Speaker: Conrad Leiva
ERPs have a very important function in the enterprise landscape that includes handling the financials, costing, capacity planning, order fulfillment, procurement and inventory control. There has been a lot of effort put into ERP with the legacy of initiatives, just-in-time manufacturing, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and other regulations that made organizations invest a great deal into ERP. ERPs have been expanding their footprint quite a bit to include a lot of manufacturing functions, but it is really hard for any system to try to do everything for the entire organization unless the needs of the organizations are simple. For most of our customer base in complex manufacturing, there are deeper needs on the shop floor.
ERPs have expanded their reach quite a bit to include things like work order status, issuing of parts to the shop floor, and tracking labor and material costs in the work order. Those are important bridging functions among the shop floor, the ERP and the financial systems. Industries with more complex manufacturing processes need more functionality depth in terms of work instructions on the job floor, change management practices, tracking inspection results in detail, doing statistical process control, and performing process control procedures that go beyond the functionality of the typical ERP. A paperless shop floor requires 24/7 availability of the system, and ERP systems have a batch nature. They do not necessarily lend themselves to paperless practices.