Integrating Shop Floor Logistics With Your ERP

integrationsGet Your Head In The Clouds 

Probably not what your parents told you to do, but today that would be good advice. It’s what we have done with CRIBWISE – developed an integration with Monitor’s ERP G5, a cloud-based choice that is ideal for manufacturers seeking integrated business intelligence. This achievement is part of ongoing efforts to further integrate IoT technologies throughout manufacturing facilities to achieve greater efficiencies. 

Why is the Cloud Important? 

ERPs have been in existence for a few decades now. First systems, from the 90s and early 2000s, required more robust hardware, including the need for things like server rooms, as well as taxing applications to run on those servers. Since users tend to want to customize their systems to meet specific needs, the proposition was daunting. Consultants, training, software licenses all added up, and when it came time to upgrade, oh boy. But ERP functionality remained highly sought after, so as with so many applications, they evolved. And that’s what a cloud-based solution offers. Internet connectivity, of course, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), running on a network of remote servers instead of an on-premise setup. Software updates are managed by the provider and costly equipment upgrades are mostly avoided and spread fewer and farther in between.  

Communication Is The Key 

With the Monitor G5 connection, we are opening up the communication between inventory management and the over-arching Enterprise Resource Planning system. We know that ERPs cover a multitude of important business functions including supply chain management, warehouse management, order management, inventory management, manufacturing, purchasing, finance, and ecommerce. We also know that a basic tenant of an ERP is the tying together of many business processes to enable the flow of data between them. So, introducing a system, or module if you will, within ERP functionality becomes more seamless and efficient when the communication between the two remains open. 

Taking The First Step: Purchase Orders 

With the CRIBWISE and Monitor G5 integration, we did just that. Our first task was to manage purchase orders. Why do it twice? Skip the manual effort. The magnitude of this becomes apparent not with a single transaction, but with the hundreds, or thousands, of items that are routinely ordered to keep the shop floor running. The integration works one way, by synchronizing purchase order data from CRIBWISE to the ERP . The data match / data change in CRIBWISE triggers the sync to Monitor. With that, many hours of manual input are eliminated as are any potential errors. As for the future, we are looking at forecasting to determine, for example, what is needed to produce an order – raw materials, machining capacity, tool assemblies, tooling, quantities, tool changes and so on. This predictive functionality will help ensure that both consumable and returnable items are on hand when needed for an even greater level of efficiency. 

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