At RealSTEEL, we work with steel service centers every day and we have helped many businesses implement new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. We also talk to many in the industry who have not made the move to a modern ERP system yet. Here are the dangers of putting off this critical investment.
It’s Not Always about Money
The reluctance to upgrade software is usually more about the time it will take and the disruption it will cause. The cost of the system is a factor, but it is our experience that the disruption to the business is a larger concern. While it is true that it takes time to implement successfully and it does require organizational change, the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term inconveniences.
Consider the example of a steel service center that does not have an integrated ERP solution today. Making price quotes is literally a shot in the dark. They may make a best guess based on out of date inventory data. Or they may have to check the production schedule before they can provide a quote. RealSTEEL centrally connects all manufacturing system data and all aspects of the job, automatically calculating cost based on availability of materials and production scheduling. So, when you think about disruption, don’t forget to factor in the disruption caused by inaccuracies and time delays in your current processes.
The Past Can Haunt You
Legacy systems are often the enemy of progress. Perhaps you have a generic older ERP system or even a homegrown one. It has served you well, but it may depend on the tribal knowledge of the system originators who may or may not still be with the company. Maybe you are still using paper and manual processes. Maybe you have been waiting for the metals industry to “catch up.” Although steel service centers have been late adopters in the past, that is quickly changing. And in some cases, the wait is now to your benefit as you can leapfrog to the latest technologies like the Cloud.
Waiting for the Right Solution
In the past, there were some good reasons for not having implemented an ERP solution. Traditionally, most of the product offerings were plain vanilla and not industry specific. For example, most industries use part numbers and therefore most ERP systems are designed around part numbers to reflect the needs of the majority. But in the metals industry, part numbers are usually irrelevant. Instead, metals are bought, delivered and used based on their characteristics. RealSTEEL was built specifically for steel service centers and includes the industry-specific features that you uniquely need such as:
- Track inventory using multiple attributes
- View and maintain costs for labor, freight, outside services and surcharges
- Shipping dispatch board to build, monitor, and maintain loads
- Visibility to all processes from quote through delivery
- Support for actual, theoretical, average and replacement costs
- Centralized visual display of operations
Still not convinced? Put us to the test! Contact us today for your personalized demo to see how RealSTEEL can impact your bottom line. We’ll show you how it can help your steel service center to compete and thrive in today’s market.