Manufacturing Software – Not a Swiss Army Knife

swiss-army-knife

Although we live in the information age, people working in manufacturing are often dissatisfied with software for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) / Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP)  – manufacturing software.

This is confirmed by a study conducted by Redshift Research (http://www.marketresearchworld.net/content/view/5930/76/). Most companies appreciate the importance of ERP systems, but only 9% believe that their ERP system is easy to use.

The cause of this dissatisfaction is natural and easy understandable. When most ERP systems started, they started with bookkeeping. This makes sense, as firms are in different fields, but accounting is needed everywhere. But accounting practices are very strict and require a large number of specific steps from the user. For example, changes in data can be nightmarish. Moreover, the design of the systems made the needs of accountants their main priority. Then, these programs became overgrown with other functionality (e.g., inventory control, supply chain management, manufacturing management). However, the basic framework of the software is laid down and barely can be changed.

Thus, dozens ERP systems claim that they are suitable for production. While this is technically true, in reality it is like using a pocket knife, even a good one, as the primary tool in the workplace. It’s possible, but no one would do it if they could avoid it.

Moreover, because ERP systems were first introduced to accounting departments, sometimes the choice and implementation of the production part was entrusted to financial personnel. In sum, these factors lead to the fact that production managers are unhappy with their ERP systems.

Proper manufacturing software not only should be designed taking into account a business’ operational needs, and should not have unnecessary restrictions, but should also take in account specific needs of production personnel.