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ERP for Project-Based Manufacturing: A Game Changer for Your Business

Businesses implement ERP Industry 4.0 systems to give them complete control over their processes, costs, and productivity. They can leverage this same cloud-based software to streamline project management, whether working on a custom or urgent fulfillment requirement or as an ongoing internal control for project-based production.

ERP solutions for manufacturing are specifically designed to assist with high-level resource planning and project mapping to identify key deadlines and supply chain requirements and ensure each project is completed on time and within budget. The outcome is a fully optimized set of workflows throughout each manufacturing project, monitoring every aspect from procurement to sales, and quality control to finances.


How Does a Project-Based ERP Solution Improve Revenues?

Project-based manufacturing presents a series of challenges, where a business must be responsive and agile when managing unique orders with exact deliverables and specifications. Unlike rolling production, a project-based manufacturer may create units of different sizes and finishes, sometimes with consistent design features or baseline modeling, but often with each order adapted to the specific requirements of the client.

Efficiency is vital to this business structure, where companies need to have firm oversight of how they will deliver each project and handle the costs, production time, and resources necessary. Using an ERP for project management provides an excellent solution, allowing businesses to plan production time, ensure they have sufficient staffing, source input components and raw materials, and verify that quotations provide an appropriate profit margin when accounting for the costs of labor, inventory, and overheads.

These advanced software suites collate data from across the organization producing detailed reports, visualizations, and projections to provide the level of oversight necessary to plan each production run, one project at a time–without losing sight of overall business performance.


Using Project Management ERPs to Boost Efficiency

One of the many tools within an ERP solution is the ability to prioritize planning to coordinate production schedules in the most cost-effective way. For example, manufacturing project managers might look at ways to replicate previous projects to extract the most efficient method of sourcing and utilizing materials or improving the accuracy of forecasts and logistics planning.

An ERP system can provide varied information to assist with more efficient production, such as:

  • Error-free cost projections and project budget planning
  • Tracking project progress and data to identify lags or aspects of production that need improvement
  • Monitoring project phases, such as logging which production runs have been approved or recording quality assurance tasks

For many project-based manufacturers, another essential feature is the ability to trace each part of the project, supporting batch coding or serializing before end units are ready for dispatch. In the long term, having this degree of accuracy also enables swift client support in terms of traceability, batch controls, and dealing with potential returns or faulty units.

Businesses can use their project management ERP software to analyze the costs and quality of materials sourced through their supply chain, further improve JIT stock controls, and manage inventory with a finite expiration date.


How an ERP System for Project Management Enhances Business Intelligence

Data is a valuable asset, but translating it into useful information is fundamental to extracting meaningful reporting and business intelligence. Project-based manufacturers are often managing multiple projects simultaneously, sometimes with devolved production in various locations.

An ERP system brings together all of the data within the business into one dashboard, allowing for real-time data manipulation and extraction to understand how well the organization is meeting KPIs and important performance targets. Executives and managers can monitor complex production workflows across every production site or team to better inform their decision-making when submitting new quotations, reporting on profitability and revenues, and selecting vendors or supply chain partners for future production.

The use of automation removes the potential for human error and standardizes data used across the business, such as introducing uniform rules for business processes to augment compliance. This is a particularly important feature for companies in industries with specific compliance regulations.

As a project accounting tool, an ERP system designed for project-based production offers breakdowns into individual projects or production runs to ensure each manufacturing project is on track while consolidating data from all ongoing projects to assist with forecasting, budget control, and resource allocation. Strategic resource management reduces wastage and downtime, improves margins, and maximizes the value of the organization by utilizing its resources in the most productive and cost-efficient way.


Pick the Right ERP Partner

For manufacturers fulfilling custom, ad-hoc, or short-run orders, implementing a purpose-built ERP can revolutionize workflows, oversight, and intelligence. By centralizing data across projects and resources, businesses gain the visibility and control needed to optimize budgets, schedules, quality, and more.

Integrating an ERP is a major undertaking requiring careful planning and execution. Partnering with Navigator Business Solutions ensures your unique needs are met with proven solutions and best practices. Our experienced team can map your operations, identify improvement areas, and recommend the ideal technologies to enhance productivity and profitability across projects.

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