Why ERP Is Not Enough for Project Based Manufacturing

A recent article over on Industry Week on 5 Critical Issues for ERP in Project-based Manufacturing outlined why ERP systems alone are not enough for project based manufacturing (and manufacturing in general).

The issues outlined in the article were:

  1. Bidding and Quoting
  2. Project Visibility
  3. Managing Change
  4. Financial Performance Tracking
  5. Rapid Time to Value

A carefully evaluation of many of the ERP tools on the market will reveal that:

  1. They don’t truly support modern e-Negotiation, and the company will also need a modern e-Sourcing tool (which may have to be integrated).
  2. As far as these systems are concerned, user-defined push alerts, flexible automatic notifications, and real-time reporting is still a pipe dream. A real time data analysis tool will be required.
  3. Flexibility is limited. At a a minimum, good processes will be required. A change management add-on may be required as well.
  4. Lots of data is tracked and stored, but financial analysis capabilities are limited. A real time data analysis tool will be required here as well.
  5. Implementation is rarely quick, and payback typically longer than expected. That’s why supplementary Sourcing and Procurement systems are generally required.

In other words, a good ERP system can provide a great foundation, but it will rarely meet all of an organization’s need.

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