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Why Plant Managers Love ERP

By Paul Arthur

ERP Plant Management

ERP Solves Plant Management Challenges 

Plant managers: They’re the ones who keep production lines running smoothly. They work long hours to track the people, equipment and materials necessary to get products into the hands of your customers. They wear multiple hats to make sure nothing goes awry on the shop floor. However, at too many factories, managers are working overtime, but mistakes still slip through the cracks.  

With ERP, your plant managers can work smarter, not harder. Getting critical information and checking on different operations doesn’t have to involve chasing down the right people or performing several time-consuming tasks. ERP software simplifies operations, creates enterprise transparency and provides the tools to give managers full control over the shop floor. These capabilities make ERP your plant manager’s best friend. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the benefits an ERP solution provides for plant managers.  

Visibility 

Overseeing operations is the main objective of plant managers. They must know what’s going on in the factory at all times to make fast decisions and schedule tasks. But plant managers can’t gain an in-depth view of production activities when they’re stuck digging through multiple applications and spreadsheets. Limited visibility prevents them from responding quickly to issues and developing effective strategies. 

ERP ensures that nothing escapes your plant manager’s attention. Dynamic dashboards and reports collect and analyze real-time data in a central platform, giving you critical insights at your fingertips. The following information is instantly available: 

  • Inventory Levels: No more counting inventory by hand or maintaining manual records. ERP provides real-time inventory tracking, helping you fulfill customer demands and establish full traceability. 
  • Production Equipment: Your software will alert you of equipment performance issues, so you can schedule preventative maintenance and reroute production accordingly. This enables plant managers to take proactive measures to avoid unexpected downtime and maintain optimal OEE levels.  
  • Waste Tracking: Lean manufacturing metrics keep tabs on excess costs and waste. Production data is automatically captured to show you where you’re wasting time, money and materials. Armed with this data, you can work to reduce scrap and rework.  
  • Production Requirements: ERP software offers comprehensive production management capabilities. Epicor, a leading ERP vendor, gives you the tools to control the planning, routing, scheduling, costing and tracking of products in a single solution. You can also analyze downtime and plant performance.  

Plant managers can’t be in ten places at once, but they can still achieve full visibility of production operations through ERP. Instant access to actionable data empowers them to control every step of the manufacturing process.  

Productivity 

A key part of any plant manager’s job is to maintain a high level of efficiency. Production lines must keep moving to meet deadlines and shipment dates. Unfortunately, when manufacturers are manually executing tasks, they’re adding hours or even days onto production cycles. Meanwhile, customers are growing impatient as they wait for their orders.  

ERP software slashes production lead times by automating manual, repetitive activities. Workers no longer need to manually update paper records with ERP automatically keeping everything up to date. Your software can also be set up to instantly place work orders, replenish materials or schedule jobs. By managing processes in one solution, your system unifies employees across departments and parts of your production floor to execute operations.  

Additionally, ERP offers essential planning and scheduling modules to optimize productivity. Whiteboards and post-it notes don’t cut it in today’s fast-paced factories. These methods don’t accommodate last-minute changes or organize tasks effectively. Epicor’s nimble planning and scheduling tools give project managers control over daily processes and long-term goals. Your ERP will make sure that personnel, materials and equipment are all in place to meet deadlines. It will also allow you to adjust schedules at a moment’s notice. Plus, Epicor’s mobile Time Management application lets you record and manage time across jobsprojectsinternal codes and service ordersNo matter the circumstances, ERP can help plant managers enhance efficiency.  

Quality Assurance  

For manufacturers, few objectives are more important than maintaining product quality. Plant managers can’t let any defects or non-compliant parts leave the factory. In an era of strict regulations and high customer expectations, lapses in quality could set you back considerably. Errors are bound to happen if you have your shop floor employees waste time manually checking lots, bins and WIPs.  

By tracking parts and items throughout the quality management process, ERP helps you enforce quality standards without the risk of human error or taking up employees’ hours. Epicor provides total visibility of parts and items, so that issues never escape your notice. From the inspection workbench, project managers can monitor WIP, review all inspections and automatically act to fulfill requirements. Epicor ties together each of your quality functions, such as scrapping end parts, rejecting raw materials and tracking inspections.  

The solution also simplifies compliance. Full audit trails are maintained to document the inspections, approvals and changes made throughout the processing of an order. Additionally, Epicor checks for Certificates of Compliance at different stages of production to simplify compliance. ERP helps project managers ensure that customers are getting products of the highest quality.  

Wrap Up 

You can’t expect your plant managers to keep production lines running in tip-top shape if you’re not giving them the right tools. Epicor, a leading ERP solution for nearly half a century, equips managers with comprehensive features to control manufacturing performance.  

An Epicor Gold Partner, Datix understands what every plant manager needs from an ERP solution. For over 20 years, we’ve worked closely with manufacturing and distribution clients to optimize their processes with ERP. Our certified consultants provide several solutions and services to enhance the value of your software and streamline your operations. 

Start solving your manufacturing and distribution challenges. Contact Datix today to learn more about Epicor ERP! 

CONTACT AN EXPERT AT DATIX TODAY!

Tags: automating processes, Transforming Business Through Software, compliance, Epicor® ERP, epicor partner, ERP, erp consulting, inventory management, lean manufacturing, manufacturing, quality management, visibility, planning and scheduling, dashboard, erp expert

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