Many manufacturers today have found that, as they have strived to increase sales, revenues, and market share, they have also outgrown their existing manufacturing system solutions. Outdated features, lack of capacity, and other system constraints prompt them to investigate new and improved manufacturing system applications.
But how do you know if your company is ready to upgrade to a better, more feature-rich manufacturing system?
Does your company have a firm expansion plan in place? Will you be adding more users to the system in the near future? Will you be producing a higher volume of products, or more diverse ones? Will you need more advanced functionality?
If so, and you strongly feel that your existing manufacturing system won’t be able to support the growth, then it’s time to make a switch.
According to leading technology industry analyst firms such as Forrester and Gartner, comprehensive data integration – or lack thereof – is the primary area in which some manufacturing software vendors fall short.
At some point, most manufacturing companies recognize the need to synchronize and centralize the information contained within the various disparate systems and databases that house production control data. Additionally, they come to realize that they need to share that information with external business partners such as suppliers and distributors in real time. As a result, they’ll require a manufacturing system environment with a more robust data integration infrastructure.
As manufacturing companies expand by increasing capacity and output, or by adding new products to their portfolios, production workflows – and the list of materials and components required to support them – often become far more intricate and multi-faceted.
However, not all manufacturing software systems can scale to handle these increasingly complex production, purchasing, and inventory management activities and may need to be replaced.
Some manufacturing applications are unable to support production operations that span multiple plants, warehouses, and distribution centers. If your business has added, or is considering adding new factories or facilities, you may need to purchase a more powerful manufacturing system to enable effective coordination and execution of procedures and activities across all locations.
As many organizations expand, they look to conduct business in foreign countries. Yet, legacy manufacturing systems may not have the features and functionality in place to support global production operations, or to enable the tracking and management of cross-country supply chains. Therefore, in cases like these, an upgrade to a manufacturing system with full globalization capabilities may be necessary.
While “out of the box” manufacturing system implementations may be sufficient for some companies, the truth is that almost every manufacturer will need to customize its application to some extent in order to most effectively support its unique activities.
If your existing manufacturing system lacks customization capabilities, there may come a time when you need to switch to one that offers greater flexibility.