We're considering switching from Excel spreadsheets to software for our sales forecasting, but we're unsure of what sort of system would work best for us. Which is better for manufacturing forecasting -- an ERP system or a supply chain management system? And are these sorts of automation projects worth the cost and effort for small manufacturers, or are they better for large companies?
I do not believe one can make any general recommendations on which type of software system has better forecasting capabilities. Start with your forecasting needs and then evaluate the modules offered by your existing ERP or supply chain vendors. Also keep in mind that forecasting software is often a candidate for a "best-of-breed" package and is usually fairly easy to interface with other business application systems.
As far as automation projects go, it's worth the cost and effort for any size company as long as the company has the money to spend and there is a good return on investment (ROI). Determining ROI means considering the tangible savings, initial implementation costs and on-going maintenance fees associated with the system.
MORE ON ERP PROJECTS
- Read a tip on securing management buy-in
- Learn the essentials of ERP project management
- Know the most common ERP project pitfalls
About the author:
Steven Phillips is an ERP professional with more than 27 years of implementation experience, and the author of the book Control Your ERP Destiny. His background includes senior management education, software selection, project management, application consulting, process redesign, systems design, testing, training and post-go-live support.
Steven has a degree in production and operations management, with advanced studies in industrial management. Previously certified by the American Production and Inventory Control Society, he has written articles appearing in APICS publications. He also runs the popular blog Street Smart ERP.
Dig deeper on Manufacturing ERP ROI and benefits
Related Q&A from Steven Phillips
In this expert response, find the pros and cons of using software from large ERP vendors.continue reading
In this expert response, find out how to separate best-of-breed software hype from reality.continue reading
In this expert response, learn the most important aspects of software application testing.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.