As COVID-19 spreads and panic-being causes shortages of certain goods, many manufacturers are focused on increasing automation. However, while automation has great potential to help keep our shelves stocked with cleaning wipes, toilet paper and face masks, a shift in process will only be possible for companies with the supplies they need to keep producing.
We have seen great shifts in manufacturing during this pandemic – from ramping up the production of hand sanitizer to the conversion of automotive plants into ventilator factories. Manufacturers are under pressure to pivot production quickly, with little resources. Production teams are being minimized to reduce exposure to the virus, increasing the need of more automation on the plant floor.
For products that already have a highly-automated production process, the biggest barrier keeping them out of the stores is the supply chain.
Manufacturers will face different challenges in the short-term and the long-term. At first the challenge will be securing supplies from sources higher up on the supply chain. However, long-term, challenges will be linked more closely with the operation of their supplier’s suppliers. In order to mitigate these challenges, manufacturers must should start sourcing their components from multiple sources located in multiple locations.
This will likely spur a significant increase in the amount manufacturer’s spend on ERP software, especially those with inventory control and supply chain management modules, as the panic-buying that has occurred since the beginning of COVID-19 has exposed major weaknesses in the global supply chain.
The right ERP solution can drastically help manufacturers adapt to changes in the supply chain. There are typically two supply chains that manufactures must consider. The first is the physical supply chain (actual products), and the second is the digital supply chain (information). Using the right ERP system will empower manufacturers to blend their production, distribution, and acquisition processes to allow them flexibility in their operations.
Automation can be a game-changer, especially in these trying times, but it will not make much difference for a manufacture without a reliable flow of materials.
ERP Advisers is here to help you find and implement the right ERP solution for your business. Contact us to set up a consultation.