Tips and Tricks to Improve Purchasing Management

I have worked with a lot of companies that manage their purchasing in a variety of ways.  Perhaps they go out to the stockroom and see what looks like it is running low or keep a running total of inventory on paper or Excel sheets and purchase when things are below their minimums.  Maybe they study drawings and purchase all requirements all at once from the drawings or bill of material for that project, or they just keep Microsoft Word templates of the things they use the most and send them out regularly.  Some will utilize their accounting system.

So what happens when you use these methods?

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Managing Change Orders with ERP

When you have engineered, configured, or long lead items how do you deal with customer or engineering changes?  Are you pushing paper or using email to advise the different departments of these changes?  Are they getting to where they need to on time?  Are you making errors in your shipments or manufacturing the wrong way?  What is this costing you?  If you don’t have an ERP package that handles this appropriately it is likely that these changes are falling through the cracks.

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ERP Production Scheduling and the Holidays

How do you plan your production around the holidays?  By using an ERP’s production scheduling abilities you can avoid issues like the one I will tell you about here.

I know of a manufacturing firm which had a planned two week shutdown at Christmas this year.  The employees were advised a month before so they could budget and plan for the holidays.  They were even going to be paid three extra days as the company wanted to ensure they had funds and to retain the good workers.

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ERP and the Paperless business

In my years of working with companies looking for ERP products I have found that some embrace the idea of going paperless while others will not even consider it.  It is good that you can implement a good ERP and CRM package in a manner to be either paperless or not or a combination of the two.

Let’s look at the ways that you can put a paperless business methodology in place with the proper ERP and CRM package:

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5 Tips to Maximizing a Manufacturing ERP

In my years of working with manufacturers and doing ERP consulting, many customers avoided making the decision to purchase a manufacturing ERP even though they knew that their business desperately needed it.  Here are some reasons why people avoid purchasing, and my top tips for maximizing a manufacturing ERP system they do buy.

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ERP and Work In Process (WIP)

Do you know the value of your work in process (WIP) at any place in time?  Are you looking through paperwork or Excel spreadsheets and applying ‘guesstimates’ or formulas to establish your WIP?  Are you doing this monthly or just at year end as part of your inventory count?  Do you need to reduce your WIP but because you don’t know its value you struggle?  Is your WIP too high because you are purchasing all your materials or producing sub-assemblies long before you need them because you don’t have a method to easily manage the lead times and dates for requirements?  Do you have a proper manufacturing ERP to help?

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Put Preventive Maintenance in Your Production Schedule

I have seen too many examples of manufacturers that don’t make preventive maintenance for their production machinery a priority by planning ahead and placing it into their ERP’s production schedule.  One company I know has been fortunate to win contracts that require their facility to run 24/7 on continental shifts.  Because of this pressure to […]

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