3D Printing ERP Software will Transform Manufacturing

3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has been causing a ton of waves throughout the world in manufacturing. Cutting-edge manufacturers will find 3D printing a compelling investment due to its ability to rapidly adapt to customization, as well as its high cost-efficiency.

Increasing technical sophistication necessitates the gathering of valuable business intelligence as well as the monitoring and controlling of processes. Building a successful infrastructure for 3D printing manufacturers will require powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

What Is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the process by which companies manage and integrate the key elements of their business. ERP includes enterprise performance management, software that helps an organization manage its finances by planning, budgeting, predicting, and reporting. Business process management systems tie together multiple processes and enable the flow of data between them. ERP systems eliminate information duplication by bringing together an organization’s shared transactional data from a variety of sources into a single database. Many companies and industries use ERP systems today. ERP is as necessary to these companies as electricity keeps the lights on.

ERP applications aid companies in implementing resource planning by integrating all of the processes that companies need in order to run their businesses in one place. An ERP software system can also integrate planning, purchasing inventories, sales, marketing, finance, and human resources.

Understanding Enterprise Resource Planning

A large organization’s enterprise resource planning system is like the glue that binds together its various computer systems. With no ERP application, each department would have its own customized system. With ERP software, each department retains its own system, but all of them can be accessed with one application.

ERP applications also allow the different departments to communicate and share information more easily with the rest of the company. It collects information about the activity and state of different divisions, making this information available to other parts, where it can be used productively.

By linking information about production, finance, distribution, and human resources, ERP applications can help corporations become more self-aware. As ERP applications integrate different technologies used by different parts of a business, they can eliminate duplicate and incompatible technology costs. Customers’ databases, accounting systems, stock control systems, and order monitoring systems are often incorporated into one system.

Over the years, ERP models have evolved from traditional client-server software to cloud-based software that can be accessed remotely.

Benefits of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is used by businesses for a variety of reasons, such as expanding business, reducing costs, and improving operations. Benefits sought and realized by one company may differ from those realized by another; however, there are a few worth mentioning.

Integrating and automating business processes reduces redundancies, improves accuracy, and increases productivity. Efforts from departments with interconnected processes can now be synchronized to achieve better results.

The reporting of real-time data from a single source can be beneficial for some businesses. Companies need accurate and complete reporting in order to plan, budget, forecast, and communicate the state of operations to the organization and interested parties, such as shareholders.

ERP systems assist businesses in quickly accessing information for clients, vendors, and business partners, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, faster response times, and increased accuracy. The associated costs decrease as the company operates more efficiently.

As a result, employees can better see how each functional group contributes to the company’s vision and mission; a newly synergized workforce can improve productivity and employee satisfaction. Furthermore, employees are freed up from menial, manual tasks, which allows them to devote more time to meaningful tasks.

What Are the Benefits of an ERP?

Having a modern ERP system allows for free flow of communication throughout an organization, resulting in increased synergies between business lines, increased efficiencies as processes are streamlined, and information is readily available to those who require it; and reduced costs associated with outdated technology. The adoption of an ERP can be costly, but the return on investment (ROI) can be quickly realized. Clearly, the benefits realized (e.g., increased productivity and lower administrative costs) may far outweigh the costs of implementing an ERP.

What Should an ERP System Include?

The components of an ERP system depend on the needs of the organization. However, there are a few key features that every ERP system should have. An ERP system should be automated –to reduce errors –and flexible, so that it can be altered as the company grows or changes. Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular; therefore, ERP platforms should allow users to access them via mobile devices. Lastly, an ERP system should provide a means for analyzing and measuring productivity. The system can be integrated with other tools to improve a company’s capabilities.


The Future of Additive Manufacturing Will Be Shaped by ERPs


A deep understanding of the 3D printing market will require the use of abundant data mining and information. ERP systems will be necessary to acquire this data and offer companies the competitive advantages they need to lead the industry. 3D printing will require companies integrating ERPs to understand the total cost of resources including labor hours, materials, and even sales and marketing.

Integrated ERP systems, like Layers app ERP software, collect information and automate processes that can shed light on the definition of efficiency in the additive manufacturing industry. An enterprise-wide resource management platform is necessary to strategize business growth through decisions based on informed data, reducing the requirement for manual labor and increasing the need for unique materials and skilled engineers.

ERPs will enable better prototyping capabilities

At the start, 3D printing was especially useful for manufacturing prototypes or proofs-of-concept. A physical model of a new idea (or improvements to an existing idea) allows inventors and innovators to demonstrate concrete and tactile examples of their ideas. Engineers and designers can scale and adapt formulas for improvement by using ERPs’ powerful quoting, modeling, and quoting modules.

By encouraging businesses to experiment with various inputs and CAD models and compare the effects of variable changes to the final product, ERPs will enable more advanced prototypes. By linking advanced data management tools to cost and materials input, managers and analysts can easily spot trends and make smart decisions about prototypes.

How ERP and Additive manufacturing interact

Production planning, inventory tracking, and analysis are integral parts of ERP solutions that drive the manufacturing industry.

In the coming years, additive manufacturing and 3D printing will reshape how companies use their ERP systems. Embracing additive manufacturing in their supply chains and logistics operations will affect ERP systems and functionality in several ways.

Planning, creation, and procurement of material data

A manufacturing or distribution company typically has an ERP system in place to manage supplies, procurements, inventory, shipments, and other aspects of moving products and materials globally. Data analysis is another feature of ERP systems that continually improves operations by simplifying logistics and streamlining supply chains.

ERP solutions are able to track all aspects of additive manufacturing, from the procurement of raw materials to the management of inventory (printers and materials) to relationships with suppliers and license deals necessary for designers and manufacturers. As 3D printing becomes more popular across different types of supply chains and industries, ERP systems will likely evolve to incorporate specific modules for the creation of 3D printing materials and products.

Management of time and raw materials (Product Management and Conservation)

A key component of additive manufacturing is the integration of digital data. 3D printed objects are created from digital images or scanned drawings made to scale from digital images. Besides managing inventory and supplier relations required for additive manufacturing, ERP software is also very useful for managing costs and procuring materials. By analyzing the patterns and trends emerging in 3D printing operations, AI-enabled ERP systems can help maintain efficiencies throughout the additive manufacturing process. Utilizing advanced analytics, data visualization, and modeling, the system can make predictions for future materials needed (based on consumption and use) and identify any inefficiencies that need to be addressed in your processes. In addition to reducing raw material waste, it will also save time and energy in the supply chain.

Almost every kind of product and process will be affected by the 3D printing revolution, especially in terms of quality and cost. Specifically, additive manufacturers as well as conventional manufacturers interested in incorporating additive manufacturing can use ERP software to encourage the use of this innovative process.

Through the creation of the same digital workspace and automating the background processes of your entire operation, business management systems like CSI can assist your entire operation. By defining user roles and eliminating menial tasks, you can make your team more valuable by allowing them to focus on learning and understanding additive manufacturing. You can create a more open-minded shop floor culture when you empower your team to learn.