plan for both dynamic and time-sensitive maintenance windows.
Dynamic preventative maintenance could be something which is based on the number of cycles performed by a particular piece of equipment and time-sensitive maintenance could be used for something that’s done periodically such as changing a filter.
Not only will preventative maintenance in DELMIA | Works cover your equipment and machinery, but you can also schedule and record maintenance for non-manufacturing equipment, such as the building’s heating system or your fire alarms.
These can all be factored in to preventative maintenance so that notifications and alerts are provided to the right people, at the relevant points in time.
Workforce is another understated module within an ERP system, however it is particularly useful within DELMIA | Works.
First and foremost it can be used to hold details of all employees and their details such as pay grades.
But secondly, it can also be used to house details of all their certifications and credentials.
If you have a machine that requires a specific qualification or certification in order to operate it, then the scheduling module can look at the Workforce records to check the availability of the staff who are qualified to use that machine.
If no one with the relevant qualifications is available to operate the machinery, then this will be reflected in the scheduling module and the planner can provide instant feedback to the customer and therefore manage their expectations in real time by providing a realistic time that the job can be completed.
While there are many articles out there detailing some of the basic essential manufacturing ERP modules, we hope that we’ve been able to look a little bit outside the box and showcase how some of the more overlooked modules can actually be essential for you in improving the proyduction performance of your manufacturing operation.
Get in touch with one of our manufacturing ERP experts to discover how DELMIA | Works can help boost your manufacturing production performance today.
Posted by Rob on 8th September 2021.