How Process Manufacturers Can Seize New Opportunities with ERP

August 19, 2020 | Process Manufacturing
women working in food factory

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, most companies were caught off-guard by the supply chain disruptions that accompanied it. Process manufacturers struggled with planning and scheduling conflicts that ran the gamut from raw material shortages to transportation delays. 

While many businesses are now emerging from those challenges, the coronavirus outbreak still affects many others. Amid such a devastating world event, it’s difficult for companies to imagine new opportunities. After all, many of them are on the defensive, responding to emerging challenges and issues. 

Now is the right time to respond, but also the right time to take the necessary steps to seize new business opportunities. Manufacturers that have the infrastructure for rapid movement and high productivity will be able to access growth and sustainability opportunities. Here’s how. 

Increased response times and production speed come from modernization. 

For many years, businesses have been frustrated because their IT systems lacked speed and agility. In many cases, it wasn’t in sync with their business needs, and, as a result, companies were not getting value from their IT investments. Companies were seeking ways to transform their operating models ahead of the competition, and that required aligning IT with their business to increase productivity and create value. 

Companies can improve their IT’s productivity significantly with the right infrastructure. Getting the proper alignment between IT and the business comes from IT modernization. And that modernization begins by moving their application suites into the cloud. 

Shifting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to the cloud is an excellent example of an activity that contributes to IT modernization. Some companies may feel hesitant to move legacy apps to the cloud, preferring to move only their new apps.  

But that two-pronged approach could not meet the demands–or take advantage of the opportunities–in a digital environment. Organizations now realize that they can’t operate at today’s speed of business without a modernized infrastructure—or without the cloud. 

Cloud-based ERP helps companies make the most of opportunities. 

A comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution that includes supply chain management capabilities provides process manufacturers with visibility and insight across the value chain. It helps companies with information from the factory floor through the supply and demand chain, so they have the ideas and framework for making decisions when opportunities arise. 

Along with the increased visibility, the software as a service (SaaS) model offers minimal capital expense and a faster return-on-investment (ROI) than on-site applications. And because there are no upfront hardware expenses, licensing fees, or ongoing maintenance costs, most smaller process manufacturers can take advantage of ERP technology, and take advantage of the opportunities that COVID-19 has afforded. 

In this new normal, process manufacturers will rethink supply chains. 

One lesson the virus taught process manufacturers is that they should not source ingredients from a single supplier or source from suppliers in a single location. 

Supply chain experts now believe process manufacturing companies should now have two supply chains: the physical supply chain consisting of all their ingredients and the digital supply chain that contains all information. By synchronizing both of these supply chains with their manufacturing, distribution, and procurement processes, they will achieve flexibility and agility. 

Forecasts indicate that the supply chain impact of COVID-19 will convince manufacturers to spend billions on ERP systems over the next few years. They will expect these solutions to provide excellent records and run risk analyses and simulations, helping them to recognize and prepare for supply chain disruptions. 

New opportunities exist for food and beverage manufacturers. 

Some of the largest process manufacturers are in the food industry. And it is an industry with tremendous opportunities. As consumers become more health-aware or look for more convenience in their meals, manufacturers who can respond to these changes quickly will seize the opportunities ahead of the competition. 

ERP solutions are also invaluable in helping research and development teams compare existing recipes and processes with new combinations. The software provides them with the tools to discover new recipes, products, and cost-effective formulas that will meet customer demands yet remain cost-effective. 

The entire team at Decision Resources, Inc. has the expertise and experience to ensure your ERP can enable you to seize new business opportunities during this time and after. Please get in touch through our online contact form, call 412-562-9660, or email us at

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