“Modern” Manufacturing ERP Software

In a recent marketing blog from Acumatica that included access to a “free” video (insert eyeroll) the major takeaway was, “Having modern manufacturing ERP software wrapped up in a single system is quickly becoming a necessity for the manufacturing industry to compete in our technology-driven marketplace.” 

Finally! Someone came out with manufacturing software wrapped in a single system.

But wait…it’s also functional, flexible AND affordable!

Once the initial excitement passed, and I could read further, I found an extensive list of available modules including:  Bill of Material and Routing, Production Management, Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Product Configurator, Estimating, Advanced Planning and Scheduling, Order Management, Sales Order Management, Purchase Order Management, Inventory Management, Project Accounting and CRM. Granted, only five of those are specifically manufacturing modules, but that’s not the point.

For some historical (or perhaps hysterical) reference, I decided to look up the modules available in the market-leading solution that I was selling to manufacturing firms back in the 1980’s.

For a DOS-based system that ran on Novell networks, it had an impressive list of manufacturing modules:

Of course, not being a modern system weighed down by the overhead and speed-killing technology of a browser based system, it ran a lot faster and was much easier to install.

While the Acumatica marketing piece is nowhere as egregiously over the top as the recent NetSuite pronouncement that I wrote about in my blog Latest NetSuite Marketing BS, the problems here are more subtle, but just as likely to set inappropriate expectations in the sales cycle, and therefore lead to a challenged or failed implementation.

For a detailed explanation of how manufacturing is best positioned and implemented in the SMB space, please refer to my more detailed explanation in The 20/80 Rule for Manufacturing ERP Software Implementations.

Bottom line, manufacturing software is sold in the SMB market touting functionality that the customer does not have the time, the money, or most importantly the information to implement. In the Acumatica list above, of the five manufacturing modules touted by the publisher it would be a major accomplishment to implement two, maybe three successfully.

Importantly, that success depends on a knowledgeable partner or consultant who has the ability to push back on sales and marketing nonsense to set realistic expectations. With the mortgage due monthly, that can be brutally difficult.

Modern does not equal better if it does not fix the core problems that consistently plague ERP implementation projects.

Not thoroughly modern or Millie…out.

About the Author

Peter Joeckel - Author PhotoPeter Joeckel, with more than thirty years in the ERP business helping companies select and implement software solutions, is in a unique position to offer alternative solutions for “tried and failed” ERP software selection and implementation strategies. Whether you’re in the middle of a challenged implementation or just beginning to research available resources, contact Peter Joeckel and the TurnOnDynamics team today.

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