Industry Blog

Comparing ERP for Pipe and Tube Processors

Are you looking for better shop floor management and operational control? Do you want to be able to calculate actual costs including any off-site processing? These are just a few of the capabilities that Pipe and Tube Processors are looking for in a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.

ERP systems have certainly come a long way in the past decade. Not only do they have more robust capabilities, there are now choices that are customized for manufacturing and distribution. RealSTEEL is built for pipe and tube processors to successfully operate and thrive with unique features like enhanced visibility into work-in-process and outside processor inventory. You also have the ability to track costs throughout the full process—including what is happening on the shop floor. Let’s take a look at the differences between older systems and a more modern industry-specific approach.

Traditional ERP Limitations

If you haven’t implemented an ERP system yet, you are likely using a variety of manual and automated processes loosely stitched together. Perhaps you are using tools such as Excel or Outlook to help with costing and scheduling. In this scenario, workers trying to complete a task often need to make a phone call or look up information in a separate system in order to validate information and proceed.

You probably have separate processes for creating sales orders, work orders, and production schedules. These orders must be closed before inventory is updated and there is no visibility into profitability until long after the order is completed. These activities take a lot of extra time and effort and result in many inaccuracies. Also, if you have an older ERP system, it is likely to be more accounting-focused and not specific to your industry. A standard ERP system generally requires more modifications and 3rd-party add-ons to meet the specific business and operational needs (such as pricing, processing and packaging) of pipe and tube processors. And the costs and time to make the system fit your need can add up quick.

Modern ERP Advantages

Integrated ERP systems provide a comprehensive, turnkey management solution that connects and streamlines your entire business. RealSTEEL is built on Microsoft Dynamics and addresses specific pipe and tube processing needs such as:

  • Visibility: to all processes from quote to delivery.
  • Tracking: inventory and materials throughout the manufacturing process including ID, OD, wall size, and length. All customer specifications like packaging, loading and tolerances now track with the order.
  • Costing: view and maintain costs for labor, freight, outside services and surcharges at the tag and lot level. Support for actual, theoretical, average and replacement costs.
  • Sales Quoting: quick, intuitive and accurate sales quoting and order entry.
  • Shipping: centralized shipping dispatch board to build, monitor and maintain loads. Includes management of multiple outside processing operations with direct shipment to the end customer.
  • Supporting complex operations: Full support of complex operations including multi-company, multi-currency, multi-lingual, and multi-warehouse.

Ready to explore a more modern ERP solution for your business? Contact us today to learn more about RealSTEEL built on Microsoft Dynamics and let’s schedule your personal demo. You will discover how industry-specific ERP systems can help pipe and tube processors like you to manage costs and compete.

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