- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has been around for decades, but recent technology has spurred various changes worth taking note of, according to a recent article by Enterprise Apps Today. Cloud technology, IoT, additive manufacturing, robotics, analytics and integration of external data sources are becoming increasingly popular features of the software.
- Prior to purchasing or changing ERP software, executives should ask themselves whether they prefer on-premise or cloud-based software, what modules they would like to install, how the company will adapt to change, and whether the short-list includes industry-specialized vendors.
- ERP software's transaction management and data integration abilities should help reduce labor and operating costs, improve supplier interactions, decrease lead time, optimize inventory management, streamline compliance efforts, reduce human error and improve reliability.
When a company is looking to overhaul its IT systems, supply chain managers should do their best to have an active role in the decision making process. From procurement to fulfillment, supply chain management requires consistent engagement beyond the corporate office and choosing the right ERP system may help optimize much of the company's productive processes.
Perhaps the most important aspect for a supply chain manager to consider, then, is whether the software allows for integration of external data or consistent updates.
Systems that allow for external data integration allow a company to adapt to new technology without requiring a complete IT overhaul. This is specially important given the current pace of technological change: from the Internet of Things to additive manufacturing and automation, centrally controlled data systems may soon drive the productive process.
Yet surveys reveal many companies are still lagging in adopting new versions. Reasons for this include the difficulty of change management, budgetary constraints, or fear of another breakthrough technology prompting a new overhaul.
However, online proponents of the technology would argue early adoption can drive competitive advantage and save as much as it costs.