Close this search box.
Close this search box.

ERP Solutions Can Help Manufacturers ‘Integrate, Innovate and Accelerate’

The enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor and consultant landscape is large and fragmented, and startups continue to emerge, especially those focused on cloud, mobile and “business planning and consolidation” technologies.

In addition to ERP software vendors and consulting firms, there are also firms that focus on integrating ERP systems into the overall IT infrastructure, note Forrester’s vice president and principal analyst Liz Herbert and researcher Nate Fleming.

Manufacturers account for a significant portion of that business—70 percent, according to SAP integrators HP and ITC Infotech. The ERP space is also evolving to focus on capabilities such as “customer journey mapping,” which tells the story of the customer’s experience from initial contact through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship, as well as design-
thinking sessions and studio approaches to working, according to Forrester.

“We will see manufacturers look to ERP vendors to help them both be and stay competitive in today’s increasingly disruptive world.”

Manufacturers can improve process efficiency and variability by adjusting how the ERP works to determine which steps to keep and which to eliminate, notes Brian Dunn, a partner with A.T. Kearney’s strategic information technology practice. “This enables manufacturers to take ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions for a given area of their business, then overlay world-class practices, as well as the manufacturer’s own tweaks based on the specifics of that company, to irk out the last mile of efficiency,” Dunn says.

With ERP cloud solutions, manufacturers cannot do as much tweaking and customizing of the solution’s source code, but they still have access to leading practice and fairly robust configuration options, he says. Cloud solutions have also “radically accelerated” implementation timeframes and “pay-as-you-go” economics.

The prime objective of ERP has evolved from “standardizing, simplifying and automating” business processes, toward “integrating, innovating and accelerating” around business performance, Dunn says. “Increasingly, we will see manufacturers look to ERP vendors to help them both be and stay competitive in today’s increasingly disruptive world. Many ERP vendors aren’t frankly geared-up for this new world, and we should expect further consolidation in the market until those types of capabilities are more widely available.”

As cloud ERP solutions gain popularity because of the lower costs and flexible subscription models, it’s still unclear how cumbersome it might be for manufacturers to switch vendors, as the data is controlled by the vendor, says Arun Rangaraju, senior vice president and head of package solutions at Mindtree. With on-premise solutions, the software and data always stay with the customer even if the version is no longer supported by the vendor. A hybrid of on-premise and cloud ERP is likely to become more popular in the coming years.

“The demands on today’s established ERPs are related to building enterprise-class mobile apps, improving the end-user experience, providing high quality analytics and integrating with cloud products,” Rangaraju says. “This is where opportunities exist for startups to build niche solutions and accelerators.”


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.