Manufacturers’ needs now go beyond what traditional enterprise resource planning has to offer. Paul Hughson, General Manager, reveals the differences delivered by a new generation of ERP/MRP software as manufacturing systems specialists Sanderson launches its new Unity system…

Look at your smartphone. It’s the personalised ‘smart view’ of your life. Everything you need to know is there, with real-time alerts and the ability to action your tasks instantly. So let’s replicate that experience for you at work and have it transform your productivity.

At Sanderson we call this SmartRole: a role-based productivity console to control everything you manage, which is fully mobile to work on whatever device you’re on. Vital concepts like this underpin our new Unity ERP software, supporting a revolution that enables today’s manufacturers to outperform the generations before.

Now consider the huge daily challenge of scheduling capacity in your factory. Traditional ERP systems offer you the standard methods of Rough Cut Planning and Capacity Requirements Planning. Yet for most manufacturers, the real-world execution is still cumbersome: either done via spreadsheets or communicated to the shop floor with paperwork. So in Unity’s SmartPlanning, we unify the best features of ERP’s standard methods within a single hybrid modelling tool. And this links directly to shop floor touchscreens, giving you instant communication to/from work stations. The result is informed, agile planning with the ‘click to execute’ control you need.

Unfortunately, scheduling is just one example of the priority-based and parameter-based decision making that traditional ERP struggles with. Others include configuring and pricing complex products accurately, or prioritisation tasks such as loading and delivery planning. Too often these are devolved to spreadsheets – which instantly disconnects your information and actions from the live situation. Error and delay become unavoidable.

A new approach is vital for today’s manufacturing managers, which this new generation of ERP software reflects. Take product configuration: a mistake here can ruin the profitability or deliverability of your product. So in Unity, we provide a logic-driven product configurator that ensures you can deliver what’s promised and protect your margins – even for your most complex products. And for effective, priority-driven decision making, there is the SmartPriority console: a graphical tool to rapidly model your priorities then instantly execute them in a click.

Goodbye to head-scratching and spreadsheets. Say hello to your more productive and profitable future.

Read more on this new generation of ERP software at http://www.sanderson.com/unity