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ERP selection: A strong backbone for the electronics and high-tech industry

Reading Time: 3 Minutes 20.07.2021 Currents & Trends

How ERP Systems Help to Master Challenges in the Electronics and High-Tech Industry

Since ERP systems are the meeting point of all important data, they can help companies operating in "Electronics & High Tech" to master internal and external challenges in the long term.

There are few industries that drive technological progress more than electronics and high tech, comprising EMS (electronic manufacturing services) service providers, producers and combinations of both. At the same time, there are few industries under more pressure to constantly come up with new products and product generations.

The electronics and high-tech industry has been faced with several difficulties for years, such as, such as bottlenecks in supply, component shortages, raw material shortages and geopolitical tensions. The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the situation. According to its current industry analysis "EMS Europe Annual Statistics 2020" (available only in German), Weiss Engineering has identified a worrying trend among EMS companies: The smaller the company, the greater the decline in sales. In Germany, large EMS companies with sales of more than 50 million euros reported a drop of 4.3 percent on average, while smaller players generating less than five million euros in sales complained about a drop of no less than 22 percent.

In addition to short-term crises, companies in electronics and high tech are forced to master a variety of challenges inherent in the system. One issue is the component management, where a huge variety of rapidly evolving parts must be covered. Another aspect is the wide variety of handling unit types and sizes, as well as the need to document in detail where each component is installed. Traceability is key here.

Lastly, the industry is extremely customer-driven: Last-minute requests and quick responses to inquiries are part of the daily business.

How can proALPHA support the electronics & high-tech industry?

For companies to survive in this highly competitive market, they need an ERP system that collects and processes the mass of data that accumulates every day at the highest level – ideally in real time. This requires that the product is able to map the special features in "Electronics & High Tech" and that the provider has in-depth knowledge of the industry.

To this end, proALPHA established a Competence Center at the end of 2016 to introduce ERP to new customers or to offer industry-specific consulting to companies already using proALPHA. Thus, the team led by Björn Lampe consists mainly of experts who have already worked in electronics and high tech and know the processes along with the special vocabulary inside out.

The experience gained from intensive engagement with the challenges of the industry and close cooperation with customers has led to significant benefits. Companies can rely on an industry-specific software module that maps the special features in "Electronics & High Tech". It can quickly and easily be connected to third-party systems and is constantly developed further on the basis of customer feedback. proALPHA provides support in planning and controlling purchasing processes, warehouse management, production capacities, and terms of delivery. The seamless traceability of lots and serial numbers sets the very highest quality standards.

At the same time, customers benefit from tailored proALPHA best practices. For this purpose, proMETHEUS was developed as a method to provide prototype-based proALPHA best practice approaches. This means, for example, that companies can operate with real data at a very early stage in a project thanks to predefined process landscapes and preconfigured software.

Three tips for a successful ERP implementation

Björn Lampe, head of the Competence Center for "Electronics & High Tech", has the following tips for the implementation of an innovative ERP system:

  • Clearly defined processes: companies should exactly know which processes are to be mapped with the ERP system and which third-party systems are to be connected.
  • Clear standards: companies should reflect on the standards of their legacy system and the preparation for the transfer to the new ERP system in order to ensure that processes run smoothly in the future.
  • Finally, openness to best practice approaches from the ERP world.

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