Localise or globalise: how ERP manages operations across locations
Global supply chains allow manufacturers to reach potential customers worldwide, says Adriaan Rossouw, executive at EOH Infor Services.
Across the manufacturing and distribution sectors, improving operational efficiency is the difference between success and failure. To achieve this, organisations must employ the latest technology for effective enterprise resource planning (ERP). When managed correctly, ERP integrates all aspects of an organisation's operational workflow, bringing product planning, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing together to create a streamlined and united big picture.
With over 7.2 billion people on earth, and in a digitally globalised world, there's no reason why geographical borders should act as boundaries to sales. Industry 4.0 is drastically changing how goods are produced, distributed and sold. This extension from local to global offers both immense benefits and far greater levels of competition.
"Today's manufacturers face a wider range of challenges than ever before; most notably, greater, more varied competition and the complexities of a globally extended supply chain," says Adriaan Rossouw, Executive at EOH Infor Services (formerly Softworx), Infor's Master Partner in Africa, operating as a Gold Partner. "At the same time, the opportunities for success have never been more far-reaching."
According to the Infor eBook: Borderless manufacturing: achieving growth through globalisation, industrial manufacturing CEOs across the world believe both technological advances (81%) and shifts in economic power (60%) will transform their businesses in the next five years. "The only market is global," believes Rossouw. "The eBook reveals that 21 nations more than doubled their GDPs in the first decade of the 21st century. All of these countries are located in developing markets."
Global supply chains allow manufacturers to reach potential customers worldwide. The key is to maintain the same quality offering globally, as locally. "This is where ERP comes in. As business process management software, the various integrated applications are able to effectively manage business and automate administrative functions related to technology, services and human resources across all locations," adds Rossouw. "By integrating core business processes, often in real-time, ERP systems are able to track business resources along with the status of business commitments. This data can then be shared across the various departments to facilitate a seamless flow between all business functions and stakeholders, regardless of the size of the business or the geographical reach of its products."
So, how does a manufacturer move from local to global? "Successfully managing a worldwide supply chain, comprising multiple contractors, suppliers and distribution centres, requires the right ERP solution!" concludes Rossouw. "It demands a solution with complete end-to-end visibility into everything from financials and scheduling to shop floor management, quality control and analytics. This ensures that all aspects of the operation are transparent to key stakeholders."