ERP Software, Helping to Build Fast Cars Faster
With the increasing adoption of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software throughout the automotive industry, companies at the forefront of engineering technology are turning to computer technology to take them to the next level.
There are few things more complex than manufacturing and distributing automobiles, which are always in high-demand and always subject to strict safety procedures. But, ERP software is created for the specific purpose of streamlining complex procedures, for providing data storage and easy access to that data, and to fulfill this function across multiple departments of an organization whether it be manufacturing, distribution or customer services. It can play a pivotal role in every stage of a motor vehicle’s journey, from the engineer’s blueprint to the new owner’s garage.
- Design and manufacture: ERP software can help keep track of components used in assembly, provide data for the assembly process, and enable faster and more efficient communication between the engineers and manufacturers.
- Distribution: Once motor vehicles have been built they have to be transported via a long and complex supply chain, from manufacturer to supplier, and from supplier to homes. ERP software dramatically reduces the waiting periods between each stage of the process by providing efficient data recording and monitoring for inventory and shipping.
- Accounting: ERP software helps every interested party keep better track of their income and expenses so they can better allocate their resources.
- Customer services: The most important part of the process is a, hopefully, satisfied customer. ERP software includes features dedicated specifically to the management of customer relations, and ensuring each participant in the relationship, whether manufacturer, dealer or customer, is in constant communication.
Microsoft Dynamics Provides Solutions for the Automotive Industry
Forging strong partnerships with powerful automobile brands such as Aston Martin and Nissan, Microsoft Dynamics provides an example of the increasing presence of ERP software in the automotive industry. Nissan used MS Dynamics services to improve their relationship with customers (nissan-global.com), while Aston Martin cited Microsoft Dynamics’ ability to optimize its engineering and manufacturing processes without compromising the uniqueness of their methods (microsoft.com).
The popular ERP software service has shown its influence in many other ways, such as:
- Helping cars go faster: MS Dynamics was famously used by the Lotus Formula 1 team to improve communication between its engineers and pit crews, to optimize its vehicles and to help the pit crews perform under pressure, as they make the required changes with increased precision and speed (blogs.forbes.com).
- Helping cars ship faster: Mercedes-Benz used Microsoft Dynamics in the distribution of luxury vehicles in Egypt. As a result, distribution processes that were once bogged down in paperwork were sped up significantly. Purchase orders that used to take two hours to resolve were reduced to ten minutes. Inventory reporting was reduced from six hours to ten minutes. The ultimate result was an 85 per cent increase in order fulfillment speed (microsoft.com).
- Providing unique solutions for the industry: Many automotive suppliers are reluctant to adopt ERP software services, considering them too broad for their target market and unable to deal with the specific needs of the motor industry. Integrating Crowe Automotive Suppliers Accelerator into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is an example of Dynamics incorporating services tailor-made to meet the challenges faced by automotive suppliers, not just those of manufacturers and distributors in general (corwehorwath.com).
Whether it’s in manufacturing or distribution, racing cars or passenger vehicles, Microsoft Dynamics illustrates how computer software can play a role in every area of the automotive industry.
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Written by Matthew Flax on behalf of Dynamics Careers, a niche job board that helps MS Dynamics developers find jobs throughout the world.