There are two core branches in the manufacturing industry: custom and industrial manufacturing. While there are some similarities between the two, each one has its own processes and priorities. As a result, the role their ERP platforms play within the organizations is naturally different.
In custom manufacturing, unique products are designed or engineered to order. This involves a lot of estimating and calls for fluidity throughout the entire production process as the design is honed into a final product. Thus, custom manufacturers place a premium on ERP systems that bring them flexibility and agility. In industrial manufacturing, on the other hand, products are configured to order. Customers can order a stock product, and while they have the flexibility to alter certain features of the order, they are still limited to a catalog of pre-designed products.
If custom manufacturers prioritize flexibility and agility, industrial manufacturers covet operational efficiency. Unlike in custom manufacturing where every project is different, industrial manufacturers have the benefit of predictability and repetition throughout the process. There are forecasts and projections against which managers can measure their results and change course if needed. These metrics drive internal improvement and help to completely integrate the supply chain.