Survey of SMB Manufacturers: Results Show ERP Contributes to Success

Sage North America today announced the results of a snapshot survey of small to medium business (SMB) manufacturers on the general health of their businesses and use of their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Check out Sage's infographic.

In sum, SMB manufacturers

  • have added jobs,

  • are more optimistic than not about the economy, and

  • believe that their ERP system has helped serve their customers’ needs while contributing to the success of their own businesses.

All indications are that the SMB manufacturing segment is growing:

  • 73 percent of respondents hired staff within the last six months

  • 53 percent intend to maintain the same staff levels over the next six months

  • one-third of respondents plan to add staff within the next six months

When asked about the specific conditions of their own manufacturing business over the next six months:

  • 49 percent believed that new orders would increase

  • 47 percent felt that production would increase

  • 23 percent believed that inventories would increase

Their ERP system has played a role in the success of their businesses:

  • 67 percent responded that their system was helping them better serve their customers

  • 56 percent responded that their ERP system has either definitely or somewhat actively contributed to the expansion of their companies

Sales personnel are using their ERP system in the following ways:

  • 63 percent report using it for quotes

  • 74 percent for order fulfillment

  • 59 percent to check for product availability

  • 44 percent for forecasting.

Two-thirds felt that their accounting or ERP system has helped them better serve their customers in the following areas:

  • product delivery efficiencies

  • open order tracking

  • raw material forecasts

  • shorter lead times

Certainly, there's room for ERP systems to improve in helping customers, which can be seen as both a challenge and opportunity. The survey sentiments are along the lines of the feedback TEC receives from our ERP selection engagements as well as from the ERP vendor shootout events that we moderate.
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