Manufacturers not tapping ERP potential, says study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 19, 2013


For several years now, ERP has helped business reduce cost and improve profitability. But not many manufacturers proactively use it to improve customer experience, shows a survey conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights. The report titled “Get customers inspired: How modern ERP can support greater customer experience,” shows how important a customer-oriented strategy is for successful manufacturers. The report also uncovered how both new firms and large organizations are utilizing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to improve their customer experience.

IDC Manufacturing Insights surveyed over 460 enterprises across multiple sectors including industrial machinery and equipment, high-tech and metal fabrication, covering 13 countries worldwide.“The research revealed that many manufacturers have an immature understanding of how a customer-oriented strategy can be implemented within an organization. We advise manufacturers with less than inspiring customer service to take a good look at how their systems and processes can be improved to better support a customer-oriented strategy,” said Pierfrancesco Manenti, head of IDC Manufacturing Insights research practice in Europe, Middle East & Africa.

It is necessary for companies to deliver the right quality, quantity, location, and due date and the range of aftermarket services supporting the initial product. This will in turn provide an enhanced customer experience, paving the way for customer loyalty. The research also uncovered that manufacturers can improve the customer experience by investing in a modern, fully integrated, flexible and easy to use ERP system that streamlines operational processes and connects back office with front office by offering integrated CRM, warranty and aftermarket functionality.According to John Hiraoka, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Epicor, it was always established that ERP software helps organizations reduce cost and improve profitablity. However, the survey sucessfully proved that that ERP is one of the top business initiatives for manufacturers worldwide.

The key Statistics revealed in the report stated that better integration is an enabler of an improved customer experience in larger companies where there is a higher instance of single ERP systems. In particular, nearly 75% of large manufacturers with 5,000 employees or more indicated that their ERP is a vital platform for delivering a good customer experience as it connects the back and front office operations. However, only 9% of leading companies have fully recognize the importance of creating a customer-oriented culture and process work-flows to generate superior customer experience.