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Manufacturing (ERP) Software Buyer Guide

Quick Links to resources and information:

Learning and Education Corner ( Manufacturing Software):

General Overview of Manufacturing Software
         What is Manufacturing Software?
         Why invest in a manufacturing software system?
         How is manufacturing accounting software different from other general accounting software packages?
         What's the difference between low end systems and a manufacturing ERP system?

Related Business Types That Typically Use Manufacturing Software
Manufacturing Software Features and Modules
Additional Information and Purchasing Considerations
Links to Manufacturing Software Resources and Information

General Overview

What is Manufacturing Software?
Manufacturing software formerly referred to as Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) software is now more commonly referred to as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.  MRP evolved into ERP when "routings" became a major part of the software architecture and a company's capacity planning activity also became a part of the standard software activity.  ERP systems are cross-functional and enterprise-wide.  All functional departments that are involved in operations or production are integrated in one system.  ERP systems typically handle the manufacturing, logistics, distribution, inventory, shipping, invoicing, and accounting for a company. ERP software can aid in the control of many business activities, including sales, marketing, delivery, billing, production, inventory management, quality management, and human resource management.

Why invest in a manufacturing (ERP) software system?
While many small manufacturing companies may get by with just a simple off-the-shelf accounting system such as Quicken and Excel spreadsheets to manage production costs, this type of system can quickly become difficult and inefficient for a growing company with multiple employees and more complex manufacturing operations.  Buying a a manufacturing (ERP) accounting system can help streamline the tracking of costs into a single uniform environment whereby all costs, inventory, purchasing and manufacturing processes and  details can be easily accessed and reviewed from a common interface by many different people in an organization. Other benefits include:

* Eliminate the problem of synchronizing changes between multiple systems - consolidation of finance, marketing and sales, human resource, and manufacturing applications
* Permits control of business processes that cross functional boundaries
* Provides top-down view of the enterprise (no "islands of information"), real time information is available to management anywhere, anytime to make proper decisions.
* Reduces the risk of loss of sensitive data by consolidating multiple permissions and security models into a single structure.
* Shorten production leadtime and delivery time
* Facilitating business learning, empowering, and building common visions

Having the ability to see and manage all aspects of a businesses operations from within a single integrated system can help boost productivity, save time, money and ultimately help a company be more efficient and profitable. 



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