The Potential of ERP Amid a Pandemic

The Potential of ERP Amid a Pandemic

Automation on the plant floor can keep production flowing to refill store shelves. But the biggest problem manufacturers face right now is a disruption to the supply chain.

In the middle of a global health crisis, the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic portends a drastic shift in the way the world will work in the future.

Whether it’s the need to ramp up production of hand sanitizer or convert automotive plants to produce more respirators, manufacturers are under pressure now more than ever to do more with less. The production floor is operating with skeleton crews to minimize possible exposure to the virus, and plant managers are in need of a better way to maintain visibility into the process. All of this points to the potential of implementing more automation on the plant floor.

In fact, the making of toilet paper is a highly automated process, as shown in the National Geographic documentary “Chasing Paper,” which highlights Sofidel, a manufacturer of toilet paper and paper towels. So, even if operators aren’t in the plant, more paper is on its way, people, do not panic.

The biggest bottleneck in the great paper chase—or for any product right now—is the supply chain. New research indicates that a weakened supply chain is the biggest business disruption related to COVID-19.

According to ABI Research, the impact of Coronavirus is both global and unpredictable, and the supply chain shock it is causing will most definitely and substantially cut into the worldwide manufacturing revenue of $15 trillion currently forecasted for 2020 by the global tech market advisory firm.

The virus will have both short- and long-term ramifications for manufacturers. “Initially, plant managers and factory owners will be looking to secure supplies and be getting an appreciation of constraints further up the supply chain plus how much influence they have on their suppliers,” explains Michael Larner, principal analyst at ABI Research. In the longer term, manufacturers will need to conduct an extensive due diligence process as they need to understand their risk exposure, including the operations of their supplier’s suppliers. “To mitigate supply chain risks, manufacturers should not only not source components from a single supplier but also, as COVID-19 has highlighted, shouldn’t source from suppliers in a single location.”

As a result, ABI Research forecasts that the supply chain impact of COVID-19 will spur manufacturers’ spend on enterprise resource planning (ERP), to reach $14 billion in 2024. While many ERP platforms include modules for inventory control and supply chain management, in light of the outbreak, many manufacturers will also turn to specialist providers. “Supply chain orchestration requires software to be more than a system of record and provide risk analysis and run simulations, enabling manufacturers to understand and prepare for supply chain shocks,” Larner said.

ERP providers agree that COVID-19—and panic buying which quickly exhausted the supply chain—has exposed a major vulnerability in manufacturing operations.

“Business processes need to be re-evaluated as this situation has turned the supply chain on its head,” said Steve Dombroski, senior manager for the consumer, food, and beverage market at QAD, a provider of adaptive ERP software. “Traditional methods of building safety stocks and buffer inventories have been replaced with Just-In-Time (JIT) item location forecasting to minimize re-deployment of inventories and to minimize inventory costs. Running JIT on inventories down and upstream through the supply chain caused delays.” This points to the need for manufacturers to address adaptability across the supply chain. “Manufacturing companies utilize two supply chains today; the physical supply chain consisting of all products and the digital supply chain that contains all information. Synchronizing both supply chains with all manufacturing, distribution, and procurement processes will enable companies to be flexible and agile.”

So, while all eyes are on automation, like robotics and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors, to flow product through the line, none of that matters if the manufacturer doesn’t have a steady flow of raw materials. “COVID-19 demonstrates that manufacturers need to be as focused on their supplier’s capabilities as they are on their factory floor,” ABI’s Larner concludes.

Source: Stephanie Neil


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in manufacturingdistribution, and retail in Vietnam and China. Particularly, the supply chain management module of Epicor ERP is one of the strongest features of this solution and has been utilized and continously improved for over 40 years, even during this Covid-19. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

What is logistics ERP

The benefits of ERP for logistics

What is an ERP system?

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system allows an organisation to effectively manage its flow of information in a central hub by combining all business functions in an easily accessible software feature.

There are many benefits to using an ERP system across various industries, and for logistics, in particular, ERP can be a powerful tool to manage the flow of daily information in real-time data, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere.

Breakdown of logistics

Logistics, much like Supply Chain Management, involves the co-ordinating and transferring of resources from a supplier to the desired customer or storage facility. Where supply chain management looks more at outside organisations working together to deliver the desired product, logistics is a more holistic approach within a specific company. Logistics looks at the whole process – from the purchase and delivery of raw materials, food, and liquids, to the packaging of products and the final transportation of goods to customers.

Some of the components of a logistics company

  • Inbound and outbound transportation
  • Fleet management
  • Warehousing
  • Materials handling
  • Production and packaging
  • Inventory management
  • Security of goods

How an ERP system can assist logistics

An ERP system can assist logistics companies in managing their company more effectively, helping to reduce risks and company costs. Some of the ways an ERP system can benefit a logistics company include:

  • Inventory control
  • Distribution
  • Staff management
  • Customisable system
  • Reduced costs

With ERP software providing for one centralised system, all information required to run a logistics company can be captured in one place – including orders, inbound and outbound sales, deliveries and more. This captured information allows the company to make informed decisions and future predictions for the company based on historical data that the ERP system provides. The decision-makers can look at previous sales trends or delivery times and make changes where necessary based on this information.

The real-time data allows immediate notification of out-of-stock products, inbound orders, outbound orders that need attention, and any problems with deliveries as they occur.

The distribution side of a logistics company is one of the most important aspects of the business, as it involves precise management of the flow of distributions and control over the transportation of goods.

An ERP system provides the solution to manage the flow and distributions effectively by gathering all the necessary information in one central hub.

For transportation purposes, the ERP system can manage the transportation of goods, ensuring customers and suppliers receive their products on time. The system also allows for live communication between the drivers and coordinators, sending live traffic updates, customer addresses, and any emergency information, such as transportation issues.

Managing staff can become quite tricky, especially within a logistics company, where staff can be in various places around the country or even the world. Staying on top of staff responsibilities and whereabouts can be difficult, but with an ERP system in place, managing staff is made easy. Some of the ways managers can benefit from the ERP system with regards to the staff include:

  • Employee working hours and lunch breaks/rest periods
  • Employee information and paperwork
  • Tracking staff on the road during transportation
  • Payroll and staff increases and bonuses
  • Staff performance
  • Sick and paid leave days
  • Managing casual and permanent employees
  • Providing a list of backup staff members or casual employees in case of an emergency.

Most logistics companies will have specific ways in which they run their business, running personalised software options to match the needs of the business. An ERP system allows each company to personalise their system to benefit them and run their company data in the most accurate way.

The accurate, real-time data that an ERP system provides allows companies to reduce their monthly expenses, being able to make informed decisions quicker and more accurately. By not having to wait for information and feedback, the decision-makers in the business are able to attend to issues or make changes where necessary as soon as possible, before it becomes a huge expense to the company. This allows the logistics company to maintain and increase productivity monthly.

The ERP system provides a detailed analysis of each customer and a record of all their information, allowing the company to build personalised relationships with customers. The real-time data also reduces the risk of mistakes, delayed deliveries and unfulfilled promises to customers.

Logistics plays an essential role in the running of a country, by providing a streamlined approach to the design, production, purchase, transportation, and storage of goods to various businesses. The more streamlined the logistics company can be, the more profitable it becomes for not only themselves but their customers as well. Using an ERP system, for this reason, is hugely beneficial to all stakeholders involved in logistics.

Source: IT Web


For more information about ERP for businesses in logistics, please contact us. Data V Tech is proud to be the leading firm implementing Epicor ERP for distributors in the Asia Pacific and is pleased to share our experience with you.