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How Manufacturers Ensure ERP Success (Hint: It’s People)

March 5, 2019
ERP Ease-of-Use and Accessibility are Key

You can measure the success of your ERP system a multitude of ways: uptime, KPIs, order fill rates, and more. Those of us who have been involved in change management initiatives know that one of the major keys to its success is people.

To get the most out of your ERP, your people have to actually use it. That means you’ll need to make sure that your ERP is easy to use, available, and accessible to the employees who need it to do their jobs.

Historically, ERP systems were accessible to only administrators and those who were privileged enough to hold one of the expensive individual licenses. This bottleneck was limiting because relatively few people had access, getting the necessary information out of the ERP required time to program specific reports—and by the time the reports were delivered the information was out of date.

study conducted by consulting and research firm Mint Jutras showed that 62 percent of manufacturing employees on average use ERP. But what happens with a different usage model? We believe in more open access to the system. Plex customers have shared that managing and budgeting for legacy licensing is a non-value activity, and therefore Plex offers an unlimited software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription model.

The result? A 30 percent jump in ERP use versus other systems—that means more than 80 percent of Plex customer employees on average get their hands on the system, with some companies granting 100 percent of their employees access. Unlimited supplier and customer subscriptions (with selective access, of course) are included as well. This model leads to more efficient and collaborative people who develop better work processes, a more visible supply chain, and more accurate—and useable data. It also means eliminating wasted time, money, and effort tracking which people will receive system access and which people will be left out because of the prohibitive cost of buying additional licenses or subscriptions.

The combination of a SaaS-based ERP solution and employee engagement directly impacts company results. At EG Industries, a manufacturer specializing in plastic injection tooling, molding and finishing, moving to the cloud has changed the focus of its IT staff. “The SaaS model in the cloud with Plex helps us alleviate a lot of the pains and headaches that come along with on-premise software. There’s so much opportunity out there to bring value to the company,” said Tony Brown, director of business systems at EG Industries. IT resources at EG are now highly engaged connecting systems and departments, creating greater visibility and developing tools to gather and use data more effectively. Some people even took on broader operations and plant management roles. “IT people are now business analysts, and we can focus more on our division’s mission statement, which is to provide our internal and external customers with real-time actionable data for them to make timely and informed decisions. That’s really what this division does and what the cloud has done for us,” said Brown.

See how your peers are using ERP technology to meet industry challenges and set themselves up for success. Download the Plex 4th Annual State of Manufacturing Technology Report.

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