Flexible enterprise solution in demand

Flexible enterprise solution in demand

When technological advances are integrated in a meaningful way and the ERP becomes more and more an Industry 4.0 solution, it can even create completely new potentials.

Even in times of digitalization and artificial
intelligence, ERP systems remain of central importance. Especially when
technological advances are integrated in a meaningful way and the ERP becomes
more and more an Industry 4.0 solution, it can even create completely new
potentials. This makes it all the more important to learn about the current
possibilities of these software solutions. The linchpin in these times is the
degree of flexibility of a business solution. With the right enterprise solution, you are always
flexible to adapt well to times like these at any time.

 

Transformation from ERP to Industry
4.0 solution

The
goal of an ERP system is to map the company logic and use it to collect and
process company-relevant information. In this way, management can be provided
with a good basis for alternatives and optimal decisions and, in addition, the
collected data can be used for optimal production control and planning.
Opportunities for AI technologies that lead to many optimizations here
currently lie primarily in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) or, more precisely,
the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). ERP systems support decision-making
and process optimization by processing data.

 

The
amount of data that could be available to a company through Big Data can be
intelligently processed with AI. ERP systems are therefore an important
component here. The enterprise solution then uses the results for optimal
business management. AI technologies are becoming increasingly important
because, for example, they use intelligent functionalities to determine current
production sequences or enable proactive planning. In this way, a higher degree
of automation and optimization can also be achieved through useful tools.
However, the collection, analysis and processing of data naturally also leads
to an enormous flood of data, for which sufficient capacities must be created.

 

Current
development focuses are, for example, in the area of machine learning, neural
networks and artificial intelligence. As a basis for the future use of
algorithms – i.e. AI – special databases are being developed for ERP systems
that allow extremely fast processes through in-memory computing. This makes it
possible, for example, to implement predictive maintenance of plants: Past
values are used to determine the current condition of the machine. Algorithms
determine the next maintenance date so that unscheduled downtimes can be
avoided.

 

Functional scope and flexibility
decisive

Especially
with the multitude of possible tools, it is becoming more and more important to
know exactly where your own company currently stands and what it currently
needs. And of course, in the dynamic and unpredictable times we find ourselves
in, this can change at any time. This makes a high degree of flexibility
extremely important. Markets and requirements are constantly changing. Agility
and flexibility are required here. The chosen enterprise solution must
therefore be able to be optimally adapted to one’s own needs and at the same
time be able to flexibly evolve at any time. Business solutions that offer an
equally broad and deep range of functions, so that individual requirements can
be optimally mapped, are advantageous here. In the best case, this also
eliminates the need for external interfaces that can lead to information
breaks. Good usability for user acceptance also plays a major role. And last
but not least, the solution should be technologically up-to-date. This is
essential for developments around Industry 4.0.

 

Since
medium-sized companies in particular have many individual processes that should
be mapped in the ERP system, the optimal enterprise solution should always
provide the option of being able to adapt the system dynamically and flexibly
to their own processes. A wide range of standard modules allows users to
customize processes individually without having to develop everything again at
the next release upgrade. This works with different software layers. There is a
standard layer in which the developments are made. In another layer, users can
carry out their own programming. Then the functions from the standard layer are
copied here and released for the changes.

 

Flexible
ERP systems can be used across all industries. Customers benefit here from
providers with a wide range of industry experience. This is because some
processes and work steps are similar, for example when steel coils are rolled
up in the steel industry or fabric webs in the textile industry. Traceability
and quality characteristics must also be guaranteed in almost every industry.
In the case of industry solutions, a high degree of customer orientation in
particular can lead to good solutions. ERP providers that offer
customer-oriented functions usually work regularly on further developing the
appropriate solutions. In the best case, this further development of
functionalities takes place through good contact with the customer, seeing how
an ERP system is used and adapted there. In this way, functions can be
identified which, for example, can be adopted in certain industry solutions or
generally in the standard. Open interfaces can also ensure that customers can
quickly switch to newly developed functions.

 

The openness and
flexibility of today’s systems thus provide a convenient way to achieve the
individualization that is just necessary. However, the demands are becoming
more and more complex. Above all, individually designable ERP programs are
attracting attention. Their flexibility does not hinder existing processes and
they can rather grow with increasing requirements and integrate new demands. In
addition, they make it possible to distinguish oneself from competitors through
greater individuality.

 

One step further with IIoT

With the multitude of
new developments, the question often arises as to how the enterprise system can
meaningfully work together with IIoT solutions. For manufacturing companies in
particular, IIoT devices are good ways to expand the flexibility of the
enterprise. These can make a variety of data measurable from machines and
systems on which they are integrated, and – properly evaluated – offer high
potential. This applies, for example, to the optimization of decision-making
and productivity.

 

Whereas in ERP data
tends to be bundled for decision-making purposes, the orientation of IIoT is
first more decentralized and autonomous, and the complexity of the overall
system is distributed among a large number of individual components. However,
IIoT is an important supplier of differentiated data for decision-making. The
communication of all machines and products with each other offers high
potential here and leads to a very high volume of data, which in turn opens up
completely new business models and great opportunities. In order for business
processes to benefit from this data and for new business models to be
established, the ERP software must be accessible from any location, at any
time, and from any end device. This enables the measurement of overall
equipment effectiveness (OEE) and supports live production monitoring and
detailed reporting. Another point is the IT infrastructure, which can process
the decentralized data in the form of business processes in real time in a
powerful way. At the same time, these IT infrastructures must be scalable as
needed to respond flexibly to performance peaks or growth.

 

The integration of IIoT
into production processes requires systematic implementation and integration:
Sensors on the machine, supplemented by standardized data communication and a
data platform for storing and evaluating the data, which is connected to a
user-specific ERP system, can be regarded as the essential elements here. In
this way, structures are created. Data can be recorded and is also made
accessible for further processing. Thus, in the first step, machine data is to
be captured and then made visualizable. In the second step, machine and system
states are determined and documented in order to then recognize unplanned
states in the third step, for example, which is partially supplemented by AI
and enables the predictive maintenance mentioned above, for example.

 

Measures
that initiate a development towards a smart factory and Industry 4.0 can lead
to an extension of the service life and/or higher energy efficiency, increase
the production volume as well as the product quality, serve to fulfill legal
requirements and ensure functionality. This high increase in benefits justifies
the initiation of measures towards an Industry 4.0 solution.

 

Introduction
of an Industry 4.0 solution

When
introducing a new Industry 4.0 solution with a comprehensive ERP system and
suitable IoT tools, you should allow sufficient time and always carry it out in
a highly structured manner. The system to be introduced should be intensively
studied in advance and extensive test scenarios should be carried out before
going live. A software introduction should always be seen as an opportunity to
put processes to the test and try out something new. This does not mean
adapting to the new software, but rather analyzing established processes
together with the introduction, restructuring them if necessary, and above all
optimizing one’s own processes. In this way, the path to Industry 4.0 can
become a real success story!

 

Article Courtesy: IAS India – Canias ERP Pvt Ltd

For more details, please visit – www.canias40.com

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