Digital transformation topics to consider in 2022 for manufacturing and distribution companies 

Centralizing your data  

portrait successful businessman manager ceo holding tablet walking through warehouse storage area looking towards shelves

Choosing the right system 

While an MRP (Manufacturing Requirements Planning) system can serve as a good start to solve inefficient inventory management, it offers limited abilities as it mainly focuses on helping you ensure the availability of raw materials.  

With an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, manufacturing and distribution companies can still use the features of an MRP but in the form of a module. So, instead of working in a standalone system, you will be working in an integrated system, where more users can easily perform their tasks and collaborate.  

In 2018, 95% of businesses found that ERP implementation led to business process improvement.  

With careful planning and a trusting provider, an ERP implementation can reduce inefficiencies that cost your organization a lot of money and save you time by providing more accurate data, increased visibility, and customization opportunities. 

As your business continues to grow, your ERP system can grow with you and meet the need for faster, reliable data exchange.  

Cloud vs. on premise 

With many companies migrating to the cloud, you might wonder if it’s the right move for you too. 

Cloud is great for scaling businesses and saves IT teams time and money. 

Besides switching to a simpler interface, users can access their data anytime, anywhere they’d like, without having to worry about any maintenance. 

Since the system will be hosted off-site, companies can rely on vendors to create backups or implement new updates and added security.  

 So, if you are ready to work in a larger, more flexible environment, it might be time to store your data in the cloud. 

ERP modules and additional apps  

ERP systems can help you gain insights from various departments of your business all in one place through modules that can easily be integrated into your system.  

Your ERP can include business, finance, human resources, manufacturing, and supply chain modules where you can access more helpful information to help you manage your business.  

Choose modules that align with your business goals by focusing on the most critical issues to make the most out of your ERP system and avoid overspending.  

Depending on your needs, you can further improve your operations by connecting with other applications such as warehouse management systems  like Produmex or WySis or integrating co- packing solutions offered by companies like Nulogy.  

Leverage third-party providers to help with growth 

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Don’t try to do everything 

It’s challenging to succeed in supply chain automation by yourself, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. By outsourcing specific tasks to a third-party provider, you can avoid wasting time or money due to lack of experience, and let an external team apply their expertise as an extension to your business.  

For example, Weber Logistics outlined the following reasons companies might want to work with a 3PL

  • Inability to scale operations 
  • Difficulty keeping up with requirements 
  • Insufficient warehouse space 
  • Need to stay on top of technology 
  • Expansion of product lines

Specialization is the key 

To help you achieve your goals, work with companies that specialize in your industry. 

Since these companies have access to more specialized technology and networks, their solutions can help you perform better and faster.

Whether you are looking for a company specializing in procurement, order fulfillment, warehousing, or transportation, you should always take your time to choose someone who is an expert in your field to ensure you can sustain a long relationship. 

Data centers and consultants  

In today’s world, where you deal with a more significant amount of data, choosing the best place to store your data is essential in ensuring business continuity.  

If you are considering upgrading from your existing physical data center, you can follow the same path as many small and large businesses that are now using cloud storage at a low cost. 

By partnering with a third-party data center, you can save on the costs of building a data center and benefit from increased connectivity, flexibility, and security. You may also choose to migrate slowly – you can keep some data on premise by adopting a hybrid solution. 

If you would like to explore more ways to make positive changes to your supply chain operations, consultancy companies can guide you in the right direction.  

These consultants can analyze your current processes and refer you to third-party companies that can further empower your business and help you build a robust ecosystem.  

Streamlining your entire supply chain

young man working warehouse with boxes

EDI & API integrations 

If you are entering data manually, you might already know how small errors can quickly add up and cost your organization lots of time and money.  

As your company grows, you may notice that your processes can no longer support the needs of your business like they used to. 

EDI and API integrations with various supply chain partners in your community can make it easier for you to track and exchange data (e.g. 850 PO, 855 POA, 856 ASN, and many more) so you can spend more time focusing on creating better experiences for your customers. 

Supply chain partner relationships  

Without effective collaboration between you and your partners, your supply chain can seem like it’s falling apart.  

As you expand your ecosystem and adopt new technologies, partners should continue working together to adopt solutions that benefit the supply chain in order to do business more efficiently.  

By integrating your supply chain partners in your goals, you will not only improve your relationships but also have access to more analytics, which can help predict and maintain your supply chain. 

Choose wisely 

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Digital transformations aren’t always easy to accomplish or navigate. It is a collaborative process that requires patience and effort from everyone involved.  

The key here is not only to select the best software or solution but to find companies that can support you and help you get through the changes with your best interests at heart.  

Look for people who respect your values so you can communicate and collaborate pain-free.  

Finally, you want to make sure your needs are met because, at the end of the day, this is your time for transformation!  

Lorine Berwari

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