ERP software for automotive: 5 custom features to consider

6 minute read
ERP for OEM

Tailor-made software for OEM can significantly boost business performance and cut expenses. But what features a custom ERP for automotive should have?

The high-tech world leaves less and less room for manual work in the automotive industry, even when it comes to planning and decision making. In this regard, ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning systems get a great demand. Yet, automotive software cannot always meet companies’ needs because of unique requirements for the industry. This post will review major providers in the ERP market and find out what they lack for setting a smooth workflow.

Most popular ERP software platforms for automotive in 2021

Here is a top 5 of the ERP tools which are considered to be the best ready-made software for the automotive manufacturing:

Epicor ERP

It is a versatile solution suitable for many areas, such as electronics, medical equipment, aerospace, defense, automotive parts, etc. Epicor easily adapts to business processes and can be deployed both in the cloud and on-premises. Epicor can be suitable for midsized and growing companies thanks to its modular structure and scalability.

Core features:

  • Real-time production control
  • Supply chain management
  • Finance and accounting
  • Social collaboration
  • Role-based access

Price:  $4K – 500K

Users: 10-2000+

Microsoft Dynamics

This ERP targets global companies with multiple workflows. The primary focus is on manufacturing and e-business; however, those who operate in the sales and service sectors can also benefit from using it. The system integrates with other Microsoft products such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Office and brings seamless UX on the Windows platform.

Core features:

  • Multi-currency and multi-language support
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Diverse supply-chain models
  • Offline mode

Price:  $20K-750K

Users: 5-2,250

IFC

It is a mature player in the ERP market, successfully working since 1983. Along with resource planning tools, it provides asset and service control means for better agility and business growth. IFC is known for its usability and modular structure, which helps set up certain components as per company needs.

Core features:

  • Engineering design
  • Risk management
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Purchasing
  • Leasing

Price:  $300K-2M

Users: 40+

IQMS

This is an ERP for OEM designed for manufacturers of all sizes. It offers tons of features to meet any business needs and aims. However, such diversity may confuse users and complicate system integration. So, you should take time to explore functions and decide which ones may serve you well.

Core features:

  • Demand planning
  • Materials ordering
  • Workforce management
  • CRM
  • Consulting

Price: $25K+

Users: 5 – unlimited

Genius ERP

This ERP aims to simplify the manufacturing process by delivering an all-in-one solution for small and mid-sized firms. Companies can significantly reduce staff costs using the Genius’s automotive programming software as they need less manual work with growing automation. Genius ERP delivers almost all the necessary tools to automate production, sales, finance, and other workflow parts in a single system.

Core features:

  • Production management
  • Supply chain control
  • Delivery set up
  • Customer support

Price: $3K-$4K

Users: 1-250

Five must-have features for Automotive that ready-made ERP solutions lack

Even though there are a lot of off-the-shelf ERPs, some companies prefer custom solutions. The primary reason is the inability of ready tools to cover the business needs fully. Standard systems often lack specific features or, vise versa, overload the enterprise with useless functionality. Next, we will consider features that you are unlikely to find in typical automotive business software:

1. Niche expertise

The large majority of out-of-the-box ERPs target a broad audience, from retailers to rocket builders. For the automotive industry, such an approach is far from perfect. Their work includes heavy computing, many departments, and huge production volumes. That is why such companies need a narrow-focused system, 100% tied to their business nature.

2. Internal regulations

Different countries have special rules for the automotive industry. They are typically related to safety, sales, pollution, etc. General systems do not always cover these aspects, especially when it comes to specific regions. This pushes owners to either redo third-party software or write one from scratch. The second way is usually more rational and cost-effective because the company invests in its own product.

3. Third-party integrations

Deploying an ERP system does not mean you have to abandon all existing corporate tools. You may be fine with the current CRM or task management program. The newly arrived ERP should easily integrate with this software, which is not always possible with boxed solutions. Custom ERP will have only those features you need, and you will painlessly fit into the overall corporate system.

4. Modularity

Just as an automotive company consists of many processes and units, an ERP system should be made of separate modules that can be scaled, connected, and disabled on demand. While most off-the-shelf ERPs meet this condition, you may want to create a unique set of modules, each responsible for a specific process and with limited access rights for different roles.

5. Mobile app

Modern top managers spend a lot of time outside the office and do not want to be tied to desktop software. Yet, existing ERP providers rarely offer a mobile app. Custom development may solve this problem by placing ERP features into a tiny phone screen. Note, the mobile ERP does not have to be an exact copy of the desktop system. You may add only urgent features there for quick access. For example, you can make automotive scheduling software or automotive capital resource planning.

The benefits of the custom ERP software development for automotive

Custom development is a big step that requires significant investments of time and money. But, in the end, these efforts pay off, and the company receives clear benefits:

Long-run savings. Custom ERP eliminates the need to pay for a subscription and each account that you want to create in the system. Also, you may become an ERP provider yourself.

Hassle-free changes. Custom OEM ERP allows you to make any changes to the software according to the enterprise’s current state. You can quickly expand or shorten the system, add or remove features, switch the activity vector, etc.

Easy integrations. Custom ERP fits organically into the current corporate software system. You do not need to change anything and adapt to the provider’s limitations.

Proprietary right. Whether you start in-house development or hire an outsourcing team, the software ownership remains with you. If you don’t like something during development, you can replace individual devs or the entire team.

Total independence. It is the most pleasant bonus because you build automotive industry software with valuable features only. Also, you are not afraid to have workflow gaps if a third-party provider experiences technical issues.

Conclusion

ERP speeds up business processes, saves resources, and levels up the entire enterprise’s performance. Custom ERP is suitable for companies with particular workflow demands and those who need software that 100% meets the business needs. To make the right choice in favor of a ready-made or custom ERP, you need to study the market, calculate both options, and weigh the pros and cons. If you need professional help, feel free to contact a dedicated team with strong expertise in automotive software engineering.

April 16, 2021