Trailer manufacturers are unique in both their processes and business needs. Unfortunately, when it comes to ERP software, trailer makers are typically lumped together with other manufacturing industries (automotive) that are not a good fit for their day-to-day operations.
To add insult to injury, many of these software systems are “best of breed” ERP. While the best of breed model of integrating third-party programs into a core ERP system can work, it won’t deliver the end-to-end traceability and visibility required by many regulatory organizations. Not to mention, the integration is typically fraught with challenges such as duplicate data entry, information delays and silos, interface issues and customization expenses.
Critical Features in a Trailer-Specific ERP Solution
A proper fitting, trailer-specific ERP solution should contain two critical features:
A. Comprehensive. Comprehensive ERP is an end-to-end solution that covers every aspect of your business, from ERP to MES, MRP, financials, order management, WMS, CRM and more. This single source system is what makes every aspect of your business visible, traceable and incredibly efficient.
B. Trailer-specific. Some ERP vendors, such as IQMS, offer trailer-specific manufacturing tools, modules, fields and features that fit your specific business needs. Combine the specialized tools with the comprehensive point above and you end up with a powerful, scalable and flexible ERP solution.
Let’s look at a few of the trailer-specific features in IQMS:
No. 1: VIN Generator Application
The IQMS VIN Generator tool automatically creates Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) compliant VIN sequences. Rather than manually assigning a formulaic number to your newly minted trailer, the IQMS application automatically calculates the vehicle attribute requirements necessary to meet NTHSA standards. Additionally, because the IQMS system is comprehensive, the VIN sequence is completely traceable throughout the whole process. At any given moment, you can view specific trailer details such as what materials were used, what operators worked on the job and all associated heat and lot numbers.
No. 2: Multi-Process Execution
Building a new trailer is a multi-step process, with sometimes as many as 30 different operations and sub-assemblies required. IQMS’ native scheduling tools and dispatch lists allow trailer manufacturers to see exactly where they are in the process. Easily track every step, from welding and riveting to painting and final assembly. Additionally, IQMS handles the more complex manufacturing environment with multi-process Bills of Materials (BOMs) that allow for operational flexibility.
No. 3: Large Acreage Inventory Management
While most manufacturers manage their inventory in a contained warehouse or two, trailer manufacturers need more space to store their creations. But how much of your time is lost manually tracking every trailer frame and bed across your five acre lot?! IQMS’ inventory locations and transactions tools allow you to easily define locations, add inventory to those locations and instantly know where every part is sitting across your property.
No. 4: Sales Configuration Templates
Each trailer you build is slightly different, bringing unusual challenges to the traditional quote and BOM structure. To help alleviate your headaches, IQMS has developed Sales Configuration Templates. No longer do you need to laboriously pre-construct static BOMs for every possible product combination you offer. With the Sales Configurator tool, upload individual components into the templates once and the configurable product base will allow for multiple scenarios and combination to be created. From the customized configuration, manufacturers can look at their available inventory, work center capacity and timetables, calculate pricing and once approved, convert to a sales order with the click of a button.
Trailer manufacturers have unique manufacturing needs and requirements. Rather than settling for cookie cutter ERP software, select a comprehensive, trailer-specific ERP solution that fits your business processes, not the other way around.