Post By Charlie Heywood on January 4, 2021

How ERP provides manufacturers with competitive advantage


There are many ways in which ERP software can help a manufacturing business to run more efficiently, increase flexibility and improve adaptability, save money and thus offer better products, service and prices than competitors.

Frequently APH is asked one particular question when a client is considering implementing an ERP system is: will it give us a competitive advantage? The benefits that an ERP system can bring in terms of the everyday running of an organisation are well-known, but many companies want to know whether ERP will help them gain an edge over competitors.

ERP systems are indeed a vital tool to give your manufacturing business a competitive advantage.  You can streamline processes, eliminate waste and manage your cost base with tools that enable you to plan, schedule and deliver. An ERP system gives you the ability to get real-time information about your business at the click of a button wherever you are. Having accurate data at your fingertips exactly when you need it enables you to make business critical decisions and jump on opportunities when they present themselves.  

There are five main ways an ERP can improve your company’s competitive advantage:

Increased accuracy allows for greater efficiency

Implementing an ERP system for your business means that more processes can be automated thereby reducing duplication and inaccuracies. All of this leads to increased efficiencies and cost savings that can lead to boosted profitability, or a competitive edge through savings that can be passed on to customers.

More information offers insights for better decision making

Real-time data and reporting means that a business can continuously have all pertinent operational information at your fingertips including stock levels, cash flow, supply chain and distribution data.

ERP software allows you to run “Lean”

An ERP system enables lean management within your manufacturing business ensuring you purchase only what is required when it is required, freeing up cash flow and reducing surplus stock in stores or warehousing facilities.

ERP solutions are necessary for agile manufacturing

In a competitive market an ERP system gives you the ability to implement an agile strategy. You can react to the changing needs and demands of your customers, scaling appropriately and managing costs accordingly.

ERP systems can be tailored to your business to help you succeed

If you choose a highly adaptive software such as SAP Business One, you can invest in functional modules that suit your business requirements – which is much more effective than a ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Choosing the right consultant

Your manufacturing business is unique but not all the processes you do on a day to basis are unique to your business– this is where the right advice from the right ERP consultant is crucial. Tailored packages should be created with a mix of bespoke and ‘off the shelf’ modules to increase capability, manage development costs, and provide scalable options so that your business success doesn’t outstrip your ERP.

Your ERP system should set your business free and not add constraints and arduous technical processes. The world of ERP is teeming with stories about heavy upfront costs, challenging implementation processes and a resultant system that’s not fit for purpose. A good ERP consultancy will manage expectations, highlight the benefits and communicate throughout the implementation process to ensure you have the right ERP system that brings benefits. 

Engage now with APH to unlock the many benefits available of SAP Business One and give your manufacturing business a competitive edge in 2021.


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