We sat down with Kevin Blakey, ePS' Director of Product Management to talk all things technology and flexible packaging. Kevin has an intimate thirty year history with the industry and was involved...
ERP and MES implementation tips
How to get the most from your ERP and MES solutions
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are critical components of a modern business strategy to transform and optimize operations, build a competitive advantage, and serve customers better.
However, simply implementing an ERP solution does not guarantee success or these results. Central to success, companies must set clear goals with well-defined improvement targets (KPIs) and capture mindshare and buy-in from their teams.
In this post, we'll explore some tips and best practices on how to complete a successful ERP implementation to get the desired outcome and secure the promise these technologies offer.
- Identify Key Metrics (KPIs)
- Monitor Progress
- Streamline Processes
- Customize for Your Business
- Train Your Team
Identify Key Metrics (KPIs)
One of the first steps in getting the most from your ERP and MES solutions is clearly defining improvement targets and key metrics (KPIs) most relevant to your business. An easy way to create compelling KPIs is to group them in some framework. One example is increasing revenue, reducing COGS (Cost Of Goods Sold), reducing OPEX, and reducing risk. For instance, capacity utilization can be linked to OPEX reduction, while lead time reduction can drive revenue, or reduced defect rates (quality) reduce risk.
The current state (jumping off point) is critical, whereby your progress can be tracked after the implementation. Great KPIs also will afford you a proper cadence to check in and ensure you are progressing toward your goals (or not, in which case corrective actions would be triggered).
Continually monitoring how well you track to your goals will permit real-time adjustments as needed. Following these tips ensures that your business uses these critical tools to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase profitability.
ERP and MES solutions can help streamline processes throughout your business, but only if you take the time to optimize these processes first. Before implementing, look closely at your existing processes and identify areas where bottlenecks, delays, or inefficiencies occur.
A great tool is to create a value stream map of the current processes and then work with your team to design a future, optimized process that is as streamlined as possible. This work is an ongoing continuous improvement process and should be referred to at monthly or quarterly intervals. This collaborative process engages your teams and will assist greatly in securing their buy-in.
Customize for Your Business
Another key to getting the most from your ERP and MES solutions is to customize them to meet the specific needs of your business.
While many ERP and MES solutions come with a range of pre-built templates and workflows, taking the time to customize these solutions to meet your specific needs can lead to better outcomes and drastically increase the comfort level of your teams. For example, you might customize workflows to match how your team works or customize reports to provide the data that's most important to your business.
Train Your Team Members
Knowledge is empowering, so it's essential to ensure your team is fully trained and able to use these solutions effectively. This might involve providing training sessions or investing in ongoing education for your team. By ensuring everyone on your team is comfortable using the software, you can ensure that your business gets the most value from these solutions.
Getting the most from your ERP and MES investments requires a combination of measured success that optimizes many processes while driving team engagement and empowerment to transform the business. Customizing solutions to meet your specific needs, training your team, and continually monitoring progress are some of the critical steps to getting there.
At ePS Packaging, we help customers optimize productivity and reduce costs and waste through our products and services. We offer industry-specific ERP and MES solutions across various sectors, including corrugated, folding carton, tag & label, and flexible packaging.