ERP software for metal fabrication Industry

The metal manufacture industry is characterized by a high percentage of small to mid-sized fabrication companies that supply larger manufacturers in a wide array of industries, including automobiles, electronics and construction.

One of the most unique challenges metal manufacturers face is the need to accommodate different customer preferences in a way the components are delivered on time. For example, a custom manufacturer may need a metal fabrication supplier to take on a design-to-order project. This means the fabricator will need to have a flexible process that allows for accurate cost estimates and frequent changes to the design. Often happening right at the middle of production.

In other instances, that same manufacturer may be called upon to produce a high quantity of a standard part. Regardless, a metal fabricator must be able to handle a number of complex customer requests as efficiently and effectively as possible to stay ahead of the fierce competition that defines this industry.

To do this, metal manufacturers rely on robust enterprise resource planning systems that support and augment their sometimes unusual processes without causing delays or unnecessary mistakes. Here are a few of the most important functions that a good ERP software for metal fabrication companies will offer this tumultuous industry:

A simple and seamless integration of an ERP system like Yfos Cloud ERP is an essential feature for the metal fabrication industry. Any ERP software for metal fabrication companies has to provide the ability to integrate data from a CAD system with the rest of the process – production, scheduling, bill of materials and so on.

This is especially important for custom jobs. A customer may submit a design for a new part, but then need to change the design halfway through the production process. An ERP system that is in sync with the CAD software can instantly take the design changes seen in the CAD drawing and translate them across the entire system, making it easy to get accurate cost estimates for quotes, procure the necessary materials and schedule labor and capacity for production.

It’s important that the system is able to quickly and accurately get a hold of customer requirements, is able to create a design, develops an estimated cost, and delivers a quote that satisfies both the customer and manufacturer, which results in better margins for the producer.

Advanced planning capabilities
Metal fabricators have similar planning needs to other industries – labor, materials, scheduling, subcontractors and other facets to routine production. Most ERP software for metal fabrication companies have these processes as standard features, but metal fabricators also need their systems to accommodate some more specific functions.

Metal manufacturers also need to manage inventory for many of their materials using dimensional units of measurement. They need to be able to switch between these dimensions and standard units of measurement as quickly and effectively as possible. Precision being key in this industry.

For example, most manufacturers work with sheets and coils, which are measured in square feet or inches. That sheet will be machined into parts that are measured in standard units. To maximize the use of every sheet and eliminate waste, fabricators must be able to accurately and quickly convert between imperial and metric units for each specific part.

Material management/lot control
As with most industries, quality control is quickly changing from a «nice-to-have» into a «must-do.» Components and subassemblies manufactured by metal fabricators are used in such a wide range of industries; regulations and standards that govern each industry often call for traceability. The specs and tolerances that metal fabricators must meet are generally very strict, so being able to track lots throughout the entire supply chain is essential for quality control (QC) purposes.

Data archiving and document storage are included in ERP software for metal fabrication.
A document management system is a must for a complex industry like metal fabrication. An ERP software for metal fabrication companies should have one integrated to it, and it must be able to connect these documents to a specific customer, vendor, product or event (a receipt from a customer, shipment notice, etc.).

Additionally, the document archive should be available, with appropriate security access, to customers and vendors as well. This makes it easy for everyone in the supply chain to view key documents and the complete history of interactions between each stakeholder.

Competition in the metal fabrication industry is fierce, and with outsourcing, logistical and economic pressures mounting; metal fabricators need ways to get closer to their customers, improve operational efficiency and gain a competitive advantage. A robust ERP software like Yfos Cloud ERP  for metal fabrication companies can facilitate all of these improvements.

Request a demo of our Yfos cloud ERP today to learn more about what Yfos can do for you and your business.

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