ERP: The One Big Thing?

Participants in this year’s Top Shops benchmarking survey offer feedback to our open-ended “silver bullet” question.


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ERP software has enabled CNCPE to streamline scheduling and more accurately capture the true costs for jobs.

Late in 2012, I wrote this story about CNC Performance Engineering, a shop that decided to move into its main customer’s facility. While the story describes the benefits the shop and its customer have realized as a result of this close relationship, the story also describes the value that implementing an ERP system had for CNCPE.

Chris Nachtmann ran his shop for many years without ERP, but finally gave the software a go by first tracking the shop’s most commonly repeating jobs. After entering all information into the ERP software for two jobs with seemingly slim profit margins, he ultimately found that those jobs were actually his two biggest moneymakers. Conversely, a few other jobs that he believed were highly lucrative were found to be unprofitable when lot sizes were smaller than a certain amount.

In our recent Top Shops benchmarking survey, I asked shops to identify one new technology they have recently implemented and noticeably benefited from. As you’ll read here, many pointed to ERP software.