In a world that is rapidly digitising, there is an essential tool that manufacturing companies need to thrive: ERP systems. These systems, which you may never have heard of, help digitise and manage business processes, making them the backbone of the business operations of the future. The directors of MKG and Supplydrive, two companies based at Brainport Industries Campus (BIC), told us more about them.
- ERP has become indispensable for the manufacturing industry
- MKG and Supplydrive ensure that ERP systems can be seamlessly integrated.
Why we are writing on this topic
Brainport Industries Campus (BIC) is the international hotspot and thus the face of the high-tech manufacturing industry. At BIC, technology, entrepreneurship, education and facilities come together to take the high-tech manufacturing industry to the next level. In November, ERP systems is the BIC monthly theme. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and includes software that helps companies manage various processes.
From making quotations to purchasing stocks, manufacturing companies deal with huge amounts of data. Efficient data management has now become essential. This is where ERP systems come into the picture. At the Brainport Industries Campus (BIC), this digital transformation process is in full swing, with companies like Supplydrive and MKG helping manufacturing companies implement ERP.
“Some companies still have their machines operated manually, keeping track of how many hours a task takes on old-fashioned notes. Yet we all need to keep up with the digitising society,” says Henk Abbring, director of MKG. “It starts with the use of screens to record data, but the true progress comes when machines start reporting data themselves and can communicate via a network, making human intervention less and less necessary.” Where MKG develops the ERP systems, Supplydrive helps companies integrate between different types of ERP software. A golden combination.
A company using ERP systems with integrations has a big advantage over others, says Eric Bakker, director of Supplydrive. “Thanks to the implementation of such software, a company can start focusing much more on other processes that require attention. As a result, we make work not only more efficient, but also more engaging. It also leaves more time for other things, such as agreements with suppliers to ensure product quality and consistency.”
The entire manufacturing chain
The companies have strong connections in the ASML supply chain. “At the beginning of this chain, for example, complex machined and sheet metal parts are made. These are then passed on to other companies that build complete modules. Eventually, these modules are delivered back to larger players such as ASML, VDL or Philips. The two companies thus help the entire chain of the high-tech manufacturing industry on its way,” Abbring explains.
The BIC ecosystem
In July, BIC welcomed MKG Netherlands and Supplydrive as new tenants. “The new location makes our lives a lot easier,” Bakker says with a laugh. “Although I already visited here regularly, it is a completely new experience to have a permanent presence here. We meet many companies from the same market in the corridors. In no time, you have an appointment in your diary to discuss a collaboration.”
Supplydrive grew out of the ‘Smart Connected Supplier Network (SCSN)’ fieldlab, which is also located at BIC. So there are already strong connections to the campus. MKG and Supplydrive are working with Futuretec, among others, on a digital factory. They are also working on other projects on campus, with KMWE and TNO, for example. The companies also have close ties with courses such as Summa College and Avans Hogeschool.
A promising future
The future of ERP systems is promising. Eventually, all applications within many companies will be seamlessly integrated, Abbring expects. “It is quite a challenge to make that happen. But we are making steps in the right direction every day.”
Manufacturing companies themselves are also increasingly ready for it, notes Bakker. “In recent years, at least, we saw strong growth in the number of ERP users.”