In our earlier post, How Custom Manufacturing Handles Demand and Supply-Side Challenges with ERP Software, we explored some of the major challenges inherent in the custom manufacturing industry and how ERP software solutions can help manufacturers overcome these challenges in order to drive both customer satisfaction and profitability. In custom manufacturing, each product is made to order for an individual customer, which requires the effective navigation of complexity from beginning to end. Without a specific blueprint to follow and the right tools to implement the plan/blueprint, every single project becomes an expensive, time consuming, and unprofitable exploration process of taking the customer's unique designs and turning them into products. You’re out at sea without a compass, up the proverbial creek without a paddle, and mistakes can not only cost you money but customers. An ERP system for custom manufacturing helps you smoothly navigate the seas of complexity, getting you safely ashore with profits and satisfied customers who’ll keep coming back aboard for more.
Without the right ERP system on your side, the lack of predictability in the custom manufacturing process can make it difficult for manufacturers to do things like order the right materials in the right quantities, assess accurate costs for the many parts of the production process, and have the flexibility to accommodate changes that arise during production. The end result of not managing this complexity well? Dissatisfied clients and problems around profitability – problems no custom manufacturer (or their customers) want to see. No customer comes back for a second choppy, unpredictable voyage at sea. You need to know where you’re going and what the trip will cost you, and share this information with customers.
By the way, not having a good compass will frustrate your employees too. Try asking them to track the complexities of estimated costs versus actual costs of a project on Excel spreadsheets, as many manufacturers (those who are “up the creek without a paddle”) do and see how your employees respond. “I truly enjoy filling out Excel spreadsheets,” said not one production employee in the history of the world.
For more on topics like this, sign up for our Content Library, a collection of high-value whitepapers, guides, case studies, videos on ERP, digitization, IIoT, and more!
Why custom manufacturers choose abas ERP for manufacturing process
In general, ERP systems are designed to solve operational challenges inherent in custom manufacturing. When it comes to overcoming the many obstacles to an efficient and profitable production process, many custom manufacturers are turning to abas ERP software because of the agility and flexibility it offers from the time a customer sends a design to the time the final product is shipped. If you’re looking for smooth sailing in custom manufacturing, let abas ERP be your data-driven, intelligent navigator.
Custom manufacturers are, of course, deeply concerned with meeting their customers' unique specifications, accurately forecasting costs and coming up with an expected sales price that will maintain profitability on any given project. That’s why they’re in business. To accomplish these fundamental tasks, custom manufacturers must make solid estimates in the beginning and then track their actual costs versus the estimates throughout the span of the project. That's where the abas ERP software helps you get to where you want to go: it gives manufacturers the ability to make estimates, give the customer an accurate quote, make sales orders, forecast costs, measure actual costs vs. estimates, and create a complete operational plan. And it all happens with minimal manual input and not a single Excel spreadsheet. Your abas ERP is your compass that no voyage should start without.
Custom manufacturers rely on abas ERP software and consulting expertise to optimize their end-to-end processes.
Integrating CAD from the Beginning
It starts with the integration of existing CAD software with the abas system. In custom manufacturing, a customer approaches the manufacturer with a design saved in a CAD file that contains the entire product's expected design considerations, including materials, routing, labor and other common specs. What abas does is take the details listed in the CAD file and translate them into information that can be used in both the production process and the backend financials. All of this goes into the upfront quote the custom manufacturer gives the customer. You have a great map from the beginning of the journey.
abas' teams have over 100 combined years in the manufacturing industry
Once the customer approves the quote, the abas system generates a sales order that will lay out all of the planning information required to produce the custom product throughout all levels of its construction. All of this is tracked in what we call the "Project Object," a tool that takes the project from the engineering to the manufacturing level. On the production side, the abas software translates the design information into detailed planning, scheduling, procurement, routing, assembly and shipping instructions that detail every activity to be completed, step by step, from beginning to end. This information is also translated into the financial side, capturing the estimated costs associated with each activity, such as labor costs, materials, R&D costs and other miscellaneous expenses. With all of these benefits available, you should consider an ERP for your custom manufacturing process, assuming you want to know exactly where you’re going and how much it costs (keeping your crew and customers on board).
As the project gets underway, the Project Object allows custom manufacturers to track all of their actual costs and compare them to the original estimates. From there, they can determine the true profitability of the project. Additionally, the abas software allows you to save all project data as a template. While custom manufacturing is all about producing unique goods, there are cases where there are similarities between projects. Having the historical project data saved can give manufacturers a head start when making forecasts and quotes for new projects that may await over the horizon.
Manage your ERP selection smartly. Learn how by downloading the
Domain experience to match software functionality
With all of these features, it's clear that abas ERP is built to help you navigate smoothly through the choppy waters of the custom manufacturing process. But manufacturers aren't just looking for software - they're looking for a complete solution to improve their operational processes. In addition to the considerable experience with software implementation, the team at abas has a wealth of domain experience that makes them a perfect partner for custom manufacturers. Not only can we implement the software across an entire organization, but we can teach the relevant stakeholders how to make the most of the system to improve key business processes. Put simply, we know the industry from working with so many of its players for decades.
Our customers know that when we come in, we'll be able to talk the talk. We know their pain points, we know their industry's challenges and we have the know-how to solve them," Paul Hemmings, Vice President of Professional Services at abas USA said. "Most custom manufacturers are worried about profitability. We'll show them exactly how to use the software to schedule properly, minimize waste and track costs."
Our abas teams have over 100 combined years in the manufacturing industry, and our industry expertise combined with the end-to-end operational and accounting features of the ERP system makes us not just a software company, but an experienced guide who can help custom manufacturers overcome their biggest challenges. If smooth sailing is your goal, you should consider a specific ERP for manufacturing process. Otherwise, you can keep using those Excel spreadsheets to track your costs, and see how far that gets you. You can’t find smooth sailing by draining your people, draining their valuable resources of time on boring manual input, and think you’ll have happy sailors or happy passengers/customers. Get a great compass and navigation tools today.
If you have any questions or want to know more about abas ERP, contact an abas representative today. Also be sure to download the ERP KPI Guide for information on using ERP to boost manufacturing efficiency .