Executive Resources

Pragmatist's Guide: Building a Business Case for a Formula-based ERP

Source: Mint Jutras
If you're a process manufacturer taking a close look at the option of acquiring an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, you may be finding that you're faced with a bewildering array of options, technologies, and applications. What should you look for, and which business issues do you need to address to position your acquisition-and implementation-for maximum success? Download this report to find out.



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The Distribution Challenge: Are You Asking Enough from Your ERP?

Distributors and manufacturers in today's challenging economy face many pressures, including global competition, growing complexity of supply chains, complex trade regulations, and fluctuating transportation costs. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are meant to help address challenges like these with a whole company system that deals with most or all the aspects of a company's functioning.

Yet many ERP implementations fail to produce the expected benefits. Too often distributors and manufacturers have to make do with a less-than-optimal solution.

The 2015 Mint Jutras ERP Solution Study investigated ERP goals, challenges, and status, gathering responses from more than 800 ERP users. The respondents represented companies from many different industries, with 120 being from the distribution industry.

Read on to see what the survey results say about ERP and how taking a close look at their current ERP and what it has to offer in comparison to other solutions can help distributors and manufacturers deal with the many challenges of doing business in today's challenging economy. Find out if you're asking enough of your ERP, and if not, how and why to change that.

Meeting Process Manufacturing Challenges Through More Potent Functionality

The process manufacturing market remains one of the most competitive and dynamic segments of manufacturing. Process manufacturers must evolve to meet the challenges of changing market demands, the increasing commoditization of products, and the volatility of pricing in energy and raw materials.

A powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with detailed functionality should help process manufacturers manage active ingredients throughout their operations by enabling them to buy raw materials and cost goods more precisely; scale formulas up or down, automatically; track lot inheritance; and define product sequencing, which is evaluated based on multiple characteristics, to reduce downtime and changeover costs in the production schedule.

Using ERP for Process Manufacturing Quality Management

Today, process manufacturing executives need to think about more than core batch and recipe management capabilities when considering software solutions like enterprise resource planning (ERP). Due to both regulatory and market factors, quality management and documentation of the quality and content of goods produced is essential. Advancing environmental awareness and the ability to handle recalls both factor into this increased focus on quality.

Customers have high expectations of manufacturers and other suppliers and often focus on good corporate behaviors, especially when it comes to sustainability. Adherence to legislation is of course necessary—but manufacturers who go beyond the required can find this to be a competitive advantage.

As supply chains and distribution patterns become more global, more process manufacturers also need to pay attention to and comply with numerous national and regional regulations.

This white paper outlines how batch process manufacturers can select and use enterprise software with embedded quality management functionality to face these challenges.

From VAR to Solution Provider: Five Strategies for Business Transformation

The traditional value-added reseller (VAR) business—comprised of companies that add features or services to an existing product and then resell it as an integrated product or complete solution—has become more challenging, with declining product margins, increasing competition, and lower-cost alternatives to proprietary products. The pressures are causing many VARs to grow their businesses from simply selling products to offering more comprehensive solutions built on a richer set of services and recurring revenue models.

For decades, VARs have been an important channel for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), like computer manufacturers and software vendors, to reach customers. The “value-add” can simply be to provide local implementation and hands-on support or it can involve adding other hardware, software, and services to tailor the OEM’s product to a specific industry, problem, or use. In many markets, customers prefer buying from VARs instead of directly from OEMs, as VARs are closer to the customer, offer local support, and are in a better position to develop long-term relationships.

The VAR business model has been attractive in the past, as it was profitable to resell OEM products. Over the past decade, however, product margins have been shrinking as the result of several long-term trends. In this report, learn about five strategies for making the transformation from VAR to solution provider. The changes needed require a new view of the business and a new mindset, to move from a deal mindset to long-term customer relationships, become invested in customer success, and transition from cash up front to realizing revenue over the life of a contract.

A Top 10 List for Meat Processors & Protein Companies When Considering a New ERP System

"The meat industry" traditionally supported by enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions has expanded into "the protein industry," which includes several non-meat sectors. This is in response to consumer demand for healthier alternatives to beef (for example, bison, elk, emu, or venison). The protein industry also includes the manufacture of pet food, which has essentially the same ERP requirements.

This industry requires specialized ERP functionality to address its concerns, including, for example, traceability, shelf-life management, and containerization.

This white paper outlines 10 key features to consider when evaluating and selecting an ERP system for process manufacturing that will address the specific challenges of the protein and meat-processing industry.