Like all other industries, manufacturing faces several challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Here are four challenges to consider, along with some ways to turn challenges into opportunities.
Challenge 1: Access to data while working remotely
To socially distance and keep the virus at bay, many manufacturing employees need to work from home but still have access to the information they need for their daily work. However, a strictly on-premise ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution landlocks information and requires employees to be physically present onsite in order to get the data they need. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, that is no longer a sustainable option.
A cloud-based ERP solution enables your workforce to access essential systems from anywhere at any time. Your business operations can continue to run smoothly even when your offices sit empty.
A cloud-based ERP also integrates with collaborative tools, enabling your staff to maintain productivity and work together on projects already in development, ensuring your company does not miss a beat, despite the changed circumstances.
Challenge 2: Supplier management
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the manufacturing supply chain. Many manufacturers that once relied heavily on imports and parts from suppliers in other countries now find themselves scrambling to find new sources either in-country or from areas less affected by COVID-19.
The World Economic Forum notes on the subject: “In the near term, it is expected that companies will begin seeking out a more diversified supplier base while looking to develop a flexible, but cost-efficient, supply chain. For the longer term, however, companies will need to undertake a more holistic analysis, which may lead to more drastic changes, such as moving supply chains nearby, or to different countries, as well as increasing the digitalizing of supply chains, with a view of creating a more sustainable operation for the future.”
Manufacturers that have moved to a cloud-based ERP system are better able to meet supply chain challenges during a crisis. That is because Cloud ERPs offer modern supply management tools with data and analysis available in real-time that provide a clear view of the status of supplies and the needs across the company. With up-to-date information, you can forecast and reallocate supplies and costs as needed, giving you the agility and flexibility that older ERP systems may not offer.
Challenge 3: Traceability and product recall management
Pandemic or not, manufacturers always face the challenge of product traceability and product recall management. However, in light of increased scrutiny and emphasis on product safety and consumer health, the ability to track products and immediately initiate recalls when problems are detected is essential.
Cloud-based ERP software integrates information from multiple disparate sources into a single source of truth, giving you end-to-end visibility into your products, from raw materials through sale and distribution. That means you can instantly track specific products, initiate a product recall if needed, and oversee all tracking operations from anywhere at any time via the device of your choice.
Challenge 4: Maintaining a 360-degree view of operations
With some staff working remotely, your production teams working in staggered shifts to accommodate social distancing mandates, your product lines shifting to meet new market demands, and your supply chain partners changing rapidly, getting a clear picture of operations is a little like trying to hit a moving target.
The right ERP solution addresses that challenge by pulling all the data you need from multiple sources into one system so that you can easily use it for analysis and reporting. With intuitive dashboards and built-in reporting capabilities, you can quickly get a 360-degree view of your company and gain the insights you need to make good decisions, whether you are dealing with a global pandemic or not.
Acumatica: A Cloud-Based ERP for Manufacturers
Acumatica Cloud ERP – Manufacturing Edition is made specifically for the manufacturing industry. It offers a complete, multi-site manufacturing control and planning system for manufacturers of any type, including make-to-stock, make-to-order, configure-to-order, engineer-to-order, project-centric, job shop, repetitive, and batch manufacturing.
It is a complete manufacturing automation solution that integrates shop floor with sales, accounting, ordering, projects, and inventory in real-time. With Acumatica, you can know exactly where you stand at any moment with real-time reporting and analytics. It also enables real-time collaboration with staff, customers, and suppliers from a single source of truth for your company.
NexTec is proud to be an Acumatica Gold Certified Partner. Since 1994, NexTec Group has been in the business of software, and as a leading reseller of Acumatica, we have helped manufacturers just like you to implement the solution and realize the benefits of Acumatica. Take the Acumatica product tour today and discover how to streamline your manufacturing business.