What’s next for ERP Software? 2019 Predictions

According to MarketWatch, the global ERP software market is forecast to grow to $47 billion by 2022, constituting a 7-percent compounded annual growth rate. The drivers behind this surge of adoption include three main trends: integration of artificial intelligence (AI), deployment in the cloud, and improved data security measures.

2019 ERP software predictions by Better Buys

We sought our own experts to predict what lay ahead for ERP software in 2019.

What they’ve predicted both compliment and diverge from formal research. Here’s what they had to say:

Automated integration will make manufacturing easier 

For 2019, we’re going to see an increase in machine integration with ERP systems. Machines are becoming more and more automated which means less machinists and more capacity. Manufacturing companies can do more with less.  Plus, you can’t find a machinist in the next generation. So, the process to automate machines is a natural progression for a company to survive in manufacturing.

This automation will mean that ERP systems will be able to talk directly to the machine – cutting out the machinist. This also means less shop floor data collection stations because the data that once had to be logged in by a person will now be collected right from the machine into your ERP software. Examples of this automation include having the integrated machine tell your ERP system if the parts are good or scrap or having the machine’s time automatically applied to the work order in your ERP system, so you can get accurate cost elements.

We expect to see more “lights out” environments, where our customers are still making parts while getting accurate information into the ERP system – without the need for people inputting that data.

Mike Melzer 2019 CMMS prediction blog post on Better Buys

Mike Melzer
VP Operations & Service
Global Shop Solutions

Outlook for the American manufacturer: Keep employees happy and find the cloud 

We’ve all read the industry reports of a booming US economy with every sector hitting on all cylinders. People have more work than they can handle. We have not seen this much positive activity in over three decades.

Unfortunately, the increased activity comes with its own challenges: finding the skilled labor to run the machines and having an ERP system in place to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

With unemployment at an all-time low, shops are offering bonus programs, finders fees etc. to recruit good machinists. The increased demand for labor has also increased payroll. The lesson: You need to take care of your own employees or they will leave for better opportunities. Yet, even with all of these incentives, shops are finding it tough to hire new employees.

The one thing in any shop’s control is having a good ERP system to manage its information between the front office and the shop floor. Having a good ERP system increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire operation. From quoting, entering orders, scheduling the shop floor, managing material, accurate job costing and complete financials, a good ERP system is critical for today’s manufacturer.

The newer ERP systems are also moving to the cloud. Shops no longer need expensive servers sitting in the closet. Shops can reduce expensive IT costs by moving everything to the cloud. Cloud ERP systems can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Complete freedom and flexibility to access your Cloud ERP system has changed the landscape of the software industry. Along these same lines, use of mobile devices continues to rise. As more businesses hire mobile employees, allow work from home, and even consider contract employees, it is important that ERP systems run well on mobile devices.

2019 ERP Predictions by Better Buys

Paul Ventura
VP Marketing
ShopTech Software

ERP in 2019 – A shift to the manufacturing floor 

Manufacturing ERP software systems have traditionally been accounting-based systems with a small amount of shop floor functionality thrown in help support the operational requirements of manufacturers.  Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) often do the heavy lifting as jobs leave the front office, helping to ensure efficient workflows, keep equipment at high levels of output, and schedules moving along.  The fact that there are a minimum of two major software systems helping to run the company can cause extra work, lost business intelligence, reduced efficiency and much more.

Manufacturing is becoming ever more competitive, with high stakes for execution of complex manufacturing systems with more automation, and fewer workers producing more output than ever before. IIOT and I4.0 is ushering in an era where the office and the shop floor need to be more connected than ever before. ERP companies will need to either partner with MES companies more closely, developing collaborations to allow the free flow of data from the shop into the office, or develop their own tools to help workers on the factory floor reach peak efficiency.

The days of paper job travelers are limited, and ERP systems will need to embrace a completely digital workflow, with specialized tools at every stage of the manufacturing process to ensure workers have the ability to access work instructions, perform inspection, manage ancillary systems like their tools, while feeding all of this data back upstream into the office.  A shift to a more holistic approach to managing essential company intellectual property, business intelligence, and operational knowledge is essential.  Reducing silos of information captured in disparate software systems must be a trend in 2019 and beyond.  The efficiency of our manufacturing sector relies on it.

2019 ERP Predictions by Better Buys

Paul Van Metre
Founder/VP Sales
ProShop

 

ERP Edge Solutions will trend in 2019

Because we support hundreds of small to medium-sized manufacturers and we’ve witnessed their operations and addressed their needs, I think it’s fair to say that manufacturers will invest more in ERP “edge solutions” to boost their productivity in 2019.

An edge solution is a specialized application that plugs into and extends a business’ core ERP system. Our customers are attracted to collaborative, cloud-based edge solutions because they offer tangible benefits. For example, edge solutions that streamline communications in the supply chain and others that promote real-time shop floor execution can empower manufacturers to do more without significantly adding to overhead.

We anticipate that as edge solutions become ever more affordable, we’ll see more and more manufacturers implement the technology in 2019.

Paul Tedford ExDir Synergy Resources in Better Buys 2019 ERP prediction blog

Paul Tedford
Executive Director, Sales & Marketing
Synergy Resources

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