It’s an exciting time to be offering ERP to APAC manufacturers – especially our partners in the electronics industry. In 2017, APAC was the largest region in the electrical and electronics manufacturing market, accounting for approximately 55% of the global market share. That’s quite a feat, but no one, especially in the dynamic world of electronics manufacturing, can afford to rest on their laurels.
Asia-Pacific Industry Experiencing Profound Market Changes
Case in point: Asia-Pacific is currently the world’s manufacturing powerhouse, but there are profound market changes looming on the horizon. Over the last few decades, many APAC countries have enjoyed a variety of competitive advantages, including lower average labour costs than their western counterparts. A rising standard of living, however, combined with the advent of Industry 4.0, means that new advantages need to be found – or created.
APAC manufacturers are accustomed to being on top and are striving to develop the next generation of competitive strengths. China’s national manufacturing roadmap “Made in China 2025”, outlines an ambitious plan to propel its manufacturing sector into the future – making liberal use of Industry 4.0 initiatives. Between 2016 and 2020, China will invest some 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) into sectors that boost innovation, including the Internet of Things (IoT), smart appliances and high-end consumer electronics. Similar plans and investments are being made throughout the APAC region.
For electronics manufacturers, Industry 4.0 brings both pressure and promise. The pressure is familiar: rapidly changing consumer demand, new technology, and the constant need to hone one’s competitive edge. The promise of Industry 4.0 is the unprecedented optimisation of decision-making, accounting, production, and supply-chain processes. To enjoy those benefits, however, a company requires a powerful, up-to-date, industry-built ERP.
I like to compare ERP to the human body’s central nervous system (CNS). It runs, metaphorically, from an organising spine of accounting, into the countless processes that go into planning, making, selling and distributing a factory’s goods. Like a CNS, ERP integrates the information it receives from its parts and extremities, then uses that information to coordinate and optimise the activities of the very processes that it’s monitoring.
With Industry 4.0 (more specifically, the Internet of Things) the ERP ecosystem is enlarged and enhanced, allowing manufacturers to be agile and flexible at all levels of operation. Imagine a network that facilitates data exchange amongst factories, machines, warehouses, delivery modalities and partners – including retailers and consumers. This is a cyber-physical environment, in which sensors and software are deeply entwined with the objects of production and distribution. Smart machines, tools, storage systems and production facilities can exchange information autonomously, triggering actions when necessary. The data collected can be leveraged for serious gains in efficiency, productivity, quality assurance, customer relations, regulatory compliance and, of course, profit.
Everyone benefits from ERP, but for electronics executives, the advantages are profound. Speed and responsiveness are vital to success in an industry plagued by rapid turnaround times and short product life cycles. Execs have 360-degree, real-time vision of all business processes. In addition, they’re no longer tied to their office – or even their laptop or desk-top computers. ERP solutions such as SYSPRO Espresso provide mobile access to data via user-designed dashboards. Now relevant information from across the enterprise can be accessed from almost anywhere, minimising executive downtime (especially during travel), and allowing faster decisions based on better information.
Sadly, there isn’t enough room in a blog to cover all the advantages of ERP – there is just enough space to touch on a few highlights. Electronics companies are complex and fast-paced, and they operate in an extremely competitive market space. Choosing the right ERP can be a crucial determinant to a company’s level of success.
My recommendation, and the recommendation of most experts, is to look for an industry-built solution. SYSPRO, I’m proud to say, has been actively helping the electronics sector overcome challenges for 40 years. Our high rate of retention speaks volumes – not only about our products, but about the care and attention we give to every one of our customers.