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How to Optimize your ERP in Manufacturing with Tablet PC: Part II

Manufacturers who are profitably implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions report that putting a rugged tablet PC into the hands of remote and mobile workers is a fundamentally-important underlying success strategy. ERP is only as valuable as your ability to retrieve and act on data gathered -- any time, from anywhere.

rugged tablet pc enterprise resource planning erp warehouseFrom their 2012 ERP Benchmark Survey, the Aberdeen Group concluded that Best in Class manufacturers benefit from ERP in five key categories: processes, organization, knowledge, technology and performance. They’re seeing significant, quantifiable improvements such as:

  • Reduced operations costs.
  • Reduced inventory costs.
  • Reduced waste.
  • Better-utilized resources, including labor.

So how can you put it all together to reap the broadest benefits from via ERP?


Aberdeen identified top performance criteria as:

  • Standardized production planning and execution procedures, enterprise-wide.
  • Ability to adapt ERP to changing business needs.

Standardization facilitates greater internal productivity and cost control and ensures consistency critical for customer satisfaction. ERP produces across-the-board standardization including purchasing, accounting and billing, order management and fulfillment. That allows more accurate demand planning and forecasting, reducing the risk of overproduction that has to be sold off or shortages that lose sales.


Aberdeen identified top performance criteria as:

  • Integration of manufacturing operations and production design.
  • Continuous improvement teams that represent multiple functional areas.

Collaboration makes better use of employee time and produces better results. ERP enhances coordination between departments or production units and lets you communicate with customers to gather product improvement input.

Cross-functional continuous improvement teams identify new efficiency and ERP performance opportunities, and encourage employees to fully use the system. More than half the manufacturers surveyed also belong to an ERP users group.


Aberdeen identified top performance criteria as:

  • Real-time visibility into all processes from “quote to cash.”
  • Ability to integrate and share data with outside entities such as vendors and resellers.

Real-time visibility is the key. Access to better information, faster, enables line employees and managers to make informed decisions on the fly, mitigating potential problems and capturing unfolding opportunities. And the ability to coordinate with suppliers and resellers helps avoid costly delays.


Aberdeen identified top performance criteria as:

  • Enterprise-wide, auditable “system of record.”
  • Mobile access to ERP.

Mobility facilitates streamlining, and on-the-spot data entry is faster and more accurate. But the greatest technology benefit is immediacy. With a rugged tablet, any employee can access ERP when and where they need it.

A rugged tablet PC can mobilize any or all ERP-related processes. It can interface smoothly with legacy systems and software, too, providing a single information resource employees can easily use to accomplish their work. And rugged tablets also support integration of production, lifecycle, warehouse and other management applications.


Aberdeen identified top performance criteria as:

  • Measurable demand planning and forecasting results.
  • Measurable business benefits.

Improvements must be measurable in order to determine success and identify further opportunities. Tracking overall business benefits demonstrates the full value of ERP.

So how do you get to be Best in Class?

Aberdeen recommends these steps:  

  • Initially, focus on standardizing procedures, internal collaboration and joining an ERP users group.
  • Step up your implementation by sharing data externally, with suppliers, customers, resellers and regulators. Establish benchmarks to evaluate progress, and ensure your ERP solution can flex as your company evolves.
  • Take your place among manufacturing leaders by tracking employee usage, expanding ERP with manufacturing-specific modules and extensions, and above all else, integrating mobile devices such as a rugged tablet PC for best results.

What can you do next to improve your enterprise resource planning?



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