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By Jill Smith, Director Ross-Product Line Leader, Aptean
In the last year, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) industry has been an exciting one. There have been plenty of advances, changes and opportunities for improvement. As it is only the beginning of 2016, there is no better time than the present to look ahead at what we should be preparing for in the ERP industry in 2016.
"Keeping mobility, user experience and supply chain capabilities in mind will keep ERP professionals at the forefront in 2016."
There are a number of existing and emerging trends in the industry that will affect ERP users, buyers and implementers this year. Below are my top three predictions for ERP in 2016.
In the digital age, relationships between machines and people are becoming more of a mandatory need. Smart machines (i.e. smartphones, tablets, etc.) are acquiring the capabilities to perform more and more daily activities at a fast pace. Users want the flexibility to work anywhere inside and outside of the factory and have more timely and accurate information for all aspects of the business at their fingertips. The best ERP solutions will become integrated into the daily work life of a user, putting real-time information on mobile smart machines for the back office and throughout the factory. Adapting to the fast-paced user environment is critical to being proactive and empowering all ERP users to make impactful business decisions.
A system’s ability to understand its users, the tasks they perform, and their system-related goals is crucial for optimizing human and computer interactions. Users need easy access to information and the capacity to personalize necessary information for them. Repetitive and recently used tasks should be immediately available for users, rather than having to drill through different screens to find the data they are looking for. Staff should be able to perform daily tasks easily and quickly within their system. Designing ERP solutions with an experience that empowers the user is an important shift toward the new year for ERP solutions.
Supply Chain Capabilities
Specifically for the food industry and with the Food and Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) coming into play, confirming the integrity and safety of your food is no longer just an issue of what happens inside the manufacturing walls. Implementing an ERP solution that seamlessly tracks the food downstream and upstream through the supply chain will ensure that manufacturers are able to rapidly respond to a recall in the unfortunate event of a safety issue. FSMA will warrant manufacturers to take a proactive stance and dedicate necessary time and resources toward compliance planning. ERP solutions that work with customers and your customers’ customers up and down the supply chain will help protect your reputation and your consumers.
With significant changes in the user’s personal adaptation of their ERP solution and the compliance standards on the rise, there won’t be much rest in the year ahead for ERP professionals. Instead rather, there will be a fresh crop of new opportunities to consider. Keeping mobility, user experience and supply chain capabilities in mind will keep ERP professionals at the forefront in 2016.