Production Scheduling

The Manufacturing Tool ERP Consultants Need to Close Their Sale

Published March 14th, 2024

In the manufacturing industry, the success of an ERP implementation depends on the strength of its production scheduler. JobPack can fill in with a more robust tool.

In the world of B2B software, Enterprise Resource Planners (ERPs) are some of the most sought-after products. Organizations of all sizes and industries rely on them to track everything from finance to supply chain to human resources. The vision most ERPs sell is one of complete integration: with their system in place, businesses will have total oversight over every aspect of their operations.

The vision is a compelling one—so much so that ERP consultants have to be careful managing expectations. Businesses want this kind of all-encompassing solution, and they rely on their consultants to make it a reality. But what happens if the ERP that is the best fit for so many of the client’s needs falls short in one specific category?

This is the challenge for many ERP consultants working in the manufacturing space. They may know their preferred ERP inside and out, and are confident that as a CRM, as an inventory management tool, and as a sales and marketing resource, it will help their client move closer to their goals.

But it consistently falls short on the production planning side—and in falling short, it underdelivers in related areas such as project costing, project management, and production tracking. To get around this soft spot in their sales pitch, ERP consultants need a product that can bridge the gap. Specifically, they need an MES.

Manufacturers have requirements that can’t be met by generic schedulers.

While ERPs provide broad operational oversight, an MES (Manufacturing Execution System) provides the nitty gritty details. An ERP is interested in long-term trends and forecasting. An MES offers real-time feedback on actual shop floor operations. An ERP will focus on broad staffing needs. An MES will allocate specific employees to specific pieces of equipment. An ERP will provide insight into the lifecycle of shop equipment and help budget for a replacement or an upgrade. An MES shows which specific machines are running at this very minute and whether they’re on schedule to complete a project.

Many ERPs provide an MES module, but as one feature among many, it is often shuffled to the bottom of the priority stack. Meanwhile, manufacturers are in dire need of a scheduling tool that will improve their shop efficiency. If the MES module in their ERP isn’t providing real-time machine monitoring, fine-tuning their production plan, or supplying an accurate forecast for each machine’s availability, it’s leaving the manufacturer in a vulnerable market position.

The truth is, many ERPs fall short of the robust controls offered by a purpose-built MES. The good news is that solving this problem gives ERP consultants an opportunity to demonstrate their value.

Gaining familiarity with a niche solution bolsters credibility with manufacturers.

If implementing an incomplete solution is a black mark on your reputation as a consultant, then proactively presenting your clients with a product that meets their needs is proof of your expertise. MESs and ERPs are complementary products. An MES isn’t going to handle your client’s ERP needs, so why should we expect that an ERP can take the place of an MES?

If you’re in the business of consulting on ERPs, you probably have expertise in other B2B software as well. Your mission is to improve your client’s overall organizational efficiency. And if one product only gets your client partway to the solution they need, your job is to find the right tool that will bridge the gap.

For manufacturers, being able to speak toward their hesitations goes a long way toward establishing trust. Many of these businesses have tried other solutions that similarly fell short. A product purpose built for manufacturers can grab their attention and demonstrate that you’re serious about serving their industry.

Implementing an MES offers an immediate boost in efficiency.

There’s another major advantage to introducing an MES to your client: you don’t have to wait for the ERP implementation to finish to get started. The very size and far-reaching nature of an ERP means that fully integrating a system can take months—if not years—to complete. For a manufacturer with an acute need to see their business processes improve, the wait can be excruciating. An MES softens the blow. Instead of years, it can be working in weeks—and proving its value in as much time.

It’s hard to overstate how much value this can have to your client relationships. Having to wait months to see any kind of ROI creates strain even when the client fully believes your product will work. On the other hand, kicking the project off with the rapid implementation of an MES gives you an early success to sustain you while the rest of the ERP gets put into place. Moreover, during this time the MES can be gathering data that can then be fed into the ERP. When you are ready for the ERP to launch, your client won’t be starting from scratch.

JobPack can work in partnership with your team to ensure client satisfaction.

As a premium MES, our team at JobPack has worked with numerous ERP consultants to help them close sales. We’re effective because our product works: in demos of our capabilities, our clients are frequently amazed by the breadth of our feature set and the precision of our production controls. From paperless manufacturing to machine monitoring to data analytics, we can help you bring your clients to the next stage of manufacturing productivity.

If you’re interested in learning more about our platform and how we can partner with you to close sales—including our referral program—contact us today.

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