ERP Not Keeping Up

Feb. 24, 2011
Multimodal manufacturing challenges ERP platforms, industry executives tell IFS.

Manufacturing is getting more complex and enterprise resources planning (ERP) appears to be struggling to keep up, a study from enterprise software vendor IFS North America reveals.

More than 80 percent of respondents to a study of executives of mid- to large-sized manufacturing companies said their businesses are running multiple business models or manufacturing modes, but only 15 percent indicated their enterprise software adequately handles all of the different modes they are engaged in.

Of the 83 percent of respondents running multiple manufacturing modes, 76 percent are making products to order, 55 percent are making products to stock, and 34 percent are assembling to order.

Respondents said that enterprise software like ERP was able to handle relatively simple modes like make to stock better than more complex, engineering-intensive modes like engineer-to-order. The study was based on a survey conducted in December of 2010 among more than 200 executives at manufacturing companies with more than $100 million in revenue.

Study data suggests that the ability to handle different modes is of critical importance given that manufacturers are adding modes of operation on a regular basis, as evidenced by the fact that 74 percent of respondents said they had added modes in the last five years.

The study, which examines not only the increasing trend towards mixed-mode manufacturing but the green supply chain issue, will become publically available in February.

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