How ERP can Promote Growth for Manufacturing SMEs


Many SMEs experience growing pains as they attempt to make the transition from a small to medium-sized business. Our team at K3 Syspro spends much of its time talking to manufacturers about the challenges they face in scaling up their operations and explaining how building digital resilience is a key part of any growth story. A comprehensive ERP system is able to equip business leaders with a set of solutions to tackle the challenges ahead and business growth.

Growing Pains – Use the Right System

The journey of scaling from a £5m to £10m turnover business is notoriously the hardest one to negotiate. According to the latest ONS figures, the UK five-year survival rate for businesses born in 2012 stands at just 43.2%.

Without the right systems and processes in place to smooth the transition, many businesses hit the buffers. Growth is the ultimate test of resource management, and digitalization can prove critical in building capacity, driving efficiencies and improving productivity.

For a long time, the UK has struggled to bridge the productivity gap, and this has prevented many businesses from fulfilling their potential. Indeed, reports suggest that the productivity growth of British workers slumped to a two-year low in the third quarter of 2018 and, on average, UK employees produce 30% less per hour than those in France, Germany and the US.

The solution lies in digitalization. The government’s “Made Smarter Review” stated that adopting digital technology could increase productivity by more than 25% by 2025 and ERP has a pivotal role to play.

Embrace the Digital Age and Digitalization

How can a manufacturer scale up if it doesn’t have full visibility of its operations? Many of the businesses we meet are hampered by outdated systems which duplicate tasks, can’t be synchronized and make for an inefficient and ineffective workplace. All too often, that lack of integration puts the brakes on business growth.

A centralized integrated ERP system breaks down barriers, allowing decision-makers to access, analyze and act upon key business data. Only then can they identify their pain points, decide how best to build on their strengths and ensure the business is in the best possible shape to enter the next stage of growth.

Be Digitally Integrated – Powering Up

Manufacturers will only get the best out of their business if it is digitally integrated. Every member of staff needs access to a comprehensive toolkit of capabilities which provides them with all the information they need at the touch of a button.

The earlier in the growth journey an ERP system is implemented, the better equipped the business will be to flex its systems and scale up. The system must be robust and agile enough to adapt to whatever lies ahead and respond to the changing customer needs.

An effective ERP system revolutionizes the way people work and SYSPRO’s suite of solutions equips them with the superpowers required for strategic decision-making.

ERP Intelligence – Visibility Throughout the Supply Chain

Our customers benefit from full visibility into every nook and cranny of their operation and the transparency provided by a centralized ERP system allows manufacturers to identify areas for improvement before cranking up production.

That intelligence and foresight allows businesses to improve their customer offer. As the business grows and orders increase, it is important staff have access to real-time data to improve efficiency, minimize lead times and keep customers informed.

Similarly, with more materials entering the operation, keeping track of what is where can prove a major challenge. With SYSPRO, users can guarantee traceability of products, alterations and transactions.

Suddenly, users can reap the benefits of knowledge-sharing and joined-up working, ensuring that as the business moves forward, everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

Business leaders can pinpoint areas where they can drive greater efficiency and tangible gains in productivity. The leadership team can focus on streamlining operations and freeing up staff to get on with higher value work. Faster processing capability means tasks are completed at greater speed and so manufacturers can grow without creaking at the seams and compromising the customer experience.

This all feeds into supporting profits and financial gain, offering the extra resources necessary to make further investment in people, plant, and processes.

If UK SME manufacturers are to make it through to the other side of Brexit, they need to invest in the tools that can assist with growth now, so that they are stronger in the future. SYSPRO ERP can adapt and grow as the business does, making for a robust UK manufacturing sector.

Learn more about how to boost your digital resilience and help your business reach its next milestone.

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