ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems are integrated systems that manage all aspects of a business including customer and supplier management, orders, purchasing, receiving, production, financials, shipping, inventory tracking and reporting.
Manufacturing based ERP systems mostly manage the core production processes which includes value added operations from raw material to the final product. The other core processes like purchasing and shipping are integrated and related to the manufacturing work orders. If you are a manufacturer you should consider using manufacturing-focused ERP because when you have it you produce more efficiently and reduce wasting time on collecting data from the manufacturing plant manually and repeatedly. You can expect minimum time on data collect with operator interface provided by manufacturing-focused ERP systems. The operators stating every important action from their machine/workstation is highly recommended for the traceability.
The benefits of an ERP system are gaining competitive advantage, internal efficiency, real-time tracking, better decision-making, standardization, simplification, improved reporting, interdepartmental collaboration, planning activities, enhancing security, improving quality and customer satisfaction, improved supply chain management and centralizing all business activities in one common database.
It depends on the size of the company and number of users. Also it depends on the simplicity of the ERP system. In the best-case scenario, if a company starts with only one or two modules it takes usually one month to implement. If the first module's implementation is successful, company move on the next. Starting with less is always better because it's a very simple and reliable method.
Quick install and implementation, simple interface, industry specific lean solutions comes first. If it's possible, you have to try before you purchase it. The best method to decide is to try it.
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