Stinsora Consulting

Selecting the ideal ERP to meet your manufacturing needs is crucial yet challenging. With so many options on the market, how do you approach the evaluation process? Which criteria are most important to assess?

This guide highlights key considerations to help you thoroughly evaluate ERP systems for manufacturing environments.

Match Core Functionality Needs

At its foundation, your ERP must align with the capabilities needed to execute manufacturing processes end-to-end. Carefully analyze must-have features like:

  • Shop floor execution – routing, scheduling, capacity planning
  • Materials/inventory management – BOMs, MRP, supply/demand planning
  • Production planning and costing
  • Quality management for testing, compliance, and traceability
  • Support for multiple manufacturing modes such as MTO, ETO, complex assemblies

Prioritize systems purpose-built for manufacturing over generic ERPs to get robust, tailored functionality out-of-the-box.

Scalability for Growth

Evaluate if the ERP can scale in step with your business. Assess:

  • Technical capacity – can it handle increased transaction volumes and users without performance issues?
  • Functional growth – does it offer additional capabilities like CRM or SCM to support expansion?
  • Footprint expansion – can the ERP readily support new sites and global operations?

Cloud ERPs tend to offer the most flexible foundation for growth.

Ease of Use and Training

The system should have an intuitive interface and navigation that employees can quickly learn to use efficiently. Complex, dated UIs lead to user frustration, errors and poor adoption.

Evaluate usability and built-in training resources to estimate ramp-up time and change management needs.

Total Cost of Ownership

Don’t just look at license costs – factor in implementation, customizations, ongoing support and other elements. On-premise ERPs often have higher hidden costs versus cloud.

Also assess the level of IT resources needed – does the system require extensive developer support or can business users handle configuration?

Technology Fit and Roadmap

The solution should align with your broader IT strategy and vision. Consider architecture, security, connectivity, and emerging technologies like IoT, mobility and analytics.

Also examine the vendor’s investment and future development plans. What is their product roadmap? How often do they deliver updates?

No manufacturing ERP checks every box. But following a structured process focused on key criteria helps you make the right choice for your unique needs and long-term success. Partnering with an independent ERP consultant like Stinsora can provide additional guidance during your selection process.

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