What Cloud ERP Solutions Manufacturers Need?

Marina Astapchik
IT Trends Research Specialist
October 9, 2013

Before going into greater details, it is well worth figuring out what cloud ERP is about. A cloud ERP system is a subscription-based online service provided via the Internet. Instead of placing an on-premise ERP solution, cloud ERP users' database is maintained by ERP providers. This procedure entails a significant cost reduction and allows companies to facilitate business process management.

Manufacturing companies need a specifically designed cloud ERP system to meet their particular demands. Such cloud ERP systems are developed as a software as a service (SaaS) model. A modern cloud ERP solution should represent a single system and have relevant functionality that will prove useful for manufacturers in particular. This functionality implies: customers and business contacts, opportunities and orders, products and production, shipping and receiving, accounting and payroll.

Cloud ERP will assist manufacturers in concentrating more on making progress and achieving their goals and less on supporting company software and its operational processes. Among other benefits cloud ERP brings, it also:

  • Reduces time for the program to become operational
  • Helps to avoid the necessity to maintain and upgrade software
  • Eliminates the need to spend money on hardware
  • Provides subscription at a reasonable price.


Figure 1: The ERP components diagram
Source: www.epicor.com

There is every reason to say that cloud ERP software is redefining manufacturing business. Cloud ERP service reconfigures software market by means of its cutting-edge technologies and capabilities. If manufacturers are aimed at attaining the greatest heights and leave their rivals behind, cloud ERP should become an integral part of their business. As opposed to conventional on-site ERP software, cloud ERP guarantees tangible cost reduction, provides a solid platform for launching technologies, simplifies the process of entering information and advances the whole business to a new level.

Cloud ERP builds a coherent foundation that integrates manifold applications in order to control tax reporting and transportation. Such model is called a multi-application approach. It selects specific solutions tailored to unique business requirements of each client. The innovation incorporates analytics in its performance in order to come up with clear decision making. Cloud ERP also works with social tools to urge internal and external collaboration.

There are still some doubts that make manufacturers hesitate before adopting a cloud ERP solution. A lot of them are concerned about the security of their corporate information. Cloud ERP developers are prone to provide certifications that assure the privacy of company data. Some manufacturers worry about cloud ERP system performance, especially about the time during which the system is in operation. Cloud providers are now able to provide service level agreements of 99% uptime.*

Among other benefits cloud ERP introduces in a business, there is also a possibility for manufacturers to access up-to-date information and get timely details using their portable gadgets. With this function manufacturers can maintain practically every component of a manufacturing process and establish an integrated system where all departments work as a unit. Apart from that a cloud ERP solution can appreciably assist in adjusting a distribution process.The technology allows to launch a new distribution center and puts it online very quickly. Even if a company has several subdivisions, cloud ERP helps to trace their activity.

Company personnel from different departments used to be isolated from each other andexploit data accessible to them exclusively. And reports placed on different systems got a different result. Cloud ERP allows departments to share the same language and provides an integrated database containing generally accessible information.

Moreover, cloud ERPmakes all sections of an enterprise traceable and controllable, making it a great advantage for a manufacturer. In today's harsh and highly competitive market manufacturers should take on new initiatives to make quicker decisions and let their business prosper.

So far many small and mid-sized enterprises have been using less substantial programs or spreadsheets that helped them to manage information and run a business. Taking into consideration all the advantages it can add to a business, cloud ERP is a perfect solution for such businesses. A recent survey shows that 25% of small businesses are implementing cloud ERP and another 20% are considering a move to the cloud.

Reasons to switch to cloud ERP seem to be endless. Among other positive characteristics cloud ERP can be used anywhere. For example, when a company acquires a smaller foreign business, it doesn't need to be on-premises anymore. Cloud ERP accelerates the process of a market entry and makes it possible to offer company's clients to just connect to its network. Thus, the innovation renders a business long-standing and competitive.

As far as enabled features are concerned, cloud ERP is ready to offer functionality for manufacturing resource planning (MRP), human resources (HR), business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM), etc.

Being an advanced updated version of ERP software, cloud ERP takes its place in the IT world. Equipped with brand new features, cloud ERP makes it clear that on-site providers are no longer viable taking into account such characteristics as price, speed and stability. All in all, cloud ERP is a must-have solution manufacturers need to deploy a powerful integrated system on the premises. The technology establishes smart proficient management and allows to keep track of supply chain operations across all sectors at any time and from any place. A cloud ERP system provides a more sufficient and advanced way to set and accomplish designated tasks and activities. Due to the fact that information is easily accessible by any department or team member, the program alleviates corporate ambiguity, eliminates inaccurate data, overcomes uncertainty and stimulates a decision-making process. What is more, cloud ERP brings in a function of viewing and controlling all operations, which helps to increase productivity of both supply chain and manufacturing activities.

* The official source of the statistic data: www.cloudtweaks.com

Industries and Technology Areas

Industries: manufacturing

Technology Areas: cloud ERP software, custom ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software development, mobile ERP systems

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