Manufacturing’s digital transformation is the new place for the evolving role of ERP. From business analytics to artificial intelligence and the Internet of things (IoT), new technology is disrupting how manufacturers do business. One of the most time-consuming tasks, that requires a high level of expertise, has always been taking the raw operational data and turning it into actionable insights. If this analysis is done in house, your only option was to purchase an expensive business intelligence software separately and then, if possible, integrate with your ERP system.

ERP systems are now being developed with business analytics and offered by vendors as a built-in component or an additional add on to their solution. Business analytics is becoming so popular and synonymous with ERP systems that the distinction between them is difficult to identify. Is your ERP system and business analytics functions being used to their fullest capacity? Are you able to get the insight and see the full picture of your business that you need to make timely and impactful decisions? Here are some areas that we have seen the biggest areas of growth.

Supply Chain Visibility

Potentially serious issues can arise in your supply chain that can impact your manufacturing timelines. Quickly being able to identify the problem area in an effective and efficient resolution is critical.

ERP systems used with an integrated business analytics solution make it easy to get ahead of data driven issues by providing up-to-date monitoring of your business’s key performance indications (KPIs). Dashboards can be tailored to each specific user, complete with performance gauges, navigation shortcuts, process flows and advanced reporting tools. Analytics enable manufacturers to analyze their supply chain data to monitor global supply networks, align with third-party service providers, ensure traceability, reduce volatility, and control costs. Industry leaders are now equipped to provide proactive problem-solving support with the ability to monitor trends and discrepancies within the business.

Production & Quality

Today’s manufacturer needs visibility into the entire production lifecycle, connecting the dots and enabling them to ensure quality products, on-time delivery, and streamlined efficiencies. By harnessing data from multiple disparate systems across the production lifecycle, advanced business analytics helps manufacturers analyze and optimize production, gain visibility into upstream and downstream workstations, ensure quality management, and identify the root causes of quality concerns. They can then analyze processes to identify areas to improve quality and reduce costs.

Advanced Forecasting

Fulfilling current orders and staying ahead of customer demand is dependent of successful manufacturers. For many companies, this means trying to predict the future for stock requirements with archaic spreadsheets and high inventory levels.

Current analytics systems are equipped to automate forecasting and calculations of optimal safety stock levels. With team member input, valuable customer data, such as past sales (dollars) and usage (units) can be analyzed quickly. The days of Excel spreadsheets are over. Algorithms and future analysis’ can be processed automatically, and results are displayed and delivered the way each business users need to receive and act on them. Forecasts can be adjusted to account for competitor growth, business opportunities or shifting market conditions, so optimal inventory levels can be monitored and achieved in any circumstance.

A robust integrated analytics platform allows you to make more informed business decisions, allowing you to ask the right questions. Gone are the bar charts that report the past, manufacturers need a real-time solution that is able to not only integrate with their ERP system, but with all of their critical business systems. In this way, they gain deep inside knowledge to not only manage their business but be more predictive and strategic in having their business move forward, allowing them to navigate risks while optimizing growth.

Choosing an ERP Consultant

One-size-fits-all is not an option when it comes to ERP systems.  The Copley Consulting Group knows there are several factors to determine the right fit for your organization. When working to implement your ERP solution, Copley can provide the technology and support needed for your specific industry and business when choosing between cloud-based or an on-premise ERP. To discuss the right ERP system for your organization, complete our contact form, call us at 855-884-5305, or email us at