5 Questions Window & Door MFR’s Should Ask Before Investing in Integrated ERP Software Solutions

Window & Door Manufacturer’s are always looking for ways to improve efficiency & profits. Increased competition in the marketplace is causing added stress amongst top management to increase revenues in the most organized, cost effective way.

How are Top Window & Door Companies, managing to increase production, & overcome the obstacles that occur in production processing? They are turning towards the technology of Integrated ERP Software Solutions. Having one centralized platform to control, organize, and maintain all aspects of their flow production from start to finish.

Selecting the right software company for such a project is critical. It all boils down to doing your research. First you must identify your needs, unique challenges, & then evaluate the Integrated ERP software solutions on the market that are specific to Window & Door Manufacturing. Whomever you choose, will become a life-long partner working directly with your business, to assist in automating your production processes, and position the organization for future growth.

The last thing you want is to spend thousands on a software system, later to find out that it does not meet your expectations, or the complete needs of your business. We encourage you to ask these 5 important questions to each software company you may be evaluating.

1. Is the software you’re evaluating a True Integrated ERP Solution?
This is the #1 question you should ask, before investing time with a software company. Why? Because there are only a handful of companies out on the market that make software solutions specific to Window & Door
Manufacturing. You want a system to adapt to your needs, which is flexible.

It is important that the software is truly an Integrated ERP Solution. A company may claim to be an ERP system, but does their system work on a single Microsoft SQL based platform? Why is this important? You want to invest in a system that is flexible & can integrate with any systems you are currently operating, and additionally have a user friendly interface for staff to learn it with ease. Don’t increase the project work, by having to reconfigure current systems, & spend hours sending staff to training. The new system should be able to tie into any current system, should allow data to be entered one-time at order entry, and circulate continuously throughout all cells. Departments should be capable of accessing information electronically at anytime, eliminating the need for a paper trail.

2. Who developed the software?
If you’re about to invest thousands, and rely on a new ERP Software Solution to maintain the full operations of your business, don’t you want to have a sound
understanding on the company’s history, and their knowledge of your industry? Schedule an on-site demonstration. Find out their track record, ask about case studies, and testimonials from satisfied clients. See about a live site visit.

3. What kind of technical support is offered?
If they are a software company, they should have a highly qualified technical team that will be available to support you through every step of the implementation process. Technicians that know the software, and can quickly resolve, and
communicate with your team, to make sure all systems are properly functioning.

4. How long will the implementation process take?
How financially sound is the company & their
backing? Will they be around in the following months it will take to complete your implementation?
A successful ERP Solution installation does not occur over a period of days, and be cautious if a
company promises to do so. To implement a truly Integrated ERP system, it will likely take a few
months at minimum. Depending on your unique challenges you’re trying to solve, and the custom
tailoring you may want, implementation time-frames will vary per individual client.

5. How much does it cost?

This question is very important when you’re looking at budget, and ROI, and should be addressed
after a one on one consultation with the software supplier. It’s important that the vendor has a clear picture of your goals, needs, & current operating systems. This will assist you in knowing that the software can fulfill your expectations, and for the vendor to provide you with a more accurate cost/ROI assessment for budgeting. I would caution basing your decision solely on cost factor. Those who choose to do so are vulnerable with getting a system that fails to meet their expectations, nor is capable of handling the company’s future growth.

It’s like buying a car, do you want to buy the cheapest car on the market… “As long as it gets me from point A to B.” Or do you want to do your homework. You may spend a little more time, and money in the end, but the return of a reliable, quality built car with low maintenance, is priceless.

All competitors in the Window & Door Manufacturing industry ultimately face similar challenges at some point in the game, but depending on their size, & volume, those challenges will be unique to each organization, Are you facing any of the following?

A. Inefficient data flow, by using old paper production processes

B. High volume of internal order entry errors, & from dealers

C. An increase in waste, scraps, inventory cost

D. Hitting a plateau on new customers, & new dealer relationships

E. Or all of the above

If any of these problems relate to your organization, you may want to consider evaluating some Integrated ERP Software vendors on the market and develop a strategic plan to overcome these challenges. Many vendors offer free workshops & demonstrations so you can see their software solutions capabilities first hand. Whether you’re looking to upgrade current software systems, or introduce the first integrated ERP Software Solution for your window and door manufacturing business. Either way you would be on the right track to automate your production, efficiently. Once you have answered these 5 questions in this report, you’ll be 5 steps closer to selecting the right software for your specific needs.