ERP Systems – An Emerging Trend In Fabrication Services Domain

Having simplified solutions for all our needs is a constant endeavor by experts from all industry sectors. Metal fabricating industry is one such sector where innovations are constantly in process to make the processes more streamlined and quicker.

Efficiency in processes is a prerequisite even in the metal fabricating industry. They cater to personalized needs of several customers and it becomes a challenge.  Some customers need bulk of a standard product category while another might want a customized design with special added features and to make this possible there is need for a system which can assist quick turnaround times for processes to be completed.

One metal fabricator with so many demands is difficult to process. Electric devices, cutting tools, assembling devices and machinery to be monitored need to be channelized, need for producing different components of a product and customized assemblies for providing to customers from different sectors need proper process orientation. Several custom needs are needed to be handled by metal fabricators.

In order to attain complete customer satisfaction and smooth running of operations, metal fabricators are largely depending on high quality advanced enterprise resource planning systems that largely provide assistance to handle day to day and any uncommon processes without any deviation from standard procedures and norms and thereby ensuring perfection with timely delivery. There are several crucial functions that a good ERP system lends hand with. Here are listed few important functions that a sound ERP system provides assistance with the metal fabricators:

Cushioned with a supporting CAD software

Several made to tailor orders can be a time taking process and monitoring their progress with timely delivery can be even more complex. To make processes easy Paul Hemmings, vice president of professional services at abas USA, has studied the metal fabrication industry can reach heights with that a simple and seamless integration of an ERP system with computer-aided design software. The adaption of this can be a boon and an essential feature for custom needs of this industry.

He remarked that "Any ERP system has to provide the ability to integrate data from a CAD system with the rest of the process - production, scheduling, bills of materials and so on,"

Hence when it comes to custom tasks designs are easily made on the CAD systems. Even when the bulk production is in process any last minute detailing to be added or features to be edited can be done by making simple design changes on the CAD software. An ERP system is installed in such a way that it is in line with the CAD software and it can at any point during planning and execution support design change options in the CAD drawing. These systems are being installed to assist the complete production process. Not only does it serve easing the design process of custom designs indirectly it helps accurate estimation of costing for giving quotes as well as to procure the necessarily materials and assist in the scheduling of labor and capacity for production.

It is therefore evident that if Fabrication Services are not able to customize the needs of customers they would stay behind other competitors in the same field.

Customer tied through Web portals

Web portals are one such medium that provide instant access to customers and seamless transactions and communication between customers and vendors ensures long term ties and fruitful relationships between them. These portals are accessible for customers round the clock. User friendly web portals are used to instantly access information of vendors and can be used for quick placing of orders and discuss on customized needs for Fabrication services at Forgacs. The orders placed are directly done with the use of highly efficient ERP system.

Advanced planning capability

Time is money and without a proper scheduling taking place at any production unit deliverables may be delayed. A happy customer is one who gets their end products on or before time. With the help of the latest cutting edge hi-tech this becomes easy. Metal fabricators are now able to conduct planning of transactions, labor, scheduling of activities on day to day basis, sourcing of materials, subcontractors and other activities easily. The credit for this goes to the ERP systems that are designed to meet all these needs of vendors. Fabricator Services can make use of the best of features of most of the ERP systems. Today almost all the ERP systems come with these as basics to assist planning and execution of activities for channelized production of goods.

Making full use of time, labor and manpower and raw materials ensures higher efficiency rates.

Hemmings explains "Metal fabricators also need to manage inventory for many of their materials using dimensional units of measurement. They need to be able to switch between these dimensions and standard units of measurement as easily as possible,"

Inventory and Raw Material Control

One major component of any production industry is the raw materials used and staying in line with quality components. Different sectors place different types of orders for varying end use of products and hence having a proper track of flow of inventory and raw materials plays a crucial role. Tracking different kinds of needs for unique specifications and tolerances that metal fabricators need to follow for each customer can be puzzling. The scope for errors and deviation from tolerances is critical and can cost losing customers too. Here ERP comes to rescue and makes the process much simpler and easier to track.

Data Tracking and Historical Data Archiving

Files, books are now history. Customers’ data spec sheets documents relating to individual customer specifications, vendors, sales details, invoices, product or event. Referring old POs, customer details can sometimes be difficult. In such needs ERP is the perfect solution.

"These documents are crucial for accounting and compliance purposes, and they must be easily accessible for effective product management" Hemmings said.

In order to have sound data structure fabrication services keep their data tracking system intact on the ERP installed. This helps to beat competition and stay in on the top.

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