- Increasing ERP adoption from the shop floor to the top floor is the first step in keeping manufacturing in step with customer’s expectations and future needs.
- Excelling at manufacturing execution starts with an ERP system capable of scaling company-wide, providing real-time updates to every team.
- A key goal of increasing ERP adoption is removing time-consuming, often manually based spreadsheet workarounds that slow down production and often introduce errors.
Data, insights, and intelligence are the lifeblood that keeps any manufacturer alive and growing. Getting the right data to the right teams at the right time, and having them act on it can mean the difference between meeting a customers’ delivery schedules and quality standards. When the most valuable data is available from the shop floor to the top floor, higher quality decisions happen faster. Fewer order entry errors, less order rework on existing orders, improved customer satisfaction and a drop in Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) all happen when everyone is using the same source of data.
Increasing ERP Adoption Helps Drive Higher Production Performance
From improving daily productivity to translating shop floor data into financial insights, teams work better when they are all relying on a common source of information. That’s why increasing how many people and teams are actively using an ERP system matter. People and teams excel when they can see their progress towards goals daily. The wider the adoption of an the greater potential for teams to get real-time feedback on how they are doing and course-correct if needed. The bottom line is that the future of any manufacturer is being defined today by how well they are are using the information to improve production efficiency, quality, and responsiveness to customers.
The following are the top 10 ways to drive ERP adoption in 2018:
- Be clear about the business goals the ERP system and apps are helping to accomplish, freely sharing performance analytics with teams. Providing access to real-time dashboards that report back production, quality, on-time deliveries, and returns help production teams to see how an ERP systems and its related apps help orchestrate higher production performance. One VP of Manufacturing for an aerospace parts manufacturer has a monthly company-wide meeting to explain production accuracy, performance, and quality goals. When a new app or module is being added to their ERP system, he provides insights into how the decision to add more software will help their business. Adoption rates for ERP and related systems are over 90% in his company.
- Give each team an opportunity to customize the parts of an ERP system they use the most. Instead of forcing teams to change how they work based on an ERP systems’ constraints, give production teams the freedom to define how the screens they use will work and interact with other parts of the system. This step alone can deliver significant gains in adoption, as each production team will have greater ownership of how they interact with the system.
- Look for ways to equate ERP adoption with greater accomplishment. One company went as far as to hand out ERP Champion award plaques now hanging in production offices across their fifteen different production centers. Team members get recognized for finding new ways to make the data generated by their ERP systems more customer-centric and valuable.
- Look for opportunities to replace intensive spreadsheet work with automated reporting, freeing employees up for more interesting work. ERP systems were built to do this. Getting employees out of the rut of having to do hours of spreadsheet work when an ERP system can do it in a fraction of the time is a great way to increase system adoption.
- Make your ERP system more mobile, providing access from any Internet-capable device with a browser. Too often ERP systems have low adoption because they force people to stay at their desks all day when they need to be on the shop floor. Add in mobility support to provide production teams the freedom to work where and how they need to. The latest ERP systems provide for greater control over the mobile user experience which makes communicating and collaborating in real-time possible from anywhere at any time.
- Keeping an ERP system up to date alleviates production team frustrations and removes roadblocks to greater adoption. By having the most relevant, recent release of an ERP system installed, production teams have the best available applications and tools to do their work. Allowing ERP versions to lapse for years often leads to low adoption and the resulting series of communication and collaboration gaps.
- Invest heavily in training programs. Companies who excel in every aspect of manufacturing make training a core strength. Combining training and other strategies mentioned will make a positive impact on ERP adoption that lasts because it’s based on knowledge. Being able to provide opportunities for every member of production teams to attain greater mastery of their specific areas leads to higher production performance.
- Define an ERP roadmap showing everyone using the system what future enhancements are planned. Taking the time to define an ERP roadmap for your company helps explain why and when modules are being added in response to the need to keep growing. Better serve customers and improve quality. Best of all, sharing the ERP Roadmap builds trust in the ERP strategy direction and greater ownership over its success.
- Improve the usability of supplier-facing apps and analytics to increase adoption. Supplier-facing apps and tools are often the most overlooked area when manufacturers seek to increase ERP adoption. The same holds true for distribution channel partners. Designing an ERP system, so it scales beyond the four walls of a manufacturing plant and provides a feature-rich set of apps to streamline purchasing, procurement, and channel management is essential. Providing suppliers with useful onboarding, forecasting, and ordering tools help increase ERP adoption company-wide.
- Use analytics to tell a compelling story of production performance. Selecting metrics and KPIs that provide an accurate view of production performance, then sharing them on dashboards and scorecards with production teams is essential for driving up adoption. The goal is to provide production teams with insights on how their efforts are making a difference.