It’s been nearly two months since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. While the long-term effects have yet to be determined, the immediate and detrimental effects have rippled across the manufacturing and distribution sectors.
At present, three-quarters of companies throughout the world are reporting disruptions in their supply chain, according to a recent survey released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). While this is happening, empty shelves continue to greet shoppers in many retail stores, and people are counting on manufacturers to restock them. Some companies are ramping up production, like food and chemical manufacturers, while others are retooling operations to respond to the essential needs of critical industries. While local, state, and federal governments are all recommending and enforcing social distancing, many companies are exploring new ways of working remotely.
A strategy of completely working from home, retooling operations, or ramping up production to meet increased need, all require manufacturing and distribution enterprises to be equipped with the right technology. With an investment in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, manufacturers and distributors can connect anytime, anywhere, and make sure that their businesses continue to operate successfully, even amid COVID-19.
Here’s how ERP help to make that happen.
Your office staff can work from home
During a global health crisis such as COVID-19, the safety and wellbeing of your employees and customers has to be a top priority. With the right technology, the majority of your office staff can connect to your organization from home, thanks to cloud-based ERPs that don’t rely on local servers or physical infrastructure.
Think about everyone who can now work remotely and safely because they can access everything they need from home, which was once available only at the office:
- Administrative staff and data entry workers
- Planners and project managers
Your ERP ensures that everyone is on the same page and has everything they need to do their jobs safely and effectively—even if they’re not in the same location.
The shop floor is also safer
While production workers must be onsite and at their machines, unlike office personnel, they can usually maintain recommended safe distances. And because ERPs are cloud-based and updated in real-time, the only things moving around the shop are the parts, which can be kept safe and sanitized by using gloves and solvents.
With your ERP, any engineering changes from the customer and operations that must be added (such as new protocols or procedures) can be handled remotely. These adjustments will then immediately propagate through the entire system without having to reprint any job information on paper. That’s because all work instructions are already in the ERP system, eliminating the need for documents to “travel” with the parts. Also, items such as cutting tool lists and inspection requirements are now embedded inside the software, and your employees can update them from any remote location.
ERPs can help you get up and running once the pandemic passes
While it might not be possible to estimate precisely how Covid-19 will affect your business, or exactly when it will pass, there are a few possibilities and scenarios to consider. It’s likely that:
- You’ll be trying to cut expenses
- You may need to operate with fewer employees or continue remote work for the time being
- You’ll want to find new customers to supplement or replace those that are ordering less or have stopped ordering altogether
The right ERP system will improve the efficiency of your business and help you reduce your company’s overhead. And when you are ready to attract new customers, your ERP will be one of your most effective sales tools.
Your ERP system will be your top performer during and after COVID-19.
The right ERP system will ensure that you can maintain the best business practices during the pandemic, and it will help you return to business as usual (or much better!) after it passes. It can be a lifesaver for almost any manufacturing enterprise in any industry.
This COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, and our entire team of remote ERP experts is on standby to help you evaluate ERP software and find the right solution for your business and your budget during this time. Contact us with questions or for more information, or give us a call at 412-562-9660, or email us at email@example.com.