How to Build a Manufacturing ERP?

Manufacturing ERP
Faiza Khalid
CIS engineer | Developer | Tech Writer

Are you interested in developing a manufacturing ERP?

Today, manufacturing enterprises realize that the efficient management of business processes to meet the current market demands and operational complexities is impossible via traditional systems.

The global manufacturing ERP market is expected to reach $8.2254 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.0% from 2021 to 2027, as reported by Market Research.

A scalable, secure, and comprehensive manufacturing ERP will help you achieve all this.

Developing a Manufacturing ERP Solution

If you think that the available ERP solutions, even ones designed for manufacturing businesses, will not meet your core business processes, you are right. 

A ready-to-use ERP system with extensive customizations may not work seamlessly with your critical manufacturing operations.

You can develop a custom manufacturing ERP solution that fits well with your business goals. It will be complex work but with the right team, you can get it just right.

You can build a manufacturing ERP solution by going through the following steps:

Decide ERP System Requirements and Product Scope

You will start by deciding the goals you want to achieve with your ERP software systems. You may want to automate certain tasks, incorporate better reporting capabilities, improve data analytics, etc.

A manufacturing ERP has the following main features in regard to manufacturing operations management:

Job Scheduling: Advanced scheduling of resources, including machinery and labor, is the main requirement for streamlining a manufacturing process. You will require a job scheduler in your ERP software for the effective scheduling of operations and workload.

Supply chain management: This module provides visibility into the lifecycle of products from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of finished products.

Inventory Control: This functionality helps in the effective tracking of materials, taking proactive measures to keep up with consumer demands, in addition to managing inventory tasks like scanning, picking up and packing, etc.

Predictive Forecast: This feature will help with multiple scenarios such as the timely placement of orders for production material, maintenance of machinery, etc., keeping in mind that machinery maintenance is of the utmost importance given the huge workload and pressure they operate in. Predictive maintenance plays a huge role in steering clear of unprecedented downtimes, etc.

Quotations: This will help accelerate the estimating and quotation process through features like automatic approvals of bills of materials. It also speeds up material requirement planning by providing an accurate record of the available stock, material required for upcoming production and order processing, etc.

Data Analytics: Business intelligence and analytics tools help you understand your current business trends effectively. You will be able to understand functions adding value to your business. Moreover, you get the data to devise better future strategies for underperforming areas.

Project Management: This is a crucial module as it will help your team managers and members to organize their tasks well. They can assign roles, view the current job status, estimate job duration, etc. Effective project management helps in the efficient utilization of resources for each business task.

QR Code: This feature in your manufacturing ERP will help your team easily generate barcodes and QR codes. These codes are added to the system and help in product labeling and tracking.

Access Control: A secure access control system is important to enable role-based access to your manufacturing ERP. This will help you limit the access of personnel to your critical business operations and data, like finances, logistics, etc.

GPS Tracking: A GPS tracking system will help you track the location and availability of your shipment vehicles to enable a smooth delivery process. This is necessary if your manufacturing business goes beyond just production to include supply and delivery.

These are a few of the many ERP functionalities that you can add to your software. 

After finalizing your ERP project goals and aligning them with your business goals, you need to prepare a system requirement specification document.

This project plan will help your development team to design and develop the enterprise resource planning software according to your requirements.

Form a Competent Team

The next step is to form a team of professionals to undertake the project of building an ERP solution. 

You will require the following roles:

  • A project manager who will help you design development plans, assign and manage tasks to designers and developers, estimate the project’s duration and deliverables, etc.
  • A business analyst who will help align your project features with business development goals. Your business analyst will gather market trends and incorporate them into the software product.
  • UI/UX designer and frontend developer who will help design an intuitive user interface.
  • Backend developers who will develop the core ERP features, database integrations, APIs, etc. They will also perform and manage ERP deployment.
  • QA engineers who will help you test your ERP product.

If you already have a competent team of in-house software developers, you can proceed with manufacturing ERP software. However, if this is a one-time development project for your business, you will likely need to look for competent developers to hire.

You might think of hiring freelance developers and designers from freelancing platforms. However, we would not recommend that given the numerous cons to this option.

Freelance marketplaces just connect you with freelancers. They do not have a proper screening process to verify the qualifications and credentials of freelancers. 

Moreover, they do not assist the hiring party in the vetting and selection process.

You will have to go through the tremendous process of screening a huge number of proposals from freelance developers on your own, and in the case of any misjudgment, you are left on your own to deal with the mess.

Team Management is another important aspect to consider when working with remote teams. 

Freelancers are dispersed across different time zones, and you will find it hard to manage close collaboration between developers.

We would recommend that you hire software developers or dev teams from experienced software development companies. They have experience in developing and deploying market-competitive software products. 

You can search for software development agencies on sites like Clutch and GoodFirms that are experts in ERP development. You can then go to their websites, and look for their past clients, projects, and teams working on them. 

Software development companies, like DevTeam.Space, have a proper vetting process in place. Our software developers go through an elaborate screening process, including interviews, coding assignments, etc.

DevTeam.Space follows an AI-powered agile project management process that enables close collaboration between developers, managers, and product owners.

Also, you sign agreements and NDA with such credible software development companies that give security and control over your intellectual property. 

Select the ERP Software Infrastructure

Now, that you have your ERP development team on board, the next step is to provide them with the development infrastructure.

Today, businesses, from large enterprises to small businesses, rely heavily on cloud computing. Cloud-based development resources will free you from all the heavy work of installing and maintaining computing and development resources.

You can choose any of the leading cloud service providers. They will provide you with resources like servers, database systems, application development platforms, etc., and your development team can start right off.

I have discussed cloud development in detail in this article.

A few of the prominent cloud computing platforms are Amazon AWS, Microsft Azure, IMB Cloud Computing, etc.

Read our article here for a comparison of the top cloud service providers.

Design your Manufacturing ERP Solution

Your UI/UX designers will start with the design of your ERP application. 

This will include deciding the placement of front-end elements, user experience, selecting design themes, etc.

Your designers will create wireframes and prototypes of the application’s front end using tools like Adobe XD, InVision, etc. 

Your front-end developers will implement these design prototypes using front-end development technologies, including programming languages like CSS and JavaScript, and frameworks such as BootStrap, Vue.js, etc.

Develop the Manufacturing ERP System

Your backend developers will start coding the core features of your ERP. They will use development tools to make the process efficient.

Backend Development

Programming languages like Java, PHP, and C# are usually used by software developers to build robust enterprise-level applications.

Your developers will use frameworks like Spring with Java, an object-oriented programming language. 

The development team can explore frameworks like Laravel for PHP and .Net to work with C# programming language and build scalable ERP applications.

Your development team can use frameworks like Lansa to build manufacturing ERP software applications. 

Lansa is an open-source framework that helps you swiftly get started with enterprise-level application development.

Being open-source, it will give your developers much better freedom to customize it according to your specific business requirements than proprietary ERP software like Oracle Cloud ERP, NetSuite, etc,

Lasagna ERP framework can accelerate the implementation of features for production planning, billing of material, production control, production reporting, financial asset management, etc.

Database Development

Your application developers should also be experienced in using database technologies like SQL, MongoDB, etc., to store, manipulate, and utilize business data efficiently.

API Development

APIs are an essential feature of software applications today. Your developers will create APIs to integrate ERP features into your existing system. 

Developers may also integrate features from third-party services. Your developers should be experts in using tools like Postman.

Advanced Development Technologies

You need to build your ERP product on the latest technologies. Advanced data analytics, process automation, and business intelligence capabilities are based on artificial intelligence, big data, and IoT.

Your developers should be knowledgeable of machine learning algorithms like supervised and unsupervised ML, deep learning, etc, and data science methods, including data processing, statistical techniques, etc., to expertly implement these functionalities through supporting tools and frameworks.

Tableau, Google TensorFlow, IBM Watson, Amazon Machine Learning, etc., are a few tools that your developers can use to accelerate the development of ML capabilities.

Test your Manufacturing ERP Systems

After application development, your QA team will test your ERP software solution rigorously to make sure it is free of errors and bugs.

Your QA engineers will run test routines like penetration tests, security tests, performance tests, etc. 

Your developers will also play role in ensuring code quality by running functional tests, including unit tests, integration tests, etc.

Train your Team 

A feature-rich ERP system is not likely to deliver and meet your productivity requirements if your team cannot use it effectively. 

Your teams should be given enough training to use all the features easily to enhance their productivity. 

You can prepare training material and guides with the help of your ERP developers. 

Managers should be able to utilize all the capabilities for better management and decision-making.

Our recent blog on ERP implementation will help you in getting started with ERP software in your organization.

Deploy your new Manufacturing ERP Software

Now, you can go live with your new ERP system. You can draw up a deployment plan where you deploy the high-priority modules first. You need to configure integrations with your manufacturing software and test that they perform as planned.

Your deployment plan will also include testing all features in the live environment, verifying data migration, etc.

DevOps practices are commonly used today to manage deployment in complex environments, automate routine deployment tasks, to keep up with end users’ requirements. 

Your team can use tools like Jenkins for continuous integration, Docker for containerization, Amazon EC2 for visualization, etc.

I have discussed some of the best DevOps tools available in our blog here.

Invest in Continuous Maintenance

Your ERP product will require continuous monitoring before you decide if it meets your project goals.

You can set KPIs to measure the business performance and see if more productivity and profitability have been achieved by implementing an ERP solution in your manufacturing enterprise.

You also need to decide on your long-term maintenance plan which can include planning and implementing technology updates, preparing IT staff to tackle future technical problems, etc. 

Ready to Build a Manufacturing ERP System?

We have shown you how to build a manufacturing ERP solution successfully. 

If you find that the existing off-the-shelf ERP solutions do not meet your business requirements, developing a custom ERP solution is a viable option.

The most important thing is to get your requirements right and partner with the component team of developers and ERP experts to build a comprehensive ERP solution.

Being a manufacturing company, you are likely already working in a challenging industry, you cannot afford to delay your operations through slow management software.

An efficient, robust, and secure ERP will help you integrate all your important business modules and provide a consolidated platform for your team to increase their productivity and insight into critical operations.

DevTeam.Space can help you develop such an ERP solution. We have a community of field-expert software developers experienced in hybrid software development using cutting-edge technologies.

You can easily partner with these vetted software developers by sending us your initial project specifications. 

One of our account managers will get in touch with you to discuss further details on how we can help you develop market-competitive manufacturing ERP software solutions.

FAQs on Manufacturing ERP

1. What is a manufacturing ERP solution?

Manufacturing enterprise resource planning software help manufacturing companies plan, manage, control, and deliver functionalities that support manufacturing processes.

2. What are MRP and ERP in the manufacturing industry?

MRP refers to material resource planning which helps manufacturing companies plan their inventory, stock capacity, etc. ERP systems offer a complete business management platform that helps manage core business functions, including inventory management, financial management, data management, shop floor control, human resources management, warehouse management, customer relationship management, production scheduling, etc.

3. Does ERP include manufacturing?

Enterprise resource planning includes sales, procurement, supply chain, human resources, finance, manufacturing management software, etc.

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