There can be no doubt that ERP software is a valuable asset to businesses of all sizes. From smaller shops through to large OEMs, companies that utilise ERP systems have seen tangible improvements to their operations. Increased efficiency and traceability are just some of the many benefits on offer, but did you know that ERP software can also help you to increase sales?
If you’re looking to drive your new business efforts forward, then here are five different ways in which ERP can help:
ERP Allows You to Identify Customer Order Patterns:
One of the many things that can be tracked by ERP software is purchase order history, which makes it easier to identify customer ordering patterns. For instance, if you can see from your data that one of your clients tend to order a certain component approximately once per quarter, then your salesperson can prioritise placing a call to that customer when their order window rolls around. This way, you can ensure that you’re not neglecting the low-hanging fruit, i.e. your existing customers, within your sales strategy.
By identifying customer order patterns, you also make it easier to forecast. Prevention is always better than a cure, meaning that it’s better to earmark potentially busier and slower periods ahead of time. ERP software provides you with all of the information you need to predict peaks and troughs as accurately as possible.
ERP Allows You to Target Sales According to Capacity:
There’s no use in advertising for turning work if your lathe is full to capacity for the next three months and your mill is sitting idle.
Of course, forecasting is not just about predicting if you’ll have capacity - it’s also about where you’ll have capacity. There’s no use in advertising for turning work if your lathe is full to capacity for the next three months and your mill is sitting idle. Instead, it’s crucial that engineers and manufacturers sell smartly to maximise their potential business output. This is where ERP software steps in.
Due to its scheduling features, ERP software can show you your upcoming capacity at a glance, allowing you to make informed sales choices. This is especially useful to larger businesses with a vast shop floor, as manually keeping track of where work is scheduled can sometimes prove to be a headache. Instead, an automated scheduling process - such as that offered by ERP systems - can save time and increase orders by offering guidance and direction, with minimal input required by the end user.
ERP Allows You to Improve Your Customer Service:
ERP software offers users a plethora of ways to improve their customer service. For instance, since inventory management is centralised, the process of checking and replenishing stock is made as simple as possible, reducing delays to the customer and also freeing up time internally. What’s more, since ERP software automatically allocates raw material sources to a completed job, full traceability is ensured - a massive advantage when working with safety-sensitive industries such as aerospace.
In addition, ERP systems collect an extraordinary amount of data to cross-reference against KPIs, allowing you to easily identify if there are improvements to be made. With the use of ERP software, you are able to forensically analyse every aspect of the production process including set-up times and cycle times. This makes it simple to identify bottlenecks and remedy them, resulting in smooth, seamless production that ensures your customers receive their items within agreed timeframes.
It goes without saying that great customer service is an essential element in a successful business. By using ERP to optimise your performance, you will delight your clients and keep them coming back for more.
ERP Allows You to Respond Quickly:
ERP systems take both the guesswork and the time consumption out of quoting.
A prompt response is always going to improve your chances of winning a job, but under traditional quoting methods, this is not always possible. The time it takes for external materials and second-tier suppliers to respond - as well as the time taken to calculate man hours - means that days can sometimes lapse before you’re able to send over a quotation. What’s more, quotations are often inaccurate due to estimations surrounding labour rates, leaving a risk that you’ll be running at a loss in order to keep your customer happy.
ERP systems take both the guesswork and the time consumption out of quoting. Using pre-set labour rates, they are able to provide you with an accurate cost per unit, while also feeding material costs from their centralised inventory management system to allow you to compile your quote quickly. This will pay dividends when it comes to improving response times, standing you in much better stead to win jobs requiring a quick turnaround.
ERP Allows You to Improve Your Reputation:
Every engineering and manufacturing company wants to be known as a quality supplier that produces high-calibre components. ERP software can go a long way towards improving a manufacturer’s reputation by detecting quality issues as early as possible, ensuring that a high standard is maintained throughout the production process and also reducing potential material wastage as a result of errors.
Quality issues can also jeopardise another key trait of a company’s reputation - reliability. The time taken to rectify errors can lead to missed delivery deadlines, resulting in unhappy customers and a ripple effect throughout the rest of the supply chain. Fortunately, ERP software prevents this from occurring by alerting you at the first opportunity if quality is being impacted.
By upholding your company’s reputation, you can rest assured that customers will feel in safe hands when placing their business with you, increasing the amount of new business that walks through your door.
Increase Orders Using Shoptech’s E2 Shop System:
If you’re looking to invest in ERP, Shoptech’s E2 Shop System offers everything you would expect from modern ERP software – web based, free iOS and Android apps, customisable dashboards and more!. Established in 1984, Shoptech Software is a leading provider of Shop Management Software for SME manufacturers. Shoptech has over 9,500 customers worldwide and is growing fast. Shoptech has forged strategic alliances with business partners, garnered recognition in business and shop trade magazines, and gained a reputation as consistently being at the forefront of technological innovations to best serve the various manufacturing markets.