What to Look for in a New ERP Solution

We recently spent time with some Deacom customers and picked their brain about what they learned from their ERP evaluation. Sure, they all have different business needs but many of their system requirements were very similar. Here are some of their suggestions of what other manufacturers should look for when replacing their ERP solution.

 

“Find an all-encompassing solution” – Juno Raby from Vitality Works

On their legacy ERP, Vitality Works was working with various systems to deliver functionalities like warehouse management, lot tracking, quality control, and reporting, to name a few. Yet they still had to rely on Excel spreadsheets outside of the environment to get everything they needed.

Raby explains that these independent systems needed to be tied together to run their business. This situation created many challenges for the manufacturer to seamlessly manage the growing complexities of their manufacturing business. “We felt that if we had an all-in-one type of ERP system, we could ensure that we would control our costs going forward,” said Raby.

After selecting an all-encompassing ERP solution, they have been able to eliminate these frustrations, react quicker to changes within the industry and company, and gain control over operations without relying on workarounds.

Watch Juno Raby’s video where he explains the two key factors in his ERP evaluation decision.

 

“Do not modify the software” Jim Fragnoli, California Custom Fruits & Flavors 

This CFO has learned a lot throughout his experiences in implementing and managing ERP systems. One of the biggest pieces of advice he offers to those in the evaluation phase is to stay away from customizing software.

Fragnoli went on to explain why traditional ERP providers are so eager to let businesses modify their ERP system. “When you make a code change, you now have to pay all that money to have that change put into the next version you are going to use, or you are never going to upgrade. That can become very costly.”

He found that it is significantly more beneficial to work with the ERP provider that will modify the base code rather than one-off customizations. As he explains, this strategy benefits everyone on the software and allows the user to smoothly transition from one version to the next.

Watch Jim Fragnoli’s video to find out more about his experience with a customization-free ERP system.

 

“Look to improve efficiencies” Noah Wallace, Silver Spring Foods

When he joined Silver Spring Foods, Wallace noticed significant issues with their inventory. First, the amount of on-hand inventory was leading their team to believe they were at max capacity. In addition to that, a variance of $250,000 – $300,000 in physical inventory was significantly higher than what Wallace deems as acceptable.

He stressed the importance of having a comprehensive system that can isolate where time and materials are being wasted. With such a high level of visibility into operations, manufacturers can better identify inconsistencies and opportunities for improvements so they can make better, faster business decisions.

“Today, we are down to $1,700 as our variance and we have more inventory,” said Wallace. “At the time we started we had $4m in inventory and were off by $300,000, whereas today we have $14m worth of inventory and we’re only off $1,700. The number is getting so small now.”

Watch Noah Wallace’s video where he explains how Silver Spring Foods was able to do a massive reduction in inventory variance.