Discussion Article: How can a fully integrated ERP software system benefit a textile company?
Businesses have many departments, all performing different functions, but all are as important as each other when it comes to meeting their customer’s needs. Every activity within the business requires information and all this data needs to be gathered, organised, stored, updated, and accessed again. Pair this with needing to adapt to changing working environments, customer expectations, and industry compliance and you have a reason to invest in an integrated ERP system.
What is an integrated ERP system?
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is a single platform that manages your entire business operations. It consolidates all your data in one database, allowing you to manage and automate business processes across the organisation from within one piece of software. It will contain all the functionality that you need.
The software has modules or sections that are integrated together and communicate with each other, all in real-time (particularly beneficial with stock/inventory). Data flows seamlessly through the company, streamlining processes and how the business operates.
As time goes on, older systems can’t keep up with the more up-to-date computers that they are expected to run on. This can soon become an operational and IT nightmare which will cause human stress and financial strain. It is a similar story with using a patchwork of software – over time they become slow, error-prone and costly, and as businesses grow, it simply isn’t sustainable.
Having Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can be less expensive than using lots of separate software and more productive.
Here are some of the benefits of using an integrated ERP system:
• Prevents double entry and other human error – saving time and money
• Reduces data entry time
• Automated processes to save time
• A single source of information – everyone can see what they need when they need it
• Speeds up processes – massive time savings
• Easy to obtain and accurate multi-level reporting – helping to make business decisions
• Increased functionality – do more, better
• Real-time stock/inventory – so you can inform customers with accuracy
• Able to track fabric from procurement or production to delivery (and returns)
Will the set-up of the software interrupt the day-to-day running of my business?
A good provider will input all the required data on a test platform. This will mean that any issues that pop up during the testing phase will be fixed before the system is used by your staff. Following robust testing, the system will go ‘live’.
As a textile company, what should I look for?
There are many types of ERP systems available. The majority will be generic/off-the-shelf platforms, some will have specific modules for the textile industry bolted onto the otherwise generic system, and the minority will be specialised and have been developed especially for the textile industry.
What your business selects will depend on what you want to achieve and how much each option will benefit you. It would be wise to consider your unique operations and requirements and the limitations of some generic ERP software in relation to things like piece-level stock functions or cutting table features etc. A platform that has developed around your industry may suit you better as it already understands the issues your business experiences and will require less work to make it fit.
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