ERP software can make a huge difference in a shop by raising the bottom line, increasing productivity, improving quality, and many other things. However, ERP software can also help a shop before it’s even implemented. ERP software can help your shop, but it tends to magnify whatever already exists. So, to get the biggest impact from an ERP system, it’s helpful to use the implementation period to get organized, which will help your shop even before the ERP system is fully implemented.
If your shop is looking to create quality procedures, or make them the same across the shop, preparing for ERP software can be a huge help. Quality is part of many ERP software packages, and if your shop chooses to use it, you have to make sure there’s a uniform way of determining quality for each job. ERP software gives you a uniform way to report quality and an easy way to check it. So before you implement your new software, it’s helpful to have the way you report quality figured out.
When your shop is preparing for ERP software, you also have to consider what information you want to bring into the system. Some shops bring in everything they have, but that can take a long time. Many shops go through their information and decide what’s still useful. For example, if your shop did one job for a customer several years ago and never heard from them again, you probably don’t need to keep that customer’s information. But if you have a frequent customer, you’ll likely want to save all of their recent jobs so you can make them again later.
Job routing is the secret sauce for making a part up to spec and quickly. However, if your system relies on spreadsheets or paper, it’s easy to have multiple ways to route a job. With an ERP system, you can choose the best way to route a job and your schedulers will use that routing every time for that job. It’s also easy to take a routing for a similar job and change it to work for a new job. That ability can be helpful for your schedulers to continue to use the best routings even on new jobs.
If your estimators are using pieces of paper or spreadsheets to give a quote, there are many opportunities for things to go astray. It’s possible they have an old price for material, or they’re using the wrong percentage for overhead. Getting the estimated price correct is crucial for your job shop to continue making money. Before you start using an ERP system, it’s important to gather the information to see how much overhead your shop needs on a job. The ERP system can help you calculate what that is. You can also solidify what percentage your shop charges for things like rush jobs.
Simply the act of getting organized while implementing ERP software can help your shop. Then, once the ERP software is running, that can help your shop even more. ERP software helps your shop reach its potential and then keep growing. Interested?