Acronyms are designed to speed up communication, but if you don’t know what they mean, they can be more of a hindrance than a help!
From ERP to HCM, MES and CRM, manufacturing and software is a minefield of shortened terms and phrases. They can often put the most experienced minds to the test, so to help I’ve compiled this brief glossary of key manufacturing software terms. Make it your bible!
ERP — Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a form of integrated business management software. Used to centralise core business processes, the software simplifies data management and reporting by acting as a central database of information.
ERP includes modules such as: Accounting, HR, Bill of Materials, Asset Management, Stock Control, Traceability, MRP, and Document Management.
This type of software is popular across many sectors, as it facilitates the easy retrieval, management and interpretation of business data. However, because of the many benefits it offers to supply chains and operations, it has become a popular choice within the manufacturing industry.
Find out more about Kerridge Commercial Systems’ own ERP manufacturing software
MRP — Materials Requirements Planning
Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) is a software system used widely in manufacturing for production planning, scheduling and inventory control.
Essentially, MRP ensures the smooth running of the production process. It makes sure there are enough materials and products available, while keeping stock levels to a minimum, freeing-up cash. Through enhanced business intelligence, you can make more accurate predictions and plan more effectively, which essentially lets you deliver a greater service to your customers.
CRM—Customer Relationship Management
As the name suggests, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems help you manage your company’s interactions with existing and potential customers. In manufacturing — especially the supply chain — multiple personnel are often involved. A CRM system makes it easy to manage communications with everyone from customers to suppliers.
One of the main benefits of a CRM system for manufacturers is the ability to gain a complete overview of a customer’s history, current order status and any outstanding issues. You’ll also stay informed of potential leads, maximising your sales potential.
BI — Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) involves using sophisticated software to capture, analyse, interpret and report critical business insights. Through BI, you can better understand how your business operates, gaining the knowledge you need to make more informed decisions.
FSM — Field Service Management
With workforces becoming increasingly mobile, Field Service Management (FSM) is a process used to coordinate business resources outside of company property — for example, if an engineer is called out to a customer’s site. Much of this relies on software — such as our own Field Service package.
This software allows for effective resource management, providing a constant link to base and easing information flow. It enables you to have the right resources and personnel available at the right time, while keeping costs to a minimum.
PLM — Product Lifecycle Management
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is managing each stage of a product’s lifecycle, from its initial design through to manufacture, service and disposal. This type of management offers numerous benefits, including reducing time to market, improving product quality and reducing costs and wastage.
HCM — Human Capital Management
Human Capital Management (HCM) is s system whereby staff members are perceived as assets—also known as human capital. For employers, this gives employees a measurable value, helping to better communicate performance expectations. It is an essential tool in identifying staff development opportunities.
MES — Manufacturing Execution System
A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) helps to keep track of in-process manufacturing to provide a real-time overview of productivity and reduce the overall production time. The information collected by the system is available in real-time and is captured by robots, machine monitors and employees. MES systems are often integrated with ERP systems to provide a comprehensive business solution.
By familiarising yourself with the above acronyms, you’ll make starting your manufacturing software search easier.
Of course, understanding the acronyms is just the first step—you’ll find plenty of information about choosing manufacturing software here within the manufacturing software section of our blog or you can request a brochure to learn more.