Department by department, identify areas that can be streamlined and automated into a new ERP system. 

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Many manufacturers are seeing an upturn in order books and sales. However, the effect might be straining your staff, IT legacy systems and bottom line. Maybe it’s a time-consuming workaround that frustrates production staff. Or it’s the vulnerability of relying on baby boomer IT managers who are eyeing up retirement.

Here are 3 key indicators of system strain in your business:

1. Are your staff perspiring?

Literally perspiring – sweating with effort or worry as they deal with the daily run-around. This may be hustling between spreadsheets or physically handling paperwork just to get processes running. Workarounds that worked to bridge a variety of data sources in the early days have evolved into bigger headaches. This non-value added work inevitably affects your bottom line.

2. Are you hiring – or at least increasing overtime?

Not keeping up with demands isn’t just a question of staff resources, it’s about how staff time is planned and spent. Tasks that aren’t integrated or automated consume unnecessary labour time. With increasing orders comes the bad habit of creeping into assumed overtime. Or mistakenly adding extra staff to calm the problem without fixing the cause.

Your existing ERP system may have been installed when the business looked very different. So your company moves on; the system may not. Tasks aren’t integrated or automated where they could be. New fully-integrated ERP systems can streamline activities throughout your manufacturing process.

3. Are your staff retiring?

Only 28% of small and medium-sized companies use ‘some formal succession planning’.

With the baby boomer generation now looking towards retirement, companies are vulnerable. Have you already got a key staff member working two days a week just to keep legacy IT systems going? Knowledge of your IT and engineering needs should be at the heart of your ERP system, rather than in the head of managers who are on the verge of retirement.

Act now to identify the risks with your legacy systems. Download the eGuide – 50 Shades of ERP – Growing Pains 

This post first appeared on the Redspire blog