With the Fourth Industrial Revolution knocking at the door, manufacturers are increasingly looking for automation systems to maximize efficiency. With a wide variety of tools, apps, software, and systems, it can be quite overwhelming to understand what solutions are vital to your business, which are an overkill, and which are simply too expensive to implement. This article discusses three must-have software and their key benefits for modern manufacturing businesses.

Manufacturing ERP software

Nowadays, manufacturing ERP software is one of most reliable automation technologies, designed to automate operations on the shop floor, production planning, stock availability tracking, and allocation of resources. It provides manufacturers with complete, real-time visibility of all business operations. Here are some of the most important ways manufacturing ERP software can help businesses:

  • Manufacturing software can accelerate the production process and reduce the production time, so that the sales order fulfillment can be optimized.
  • Manufacturing software can accurately pinpoint bottlenecks within the production process, which in turn leads to improved quality, and therefore better customer satisfaction.
  • Manufacturing software helps to anticipate machine failure and reduced unplanned downtime
  • Manufacturing software helps to optimize production planning and scheduling, inventory management, equipment and machinery maintenance, and labor, which in turn helps mitigate waste.

Accounting software

Accounting software helps manufacturers manage all the financial transactions and operations. Accounting for manufacturing businesses is a complicated matter, which includes inventory valuation and calculating the costs of goods sold to determine the most appropriate price of the finished items.

Accounting spreadsheets or generic tools are not capable of tackling such complex concepts and that is why manufacturers need special solutions to help them make informed decisions.

Just like in the case of manufacturing ERP software, many businesses still choose to deploy enterprise applications on-premise, including the accounting function. However, small and medium-sized businesses could benefit more from cloud-based accounting solutions. Here are a few of the benefits cloud accounting solutions bring:

  • Cloud based accounting tools are modern and easier to use compared to on-premises solutions, as well as more affordable because there’s no hardware investment necessary.
  • You can access, review, and approve financial transactions, collaborating in real-time with your accounting department.
  • You can automatically update your systems, without causing disruptions to your business chain or worrying about downtime.
  • Cloud-based accounting tools are safe, with a substantially lower risk of a data breach or loss compared to on-premise solutions.

Shipping software

Shipping software integrates with popular eCommerce platforms to provide real-time shipping calculations for products, as well as enable you to purchase and print shipping labels right from your computer. Here are a few reasons why manufacturers should consider shipping solution:

  • Shipping solutions integrate with popular carriers to provide up-to-date shipping calculations. As your orders are imported into your shipping software, the shipping rates will be automatically calculated based on product weight and dimensions specifications, and the customer’s addresses. You’ll be offered various shipping options, from different carriers, at different priorities.
  • Most popular shipping solutions have partnerships with large carriers to offer discount shipping rates as high as 70% off the regular rates.
  • No need to go to the post office. Shipping solutions enable you to buy and print shipping labels directly from your computer.

Even though adopting and implementing software can be intimidating, it is a foolproof way to maximize efficiency, reduce human error, and therefore increase profitability. Manufacturers looking to make use of technology to grow their business will be able to scale faster and stay ahead of their competitors.

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