The Productivity Imperative – An ERP Checklist for Manufacturers

Posted by Mark Ellis on Mon, Dec 04, 2017

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A great way to boost your productivity in manufacturing is to replace disconnected processes with what today’s enterprise resource planning systems have to offer. Set yourself up for performance growth with our ERP checklist, written with the needs of UK manufacturers in mind

As you begin to think about procuring manufacturing ERP software – either for the first time or to replace existing systems – it’s important to think about the specific needs of your business, and where system improvements will have the greatest impact on productivity.

To help you below we have compiled a summary checklist that may help with your thinking:

Bonus content: Get our full guidance and checklists for increasing productivity in your factory in our latest manual >>

Business process

To what extent is your business currently dependent on manual, paper-based processes and standalone spreadsheets in each part of the organisation – and could these processes be automated?

Action point – Audit the current level of manual-versus-automated processes across the business.

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Data and visibility

To what extent is your business currently struggling because of poor communication, insufficient collaboration between functions, and delays in key staff accessing basic information? How capable is the business of generating actionable insight from its data?

Action point – Audit your organisation’s current performance on information sharing and data analytics.

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Customer focus

To what extent are your organisation’s systems able to communicate with customers across a full range of channels, whether to provide information and respond to queries, or to accept and begin processing sales orders?

Action point – Talk to key customers about improvements they would like to see in this area.

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To what extent are your systems able to properly manage stock, scheduling, production and quality control to ensure your operation is a ‘smart factory’? Do these systems have the capacity to capture data?

Action point – Assess the level of operational functionality in the business and identify any shortfalls.


Supply chain

To what extent is your business monitoring and managing the performance of your vendors, purchasing and supply chain activities using automated tools and systems?

Action point – Assess the level of supply chain functionality in the business and identify shortfalls.

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To what extent does your system provide a real-time review of financial performance, management reporting, workflows, access controls and human resources capabilities?

Action point – Assess the level of functionality with regards to finance in the business and identify any shortfalls.


Taking the next step: transforming your operations with modern ERP

Have you appointed a project sponsor, a project leader and got a supporting team to begin the process of moving towards ERP adoption?

Action point – Build a project team to manage the search process, setting clear timelines for completion.

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Building a specification to inform your search

Has your business begun the process of fully auditing its current state, identifying key areas where an ERP system can deliver the greatest productivity gains?

Action point – Interview key stakeholders across the business to build a specification document that will inform your search for a specific ERP solution.

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Meeting potential suppliers

Is your business able to compare potential ERP solutions on a like-for-like basis?

Action point – Once you have shortlisted potential suppliers on the basis of your specification, evaluate supplier demonstrations using a consistent set of agreed criteria to make a final decision.

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Move towards completing your productivity transformation

Have you consulted all key stakeholders on the final choices and talked to existing customers of potential suppliers on your final shortlist?

Action point – Conduct detailed workshops with the final candidates, seek references and negotiate terms.

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Get expert guidance and checklists for increasing productivity in your factory in our latest manual >>

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Topics: Manufacturing