In light of volatile dependencies on other industries, today’s industrial machinery manufacturers must not only meet complex customer requirements, but closely track and control expenditures to maintain profitability. Seamless collaboration from design to engineering, fabrication, installation and service is essential to minimizing costs and maximizing customer retention.
abas ERP provides you and your team the tools to:
- Accurately quote costs
- Track complex projects through all phases
- Monitor budgets and expenses
- Keep up with rapidly changing logistics
- Promote customer satisfaction
Product BrochureThe key to a successful ERP project lies with having an experienced partner who understands the challenges and requirements of your industry and who can tailor an ERP solution to your specific needs. abas ERP projects are supported by the entire abas partner network and their collective experience from thousands of ERP projects.
7 Steps to ERP SelectionManaging the selection and implementation of a new ERP system is a major undertaking for any organization, which is why abas has developed a clear and thorough 7-step guide that simplifies the selection process and helps you make an informed, confident decision.
Why industrial machinery is banking on ERP
Industry-specific software for complex products
Whether for turbines, printing or packaging machines, lifts, construction machinery or precision tools: mechanical and plant manufacturers are not only masters of their respective niche, but also planning artists and masters of flexibility. Their most highly complex products are designed to fit the customer's order and continuous adjustments during the ongoing production and administration are common practice - with increasing time and cost pressures. An industry-specific ERP system is therefore essential in mechanical and plant engineering, in order to ensure the necessary agility of processes and to produce as efficiently and profitably as possible at the same time.
Risk factor of uncertainty
After several difficult years of crisis, the order books of predominantly medium-sized mechanical and plant manufacturers are being filled again, but even optimistic sales forecasts are only slightly above zero growth. The problem: with an export quota of around 65 percent, the industry is affected by international crises and uncertainties, whether Russian sanctions, the economic weakness of the Chinese industry or uncertain free trade with the US. At the same time, as a result of globalization, cheap suppliers from the Far East are pushing through onto the market, placing procurement management and pricing policies under pressure.
Driving force: Industry 4.0
The good news: a positive impetus for mechanical engineering is expected as a result of digitization. Innovative technologies like 3D-printing and robotics represent an initial investment risk, which will however be more than offset by the increase in efficiency. Automated processes are also not limited to production, but enable optimized materials management, faster communication throughout the entire value chain as well as a significantly improved after-sales service.
Whether unique pieces, small series or variants specialist: in Construction Contracts 4.0 manufacturers will only stay competitive if they perfectly manage their costs, resources and production control. Innovative mechanical and plant engineering firms therefore put their ERP system to the test: is the IT solution able to meet the requirements of the industry, but also of the digital transformation?
Those who are slow to explore digitization and data analytics may find it difficult to compete. In an increasingly cost-competitive market, no company…can afford to lose opportunities to improve their cost and revenue position against their market peers.
Integrated product development:
The production support structure shapes work processes in mechanical and plant engineering to a considerable extent. While the first components are already in production, together with the customer, designers tweak the fine details - every change may affect upstream or downstream processes, for example, in procurement or logistics.
A CAD/PLM system directly coupled to the ERP software simplifies coordination with the business divisions and design.
In contrast to industrial series production, mechanical and plant manufacturers plan dynamically from project step to project step. An ERP system that supports updated BOMs is therefore important for timely and cost-optimized procurement.
Industrial machinery manufacturers can refer to initial design ideas and empirical data only for pricing. An ERP system provides information at the push of a button on similar projects, current price tables and resources.
Offers are calculated based on reliable data and realistic risk premiums - and ideally as the project progresses are continuously compared against the actual costs.
Small batch sizes with a large number of parts and constantly changing details - the special conditions in mechanical and plant engineering enormously complicate the efficient planning and control of production. Manufacturers that adapt their IT solutions from ERP via PPS to APS to the smart factory, make optimal use of their production facilities, thereby reducing setup costs and throughput times.
abas ERP software functions designed for Industrial Machinery
Modern mechanical and plant manufacturers are project champions
Industrial machinery is faced with the task of strengthening its USPs, established over decades, and linking them to innovative technologies and modern IT. To exploit the savings and improvement potential, industry-specific ERP solutions are transformed into the complex data hub of the smart factory. Move your processes into a precise functioning gear!
The most important ERP functions in the industrial machinery sector include:
- Customer and project files provide a comprehensive overview, for example, of revenues, outstanding items, outstanding processes and tasks, notes, archive documents from the document management system, service devices, and current service processes
- Sales order/Project related procurement
- Variant management: Standard, alternative or supplemental product structures
- Lot/Serial number management
- Device file with lifecycle BOM and spare/wear parts list
- Capacity planning
- Production/Assembly planning with graphical console
- Flexible costing structures for preliminary, concurrent and final costing, with effects on purchasing, production, and stock valuation
- Sales order/Project related production list; growing, project related production lists; editable order production list
- Precise product and project valuation with consideration of material, external, production, and assembly costs as well as the external procurement costs or services used
- Multi-dimensional contribution margin accounting
- Key figures and evaluations for industrial machinery manufacturers, for example, development of the procurement costs (raw material prices, supplementary costs), production efficiency (utilization rate, processing times, rework quota), service efficiency (utilization rate, availability, repurchase rate, CIP), P+P costs
- Mobile applications, for example, for sales, purchasing, service, warehouse
Streamline your manufacturing and business workflows with abas ERP’s integrated functionality
See how, with abas’ powerful ERP software, all parts of your business can work together seamlessly. Team members in management, sales, purchasing, receiving and production can get on the same page -- in the warehouse, on the road, or in the office -- eliminating bottlenecks and helping your business improve efficiency and profitability.
ERP system - the most important tool for industrial machinery manufacturers
The favorable consolidation of the order situation is encouraging industrial machinery manufacturers to invest in their IT infrastructure again. Whether for long overdue modernization or predictive optimization: What features are essential when selecting an ERP system for mechanical and plant engineering? The software selection is huge, but not every industry solution for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies meets the specific requirements of contract manufacturing. The balancing act between flexibility and rationalization can only succeed with an ERP system that perfectly reflects the character of a project of customized products and small series while harnessing the possibilities of digitization and automation:
Coordinated cooperation between designers and all the other departments is crucial for value creation in mechanical and plant engineering. The integration of CAD and PLM data ensures that calculations, parts lists and production schedules are based on the latest design data and accelerates important workflows. In this way Purchasing is able to order materials with long delivery times in a timely fashion and following the release of new components Production immediately starts to create work plans. Conversely, designers have easy access to price lists and resources and can incorporate this information directly into development.
Scalability and internationalization
More and more small and medium-sized mechanical and plant manufacturers manage complex supply chains at home and abroad. Multi-site enabled ERP software that integrates both their own subsidiaries and suppliers easily and that enables fully automated, transparent data exchange is therefore important.
Quality and service
Precision and quality are among the core competencies of industrial machinery - not only in production but also in customer-oriented after sales service. Whether cross-border delivery of spare parts or complete traceability: ERP device files with a lifecycle parts list as well as integrated batch and serial number management are advantageous.
The complex production processes in industrial machinery require a flexible PPS, which distinguishes between custom production, small series and variants. An APS manages the industry-typical dynamics through detailed planning in real time: the use of simulations means capacities are continuously matched and the order sequence customized accordingly.
Costing and controlling
One major challenge is handling the large order volumes in industrial machinery. Offers must be priced at an economically viable level and continuously reconciled with the costs incurred in the course of the project. Cost unit accounting analyzes the profitability of products or components and facilitates the future strategic orientation of the company (if necessary in combination with BI tools).
From the initial idea up to the after sales service, mechanical and plant manufacturers are in continuous dialog with customers and suppliers. An ERP system that bundles all relevant data in customer, project and vendor files and makes these available via mobile apps, creates a clear competitive advantage.
In the smart factory, partners, machines and workpieces are networked via a common technology platform: the cloud. This means a high-performance ERP SaaS model is also a prerequisite for successful digital transformation in industrial machinery.
Everything fits, but you’re still unsure?
Then think about which software vendor you trust to join your company on the path to Industry 4.0. Because only an IT partner that understands the challenges of industrial machinery can provide tailor-made solutions in the ERP system.