ERP systems gain momentum with metals industry

Sep 30, 2012 | 07:00 PM | Myra Pinkham

Tags  ERP, enterprise resource planning system, Crowe Horwath, Tony Barnes,

The time is ripe for the metals industry to invest in technology, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, according to Tony Barnes, senior staff consultant in the metals practice of Crowe Horwath LLP.

An inaugural “ERP in the Metals Industry” survey conducted jointly by the Chicago-based accounting and consulting firm and AMM showed that while the metals industry generally has been slow to adopt ERP technology, most companiesÑespecially larger operationsÑalready take advantage of at least some ERP software components.

But a vast majority of companies also are dissatisfied with the ERP systems they are currently using, with a surprisingly large percentage of metal companies opting for custom ERP solutions rather than systems provided by large ERP providers such as SAP AG, Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

“It is our hope that this survey could be used to give metal executives insight into what their peers are doing in regard to ERP,” Barnes said. “At the same time, it could give direction to some software providers to see what the metals industry is looking for in these systems.”

While there has been a lot of metals industry research, including general trends and growth forecasts, up to this point there has been nothing available that points to how technology affects the metals industry and how receptive it is to technologies like ERP, he said.....

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