ERP solutions for one-off production
20 June

ERP solutions for make-to-order production

ERP systems in production are mostly used to map and optimise processes of large key figures. No less relevant, but much more complex, are the requirements that individual manufacturers have for software. They are more complex because the core functions must be flexible to use and at the same time uniformly presentable.

Forward planning of development must include all possible scenarios that the system can be used profitably. Since these have to be implemented individually, it is difficult to assess the possibilities of ERP software in one-off production. Nevertheless, here is a basic introduction to the challenges and potentials that a system solution has for these companies.

The challenges of one-off production

To do well calculate and at the same time guarantee fast production, individual manufacturers have in the past sourced the production of individual parts externally and only assembled them in their own factories. However, this has made companies dependent on the availability and delivery of their resources. The planning of orders to ensure timely and quality-assured production is time-consuming and error-prone without the appropriate software.

Another challenge for one-off manufacturers is that they have different types of production. Even with one-off productions, series or variant processes can usually be defined up to a certain point, which are then expanded accordingly. Especially if the company processes several orders at the same time, this can quickly lead to incorrect order information being assigned to a production. Especially in the context of external resources, this leads to major delays in delivery.

Many individual manufacturers also have difficulty accepting or rescheduling orders at short notice. This is also due to the lack of calculability of resources and the order situation. However, flexibility creates a secure foothold in the competitiveness of companies in make-to-order production.

Potentials of the ERP system

An ERP solution for make-to-order production must Resource planning completely. In addition to recording all resources, a modern system should visualise the utilisation and thus create transparency for planning. Especially when production resources are sourced from different producers, ERP software has the possibility to map the resource figures in the system. Various Locations (plants, sales or service) can also be integrated into the software. Individual manufacturers who produce production resources internally can also create a uniform overview of all processes in real time. A modern software solution can also continuously compare and adjust resource planning during the course of production. Growing parts lists can also be integrated in this way.

Besides resource planning, the Project controlling an essential part of what an ERP system for make-to-order manufacturers must be able to do. The planning of resources is always in the context of costs, revenues and deadlines. A software solution can not only map accepted, ongoing and completed orders, but also create an overview for all multi-stage production processes. The ?one-off? components of the production, which make up customised production, the prototypes of the processes must be flexibly adaptable. In order to make customised production possible, external special software can be integrated into ERP systems, which enable e.g. custom-fit calculations. Modern systems can display these internally on the one hand and for customers on the other.

This is another advantage brought by the use of ERP software in make-to-order production. The transparent mapping of production enables improved customer service. The software also makes it possible to efficiently plan services such as repairs, as the system can access the order data at any time and, for example, immediately check whether relevant spare parts are available.

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