While it may not be apparent from the outside, a lot has been going on behind-the-scenes at L.D. Davis Industries.
In April of this year our team made the switch to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. A lot of time and effort went into choosing the best software for our company, training with the new program, and implementation.
We wanted to take the time to share our ERP system experience for any businesses out there that may be considering making the switch.
What Is an ERP System?
An ERP system is business management software used to track essentially all business activities including: purchase orders, raw materials, manufacturing, inventory, shipping, accounting, and more. The software takes the information, which is usually recorded in several different programs, and tracks it in one system. ERP systems help to eliminate any organizational silos by sharing information with others within the company.
The Challenges of Implementing an ERP System
Remember when you learned to ride a bike for the first time? It was scary, a little frustrating, and there were bumps and bruises along the way. In the end, it was well worth the struggle.
ERP systems are a lot like that.
Switching to an ERP system is no easy feat - it really is a "all hands on deck" experience.
The first challenge to consider is that ERP implementation takes time. Time to import information from old software to the new. Time for training all employees. Time to test run the new system. And, of course, time to get acclimated to the new software. The switch to an ERP system does not happen overnight.
Another challenge is customizing the software in a way that will allow you to get the most out of it. This is something that you will realize as your team begins using the software. For example, within the first few weeks of using our new system, we realized that none of the reports that we were generating showed all of the information we needed. We worked with the software engineers to remedy this.
Finally, one of the biggest challenges to consider actually has nothing to do with the actual software. Patience is needed by all, especially management. Generally, people are resistant to change. Software changes are no different. Even if your team is using antiquated software that really needs an update, the old software is familiar to them. Using it doesn't require much thought anymore. It's second nature. Introducing an ERP system changes all of that. We just passed the 6 month mark and we are still learning new aspects to the system.
Implementation success depends heavily on the willingness of your team to learn and use something new.
The Benefits of Using an ERP System
ERP systems offer much needed visibility within an organization. Visibility allows your team to work smarter and more efficiently.
They will also help to:
- improve productivity
- streamline manufacturing processes
- decrease costs
How This Has Made Us a Better Company
Switching to an ERP system has made our team stronger, and our company more efficient. Not only has it improved our internal operations, but it has given us the ability to better serve our customers.
Now that we can better track orders, order patterns, shipping lead times etc., we can easily identify inefficiencies and correct them.
- Improved productivity means orders are getting processed quickly and accurately.
- Streamlined manufacturing means product is being made, packed and shipped quickly and efficiently.
- Decreased internal costs means that we can continue to offer product at competitive prices.
While this post isn't directly related to glue, it definitely has had a positive impact on our glue manufacturing.
We hope that we have helped shed some light on the challenges and benefits that go along with implementing a new ERP system.
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