December 16, 2021

How to implement ERP software in a manufacturing company?

The process for implementing ERP software in a manufacturing company has to follow a few steps to be successful. This entry explains in more detail what needs to be done.

Steps for implementing ERP software in a manufacturing company

First of all, it should be remembered that software implementation comes at a high cost and, although in the long run it more than pays off, there are aspects that can drive up the cost, such as delayed or inefficient implementation.

This problem is further exacerbated, if that were possible, when it comes to manufacturing companies. It should be borne in mind that, in these cases, the software is used for all processes, including manufacturing, because it is now automated or robotised. Therefore, any failure in approach undertaken has consequences. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system has to be chosen well and the implementation process has to be organised.

It should be noted that the following steps will help make your ERP implementation process simpler and more effective. Take note, this will be of interest to you:

1. Choice of suitable ERP

It is clear that the first step you will have to take is to choose a specific ERP system. And, as this will condition the entire process, it is worth comparing the different advantages and disadvantages. As a general rule, you should make a prior assessment. No wonder, this is the way to make a conscious decision. Today, there are ERP systems for manufacturing companies.

ERP systems for manufacturing companies have their own characteristics. In addition, the provider is essential, both for quality and functionalities, and for customer support. All these issues are crucial to avoiding future problems.

Elección del ERP

2. Timing planning

Timing planning, once you have decided, is crucial. In this case, it is a matter of assessing how long it will take you to implement the ERP system. And, above all, once you have this schedule, you will have to decide on the compliance with it.

Ideally, as a general rule, the implementation time will be as short as possible. However, we shouldn't be misled, because this task has its complexity. Therefore, you need to be realistic when you consider the timing.

Planificación del timing ERP

3. Consulting and analysis of functionalities

The ERP system needs to meet a series of objectives, and it is sometimes necessary to install some specific functionalities for manufacturing companies. Therefore, it is recommended that you carry out a prior review to make decisions on what functions you will install. This will enable the software to do everything it can.

For example, it should be noted that control of goods and inputs is essential in factories. And this concept must be understood as warehouse and unit control in order to have the proper goods flows and prevent stockouts.

Software is often under-used. And it's a shame because the possibilities it has are not exploited to the full. Since a certain amount of prior investment needs to be made, carrying out this check and study is essential.

Consultoría y análisis de funcionalidades ERP

4. Configuration and parametrisation

The configuration is the introduction step, since it involves the installation of the software and its appropriate configuration. When you reach this point, you should check whether the parametrisation is in line with what you need. Therefore, this step will let you review and restart the process if there is a failure.

Of course, the configuration must be appropriate to the hardware you use. And this is relevant because sometimes obsolete or low-capacity equipment can be problematic for successful implementation.

Configuración y parametrización erp

5. Platform and data migration

The migration process of the platform and the data is sensitive for two reasons. Firstly, because you have to make sure that this change is carried out securely. On the other hand, because you have to ensure that the data migration is complete. As a result, you should ensure that this process is done cleanly for your manufacturing company; moreover, remember that if you have external data, data protection legislation fines companies that do not manage it properly.

On the other hand, what we recommend is that when you migrate the data, you check that you only have the data strictly necessary in your database. This is important because it will also let you save space that you will use for other needs.

Migración de plataforma y datos ERP

6. Staff training at manufacturing companies

Staff training should start before the software implementation, but it is usually done once it is operational. The aim is for workers to get the most out of this software; this will avoid problems in the long run. For example, when it comes to software for production, this will also affect supervisors and workers.

In factories, there are different functions and, in this case, it is essential that each person responsible knows which area to use. For example, in production processes, there is a supervisor that controls the inputs and outputs. Secondly, there are people responsible for procurement and sales. And finally, there is an accounting department. As a result, the right training needs to be given to those who need it.

It is advisable to establish a training schedule for the company's employees. And of course, this training is eminently practical since it is about learning how to use ERP.

Formación del personal ERP

7. Operation

Once everything is ready, you have to launch the software and for it to become operational. There are cases in which the operation can be carried out simultaneously, while at other times it will have to be done in phases.

When it comes to a manufacturing company, it is advisable to ensure that the essential parts, directly related to the production process, operate at the same time. The idea is that more can be produced in less time with optimal energy consumption. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the implementation is appropriate.

This step is critical because if there are any failures in the launch, you have to check what the problem is. And, of course, it is possible that some steps may have to be rolled back.

Funcionamiento ERP

8. Monitoring and assessment

The work of implementing ERP software in a manufacturing company ends with the monitoring and assessment process. It is true that this period will vary according to the type of company, but you should keep in mind that it ranges from 6 months to a year.

It should be noted that implementation not only means that the software works well, but also that it does so with all its capabilities. This means that if you have installed 5 modules, they would all have to work at full capacity. And, in addition, you have to check whether the expected improvements can be seen. One example would be the supply and management of raw materials, to check whether it has improved or costs have been reduced; the same can be measured in terms of productivity times, both for goods and overall benefits.

On the one hand, you need to check that the implementation is being carried out according to the planning you have established and, on the other, after a while you will need to assess whether the objectives you set at the time have been met.

Seguimiento y evaluación


Implementing ERP software in a manufacturing company is a complex process and it is worth finding out about the phases. Are you looking for ERP for production industries? SAP Business One is a good solution for you to be more competitive and efficient. Don't hesitate to contact us if you need more information.

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