For manufacturing companies, it has always been about stuff. Making stuff. Assembling stuff. Ensuring that you have sufficient components and raw materials on hand, and being able to deliver your products to your customers in a timely manner.

Aside from the obvious prerequisite of producing a quality product, successful manufacturers have always distinguished themselves from the competition by accomplishing these goals faster, better, or more efficiently than the competition. With that in mind, the ability to acquire, manufacture, ship and track the very tangible, real-world items involved in any manufacturing process is being given a significant -- and in some cases dramatic -- upgrade thanks to the virtual toolkit available in the latest generation of integrated financial software solutions.

In today's increasingly digital world, even the most "old school" manufacturing entities rely heavily on the coordination, communication and tracking capabilities of computers and advanced technical systems. But for all of the raw power and technical capacity afforded by these new technologies, the most essential ingredient of all often remains elusive: effective integration. Today, many leading manufacturers are beginning to realize that in a competitive marketplace, unlocking the power and potential of a sophisticated, customized and integratedfinancial and supply chain management framework can be more than just an asset; it can be a differentiator.

For manufacturing executives, key decision-makers and senior managers, there exists a distinct correlation between potential competitive advantages and effective integrated enterprise software solutions. The strategic goals of most manufacturing companies encompass not only the capacity to manufacture competitive products, but also the ability to operate profitably while limiting product development costs. Achieving this requires a company to have a firm grasp on its finances. When implemented and utilized correctly, financial management software can help organizations better track their assets and streamline business processes to achieve these goals, which will ultimately fuel organizational growth and positively impact the company's bottom line.

Additionally, such solutions can play a vital role in managing the inherent complexities of the modern-day manufacturing environment. This includes enhancing operational efficiencies, minimizing or eliminating avoidable downtime, and tightening scheduling and inventory controls -- effectively creating a seamless and synchronized link between process and product.