ERP is well suited to today’s fast-moving Furniture and Fixtures marketplace and supports rapid product development of new styles and designs to meet customer demand for more choices. Done efficiently, this can be a margin enhancer rather than a drain on resources. ERP can offer a comprehensive rules-based configuration tool that steps customer service and even end customers through a guided workflow to self configure and get pricing for their order. Once an order is accepted, the configuration automatically transfers bill of material and routing requirements along with special instructions to the plant floor for production. Many manufacturers and light assembly distributors have used the power of ERP’s product configuration functionality to streamline order processing while improving accuracy.
ERP leaves Furniture and FixturesManufacturers Sitting Pretty. (Part 2)
Many businesses are leveraging ERP to get back to basics, looking to reduce waste with stronger cost control and management of key cost elements. Through efficient management of the buying process, today’s businesses are using just in time techniques for procurement of both end products and raw materials. Additionally, buyers are looking for new ways to drive down margins with suppliers. Good forecasting and demand requirements provide better buying power.
ERP for Furniture and Fixtures must include strong demand management and inventory control alongside material requirements planning and purchase suggestions capabilities to provide time phased material control to reduce raw and finished goods inventory being carried while enabling goods to be delivered just in time.
Critical to the manufacturing process are strong indicators of cost and post production cost analysis. Each production run can be analyzed with ERP business intelligence to determine total cost. Based on profitability and run analysis, production management can then determine if production-planning estimates need adjustment for quoting and rerun the next time.
Furniture and Fixture manufacturers can lean on their ERP systems to help them improve customer service through improved delivery performance. Long-term business relationships are the bread and butter for this industry. Maintaining supplier status is based on measurements of not only cost and quality, but delivery performance as well. For many businesses, production and warehouse visibility, in particular the plant schedule has outgrown the traditional whiteboard. It now encompasses more expansive requirements made possible by ERP, such as “what-if” scenarios, multi-resource constraints, and capability based scheduling. With visual scheduling boards and multi-resource scheduling screens that offer color drag and drop load capabilities, and drill-down functionality, master schedulers as well as production managers can accurately manage change and respond to overload constraints proactively.
ERP enables manufacturers to promote collaboration in the supply chain. More than ever, businesses are reaching down into their supply chains to eliminate waste and improve bottom line results. As global competition continues to drive cost down, supply chain partners are playing a larger role than ever before and proximity to suppliers can be a benefit. Many businesses are looking for ways to more seamlessly collaborate with suppliers for optimum results.
ERP for Furniture and Fixtures promotes tighter collaboration throughout the supply chain, maximizing new efficiencies and measurements of supplier performance. Look to automated processes for requesting RFQ’s or for sending change orders through electronic queues on supplier portals or more directly through EDI. Better collaboration builds stronger relationships and unprecedented levels of efficiency.