Five reasons manufacturing ERP is your gateway to Industry 4.0

Five reasons manufacturing ERP is your gateway to Industry 4.0

Industry 1.0 saw the introduction of water and steam power in production. Industry 2.0 introduced electricity for mass production. Industry 3.0 tapped computers and their connectivity to automate production lines and manufacturing processes.

Now, Industry 4.0 is the use of that same connectivity to link each part of the manufacturing and production process. This communication means everything and everybody can talk to each other, enabling the automation of complex tasks and processes.

According to the EEF, manufacturing is responsible for 70% of the UK’s business research and development, 10% of its output, 44% of its exports, and employs over 2.6 million people.

Industry 4.0 could boost UK manufacturing by $455 billion and create an additional 175,000 jobs over the next 10 years, according to the independent UK industry-led ‘Made Smarter Review’.

It makes sense, then, that manufacturing ERP is your business’s gateway to joining Industry 4.0, empowering your business to do more in less time - here are five reasons why:

1) Automation and consolidation of your manufacturing processes

A well-implemented ERP system provides streamlined processes. Not only will the system do things in an automated way, it should do them in a better way, too.

ERP-powered procedures aren’t simply digital copies of your existing manufacturing processes - they’re specifically designed to maximise productivity provided by that automation. These processes result in a leaner, more-efficient production line, eliminating wasteful overproduction thanks to accurate forecasting data.

Manufacturing ERP provides complete control over every aspect of your operation, allowing you to reduce human involvement in processes as needed.

2) Financials, forecasting and stock reduction

Manufacturing ERP can provide productivity-boosting benefits both on and off the production line. A well-implemented system will incorporate the factory floor to the back office, allowing you to monitor every aspect of your manufacturing processes and business financials.

With this financial oversight comes the ability to produce risk analyses and forecasts to anticipate potential demand for the products you’re manufacturing. This forecasting power gives you the ability to reduce your stock holding, as your ERP system tells you the materials you need to fulfil expected demand.

An effective ERP system understands that manufacturing is driven by demand – and should provide tools to effectively predict and manage that demand throughout every step of the process.

3) Real-time visibility, responsive decision-making

From material tracking and planning schedules to item traceability and manufacturing analysis, ERP systems provide real-time visibility into your manufacturing processes and procedures.

A system acts as a data access point, enabling effective decision-making based on live data – not data as it was an hour ago.

And for stakeholders who aren’t positioned to take advantage of this visibility, manufacturing ERP provides in-depth reporting functionality from a single system when they need it.

4) Goodbye to bottlenecks, hello to human capital

An ERP system also lets you identify and eliminate bottlenecks in your manufacturing processes. It also means that time-consuming tasks that would otherwise be carried out by employees can be automated.

You can invest time in more worthwhile tasks with the help of that automation, such as improving the customer-facing experience. Moreover, it will also help you track activity within your business, and assess how that activity contributes to productivity – or not contribute at all.

ERP manufacturing helps to ensure that products are manufactured and distributed on-time and to a high quality, helping to improve the customer experience and secure repeat custom.

5) Communication and collaboration

As well as being distributed throughout your business, information generated by your ERP system can also be sent to partners, suppliers and other external stakeholders.

An ERP system can automatically distribute key information, ensuring critical data is sent where needed. Low material levels, for example, can trigger a request for a re-stock order – letting an external company know what’s needed, how much and when.

In short...

A good ERP system is your ticket to Industry 4.0. The digitisation of your processes - from the production line to the purchase ledger – could not only allow your business to go toe-to-toe with competitors, but also push productivity to new heights.

ERP is a pathway to modern industry, and a method by which to manufacture your own success with the help of best-practice processes and cutting-edge technology.

Learn more about Sage X3's manufacturing capabilities in an online demo led by Datel's in-house experts on Thursday 18th January at 10:00am.