Source: Unsplash ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, and it’s one of the essential tools when running a manufacturing business. It found an application across many different areas, including the metal industry. The steel industry is constantly growing due to a rising number of infrastructure projects, and an ERP solution can help manufacturers meet the increased demand.Steel companies are always looking to improve efficiency and optimize their operations while reducing costs. ERP provides all of those benefits along with many others. Let’s look at the benefits of using ERPs in the steel industry.Benefits of Implementing ERP SolutionsIntegration On All Company LevelsSteel manufacturing companies face all kinds of complex organizational challenges every day. Manufacturers have to plan every activity carefully to minimize waste and maximize profits. Traditional methods depend on human experts that are prone to making mistakes. However, an ERP solution will help make things much simpler. It makes it easier to make plans and streamline essential operations such as handling raw materials, manufacturing, and even shipping orders. An ERP connects all processes into one easily manageable platform that improves monitoring and planning capabilities. 2. Simple Multiple PlanningEvery steel production process depends on multiple planning strategies. For example, ordering raw materials from various providers can halt production if one element doesn’t reach the plant on time. ERP software makes it easier to address all production processes by allowing users to track every strategy and access documentation from a single dashboard. Moreover, the platform promotes collaboration by providing direct communication and easy file-sharing. Artificial intelligence in the steel industry helps simplify planning and project execution on all levels. 3. Detailed Bills of MaterialsMetal manufacturers have to manage large bills of materials every day. Some projects may be easier to track, but if the project requires fabrication of multiple variations of the same part – things can get very complicated. Instead of creating every BOM from scratch, ERP solutions allow you to copy existing BOMs and simply change the numbers as necessary. As you can imagine, that saves a lot of time and reduces human errors. Moreover, most ERP solutions allow you to import BOMs directly from design software.But that’s not all. ERP solutions provide a multi-level BOM making it easier to complete smaller projects that require multiple materials. ERP systems offer unprecedented control over BOM, and all changes are recorded and stored for further use. The management team can access the original BOM at any time and check if the changes align with the budget and company standards. 4. Inventory ControlThe metal industry is different from most other industries because the materials don’t change or become obsolete. There is no expiry date for metal materials, so it’s easy to forget about a batch of materials in the back of your warehouse. Unused materials keep your cash tied up, so that’s something you want to avoid.Once you integrate an ERP system into your operation, it allows you to manage your entire inventory and track all materials available in stock. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re working with and its location in the warehouse. Moreover, the system will inform you about the existing stock of required materials before you order a new batch. Some ERP solutions also track scraps you can use for other projects. In short, an ERP system will help you maximize the use of materials while reducing waste, saving you money along the way. You can even barcode your entire stock and track every item in real-time. ERPs are the artificial intelligence in steel industry that makes a difference. 5. Drawings ControlSimple metal designs are easy to complete and don’t require a lot of skill. However, when a metal fabricator works on a complex project, he needs detailed instructions to get the job done. Drawings are required to ensure that all dimensions and designs are accurate. What’s more, fabricators have to revise the drawings multiple times to ensure that the product fits the design. Some projects require multiple workers or departments to view the drawings, taking a lot of time. However, with an ERP solution, all drawings are logged, organized, and available for inspection at any time. All employees can access the same central database to review and approve drawings, archive versions, and trace every project. The management is much simpler, and you can quickly identify the exact time and date when a part was made and many other details. The AI will track every detail and provide you with historical data, previous versions, and additional information at any moment. 6. Accurate Business ForecastingThe steel industry is one of the fastest-growing industries of all. Steel demand is driven by various areas such as the automotive, construction, and mining industries. New opportunities always present themselves, so steel manufacturers must follow market trends if they want to land new deals. On the other hand, manufacturers also have to track changing raw material prices and find ways to make accurate predictions. Of course, that is only possible because of advanced artificial intelligence in the steel industry.ERP software can help there too. It’s a versatile tool for market trend analysis, forecasting, and business integrations. It enables you to stay one step ahead of the markets, giving you a perfect chance to land new deals and grow your company.Source: Unsplash 7. Calculate Hours on JobTracking how much time employees spend on a job can help you figure out if the project is profitable or not. However, the calculations must be very accurate and tell you the exact length of time your employees spent working on a project. Traditional methods are not accurate enough, but ERP software is. It can easily calculate the time and the costs of a project by analyzing shop floor data. It can also calculate the costs by applying hourly rates and downtime to provide accurate results. 8. Cost ControlOnce a steel company implements an ERP solution into its operation, it gets more control over processes other than production. That includes accounting, finance, project budget management, etc. In short, having more control over your business operation will help you minimize costs and save more money.Whenever a steel company starts a new project, it has to follow procedures and rules before the production begins. Traditionally, gathering all documentation takes time, but ERP software can make things more manageable. Artificial intelligence in the steel industry is advanced enough to gather and prepare all administration processes faster than traditional methods.ConclusionERP is one of the most advanced AI-powered software solutions designed to help drive value, increase efficiency, and help steel manufacturers get a competitive advantage on the market. The implementation process can be complicated, depending on the machinery and available processes, but when done right, it offers a long list of benefits that can help you grow your steel manufacturing company on stable grounds.Author’s bio:Ellie Northcott is a long-time marketer, currently working as a freelancer in Miami, Florida.Editor at Find Digital Agency.She is also a passionate writer and loves to explore new, innovative and digital news.In her spare time, she is an eco-activist.