Two Problems Facing Manufacturers
There’s no question that U.S. manufacturing has continued to flourish in the first quarter of 2018. In the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, organizations were found to be more optimistic about the future of their industry than they have been in the survey’s 20-year history. Manufacturers expect an influx of sales, revenue and production.
But is anything ever perfect? As manufacturers seize on new opportunities opening up to them this year, they are also working on solutions to two critical problems: finding talented employees and dealing with the rising cost of raw materials. NAM cited attracting and retaining a quality workforce as the top manufacturing concern for the second year in a row, and nearly 65% of respondents are concerned about mounting costs of resources. One of the best ways to tackle these issues is through implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Below, we explain how ERP systems can help companies get past these manufacturing roadblocks to reach new heights in 2018.
Download Epicor’s Manufacturing Overview to learn more about how ERP drives manufacturing success!
One concern that has been plaguing manufacturers the past couple of years is a talent shortage. As employees retire or move on to another opportunity, companies struggle to find younger manufacturers to fill their shoes. Millennials have higher expectations for their work environment than previous generations, and they aren’t seeing manufacturing as a field that could meet their needs.
When utilized effectively, enterprise technology can transform traditional work environments to become more collaborative and flexible—qualities highly valued by millennials. Epicor ERP software improves transparency and collaboration by organizing enterprise data inside user-friendly interfaces. Additionally, the Epicor Social Enterprise (ESE) module resembles a social media platform, providing instant notifications and simplifying communication right from your home page. Cloud ERP makes dashboards and functions available across mobile devices, enabling users to perform critical activities outside the office. These features not only satisfy a younger workforce but also make the workplace more rewarding and enjoyable for everyone.
No matter how millennial-friendly your work environment is, you can’t expect to attract younger job candidates if there are holes in your recruitment process. When manufacturers integrate Epicor Human Capital Management (HCM) into their ERP system, they can simplify hiring. Millennials expect to find and apply for positions from any device. Epicor HCM can generate a unique URL for each requisition that can be posted to social media sites to spread the word about your new opening. With the candidate self-service module, job seekers can easily fill out applications and upload additional documents in one place. ERP can be just what you need to entice the next generation of manufacturers.
Rising Cost of Raw Materials
Sadly, no enterprise software vendor can magically reduce the prices of raw materials. However, ERP functions can help users maintain effective relationships with suppliers and work to cut costs while maintaining quality. Here are a few ways how:
- Forecasting: Epicor’s sophisticated tools enable users to purchase materials at the best time by forecasting material requirements and suggesting orders to fill potential gaps in your inventory. This insight enables businesses to plan their raw material purchases accordingly. For example, users can buy large quantities when costs are low.
- Supplier Quality Management: Maintaining strong relationships with suppliers is important for getting quality raw materials at a lower price. Epicor’s Supplier Quality Management module provides a 360-degree view of every aspect of quality, including raw materials, to help users reduce costs. The ERP system can also track and evaluate suppliers to enable manufacturers to find the right supplier.
- Lean Manufacturing: Lean manufacturing techniques allow companies to maximize the use of their raw materials to reduce scrap. ERP technology detects inefficiencies in your machinery to help you improve your supply chain. Epicor also supports Kanban workflows and monitors processes to ensure users get the most from every material order.
Bottom line, Epicor’s agility makes it the optimal solution for weathering erratic fluctuations in raw material costs.
This is a big year for American manufacturing—don’t let opportunities slip because of issues with labor or costs. Epicor is designed for manufacturers. Its dexterity makes it the ideal solution for facing any challenges your industry comes up against.
Also ready to help manufacturers face challenges and take advantage of new opportunities? Datix. For 20 years, our consultants have equipped manufacturers and distributors with quality ERP solutions. We’ve enabled our clients to get through difficulties and take their business to the next level. An Epicor Platinum Partner, we have the ERP prowess to implement software that aligns with your processes and goals. Plus, with our Unity integration application, we can connect Epicor with a variety of software solutions, such as CRM and eCommerce, to further streamline operations.
To learn how Epicor drives manufacturing success, download the Epicor manufacturing white paper and reach out to Datix today!