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What Successful Manufacturers Do to Predict Trends and Control Inventory

Inventory management can be a wild card, an unknown, that throws the proverbial monkey wrench into production and profits. There are real challenges to producing exactly what the customer wants, when they want it. There’s one thing successful manufacturers have in common when it comes to predicting trends and controlling inventory.

Effective Inventory Management Starts with Data

Strong control over inventory requires capturing data from a number of different data sources which is no easy matter, especially when relying on disparate business management systems. Asking leaders for inventory counts, information about sales activities or plans for future production is time-consuming and you already know time isn’t usually on your side.

Outdated and inaccurate data will quickly lead you in the wrong direction and can easily turn even the most well-planned strategies out the window. Instead of wondering where your data comes from, be confident your finger is on the pulse of inventory movement. One way to do this is to replace disparate systems with an integrated ERP solution.

 3 ERP Benefits for Manufacturers

An integrated ERP solution, like Microsoft Dynamics GP, offers many benefits for many different types of industries. Here are 3 ERP features particularly beneficial for manufacturing companies.

Data accessibility: An integrated ERP solution centralizes business-critical data within one system. Leaders can easily enter and access information, without needing to track down department managers or hold a bunch of meetings. The faster you can get to key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics, the faster you know what’s happening across your organization.

In terms of inventory, procurement and warehouse staff can track inventory as it arrives at the warehouse, is used on the floor and is sent to customers. You can track fast-moving and slow-moving items, control the first-in/first-out (FIFO), and manage multiple manufacturing processes. For discrete manufacturers, including make-to-order and make-to-stock, you can seamlessly configure and control bills of material from start to finish.

Powerful reporting: Microsoft Dynamics GP offers hundreds of built-in report templates and customizable options. These templates or customized reports are quickly populated with the current data within your ERP system. There is no need to waste time compiling, comparing and validating data before sharing or using it to make important business decisions. Departmental and C-suite leaders are easily able to prepare reports using real-time data for strategizing, forecasting and following marketplace trends and customer behaviors.

Automating inventory control saves valuable time in the warehouse. You have real-time inventory insight without having to perform physical counts. Procurement can make prudent, cost-saving buying decisions by following product and customer trends.

Business intelligence (BI): This feature is the icing on the cake, so to speak. Role-tailored interfaces and visualization options capture the KPIs your leaders need to track. A variety of charts and graphs highlight trending data. Leaders can dive deeper into data to understand what may be driving these trends.

Following KPIs, sales orders and customer activities in real-time provides leaders with the opportunity to react faster to changing marketplace conditions, product popularity or customer buying behaviors. You can stock-up on raw materials when they will be used and, conversely, avoid getting stuck with obsolete products.

Gain a 360-Degree View of Operations, Improve Customer Satisfaction with ERP

ERP provides manufacturers with a 360-degree view of operations, as well as the very specific KPIs needed to control inventory. Modern ERP provides manufacturers with the tools and insight to monitor and manage inventory, sales and customer activities, and end-to-end manufacturing operations. Improve profits and strengthen customer satisfaction by replacing disparate software systems with a single, integrated ERP solution. Contact the OTT, Inc. team to explore new options in ERP solutions you can tailor to your business and budget.