ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It’s a term that is used as a catch-all for a variety of different business tasks in manufacturing settings, including:
- Work orders
- MRP (Manufacturing Requirements Planning)
- Stock Control
- Shop floor data capture
Most ERP software has the ability to do all of the above, but not every company chooses to use their ERP to handle all of the listed tasks. For example, EVS Metal has used MIE Solutions’ MIE Trak Pro software for more than two decades, and it has provided our precision sheet metal fabrication and manufacturing business with an excellent “all-in-one” ERP solution. MIE Trak Pro has grown with us over the last two decades and through our expansion to four locations across the U.S.
What are the features of a good ERP for metal fabricators?
A typical “out of the box” ERP solution should include at least a core set of standard financial management and accounting tools, operational management functionality, sales-related features and HR/payroll modules. Some systems cover a broader range of needs as well, including business intelligence, document management or EDI integration.
What type of information can an ERP system provide?
A good ERP software solution helps manufacturers and fabricators like EVS Metal answer questions empirically by making sense of the reams of data constantly generated by an enterprise-level company. In fact, we think MIE Trak Pro illustrates this best on their own website, so we took the liberty of repeating some of the common questions they listed, here:
- “Am I quoting too low?”
- “Should I run overtime?”
- “What’s my cash-flow like?”
- “Am I on schedule?”
- “Do I need to purchase now or later?
- “Are we making a profit?”
- “Where is my inventory?”
Just looking at raw ERP data output can be more than overwhelming, and organizing it can require an entire staff without ERP software. ERP software like MIE Trak Pro can take a once-daunting task and generate incredibly useful data sets that can mean the difference between profit and loss, or growth and stagnancy.
But are ERP solutions easy to implement?
One of the reasons EVS Metal employees appreciate MIE Solutions’ ERP software is its ease of use. Much of it is drag and drop, and the User Interface (UI) is robust but uncluttered, utilizing well-designed, intuitive dashboards to give our employees insight into multiple business areas at once, from scheduling to deliveries to machine capacity. There is no wild learning curve to throw a wrench into the works.
Why are ERP systems valuable in metal fabrication?
When used intelligently, ERP software can streamline the entire manufacturing business process from RFQ through product delivery. It also can offer a window into any area of the company via the collection, storage and transmission of data — from inventory levels to timesheets. This means less manual inputting and tracking, leaving more time for business development and customer engagement.
How does EVS Metal utilize ERP software to…
…handle accounting tasks?
EVS uses MIE Solutions’ MIE Trak Pro, which is equipped with a range of functionality right out of the box. Our accounting team takes advantage of many of these features, from human resources modules to financial statement generation. Quality ERPs like MIE Trak Pro will also allow easy integrations to streamline other accounting areas such as payroll activity. Our ERP not only gives us greater bottom-line visibility, but also speeds up the closing of financial periods because so much of the system is automated.
…ensure quality outcomes and continuous improvement?
ERPs should offer features that help QA/QC departments stay ahead of the game by minimizing failures in the first place. EVS Metal’s quality department can identify and address concerns at each step in the metal fabrication and finishing process, and our ERP software generates helpful reports that identify areas that need improvement. It can tell us not only which products failed, but why and when.
…expedite the quote/RFQ process?
Anyone in manufacturing knows that quotes/RFQs are both the best and worst part of the business cycle. While we actively seek out custom metal fabrication customers and projects, generating the paperwork to create an accurate proposal can take hours of time that could be better spent elsewhere. ERPs help make the process much more efficient than issuing manual quotes. MIE Trak Pro allows us to quickly and easily create everything from sales and work orders to invoices with a single step. It also provides detailed pricing breakdowns for both individual parts and larger projects.
EVS Metal is a large metal fabrication and manufacturing company with four locations across the U.S. Knowing we can track our inventory all in one place is essential to the smooth operation of our business, but most importantly, to the health of our bottom line. Our ERP allows us to collect valuable data from the accuracy of our inventory quantities to our suppliers’ delivery performance from any facility in the nation.
So…are ERP solutions worth the investment?
We can’t speak for everyone, but for those of us at EVS Metal, the answer is a resounding “YES!” In fact, our VP and Co-Founder, Joe Amico, probably says it best:
“MIE Trak Pro is extremely powerful and versatile, capable of handling the entire production process from start to finish. It enables us to manage the large amounts of data generated from our products into usable, understandable, and actionable reports.”
Regardless of the solution chosen, we believe that all enterprise-level manufacturers will benefit from the integration of a quality ERP system.
EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. We utilize the latest technology to cut, bend and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for integration or assembly into more complex products. Our four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from welding robots and laser cutting solutions to automated powder coating lines. We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online, or call (973) 839-4432 to speak with a specialist today.