When ERP Is Not Enough

June 14th, 2011 1:12 pm Category: Enterprise Resource Planning, Global Supply Chain, Optimization, Supply Chain Improvement, Supply Chain Software, by: Mark Rockey

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Here at Profit Point we regularly hear from clients with well established Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that they need something more.  ERP systems are excellent for doing certain things including:

  1. Providing central repositories of data
  2. Enabling cross functional work processes within and across companies
  3. Costing of goods
  4. Planning resources and materials at a high level

However the more complicated your business work processes and manufacturing production processes the less sufficient a standard ERP system will be in providing the best decision support functionality.  Some of the complications that require decision support systems (DSS) and which we have been helping clients deal with lately include:

  1. Work processes to handle make to order versus make to stock material assignments
  2. Allocation of inventory to customer orders when in an oversold position
  3. Sequence dependent setups / cleanings of manufacturing equipment
  4. Scheduling of production sequenced through a “product wheel”

DSS are necessary because of the complexity of first finding a feasible solution and then having some means of sorting through the huge number of feasible options to find a “good” or “optimal” solution.  DSS help in these kinds of situations to:

  1. Reduce costs
  2. Reduce manufacturing lead times
  3. Improve customer service
  4. Increase revenue

ERP systems are a necessary part of being able to deliver a DSS by providing the data necessary for making the decisions in question but don’t have the following:

  1. Ability to be tailored to a specific work process or manufacturing environment
  2. Advanced analytical capability to sort through the complexity and volume of options to get to a “good” or “optimal” solution
  3. Graphical user interface tools to be able to allow a user to visualize the data in a way that gives them the insights needed to make decisions

At Profit Point we specialize in listening to our clients needs and then building DSS to unlock improvement opportunities which enable our clients to outdistance the competition.

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