When you own a business, you may find that your sales representatives are doing a good job getting new business, but they are having problems keeping up with the demands of the customers, and you cannot figure out the reasons behind this. When quality standards are going downhill, and production hold-ups are increasing, your delivery schedules might not be getting met the way they’re supposed to be. This can result in unhappy customers. Below are some typical warning signs that may mean your machine shop needs an ERP.

1. Data Is Not Easily Or Quickly Accessible

As a business owner or manager, you’re supposed to know what materials are costing for each specific customer’s order. Are you aware of what is inside of your inventory? Are you familiar with the gross margin your business has to date? Do you know exactly how many open orders your business has on hand at the moment?

Immediate access to these business data sets is crucial for maintaining a smooth operation. Each aspect of your operation needs to be accessible in real-time, and a manufacturing ERP can make this possible for your machine shop.

2. Systems Don’t Sync Efficiently

When a business grows organically, new departments will develop and require separate processes and systems. Multiple databases running multiple systems can lead to disaster and leave room for potential errors when transferring data from one system to another. Time can easily be wasted by staff members having to input data in multiple systems. An ERP system can integrate each function of your business into a single database that all departments can get access to in real-time.

3. Inventory Counts Not Accurate

Not having a reliable and accurate inventory count can be devastating to all departments in a business. Excess amounts of inventory will waste storage space, tie up working capital and can become obsolete or get damaged before being used. Not having sufficient inventory of products cost more for expedited shipping and deliveries to customers. This will result in a significant decrease in your customers’ satisfaction. ERP systems can make your inventory system more efficient and effective by combining barcode scanning, error and delay notifications and inventory tracking at all levels.

4. No Accurate Picture of WIP Inventories

If you have offshore manufacturing plants, it is crucial to get accurate pictures of the inventory for WIP. When your products are located in several locations around the world before reaching one location to be assembled, your sales team will not be able to perform their job accurately or promise specific delivery times to customers. ERP systems can be beneficial for machine shop owners because it can accurately track different types of inventory including safety stocks, raw materials, WIP inventories, finished goods and sub-assemblies from different locations. Inventory accuracy can help your business offer more accurate delivery dates to customers.

5. Problems With Production Scheduling

All businesses rely on making a profit to survive. If you are not able to figure out what raw materials you have in your inventory, which machines are available in your machine shop or if you have enough staff workers to meet customer demands, your business will ultimately fail. Many ERP systems come fully integrated with modules that can help businesses automate certain processes to ensure the correct materials are where they need to be. It can also ensure the right quantities and types are created on-time to meet your customer’s needs.

Today’s machine shop environment is fast-paced. Your sales team will need to be able to have access to prices, availability and accurate delivery information when working with customers. Having immediate, real-time access to data can offer important competitive advantages that will increase the closing rate of your sales force. There has never been a better time than now to invest in an ERP system for your machine shop. Your business will gain increased agility and flexibility to scale your business quicker.

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