3 Options for Connecting IIoT and Emerging Manufacturing Technologies to Your ERP

Robert Brice
Thu, Dec 7, 2017
ERP integration is essential as new technologies emerge in manufacturing.
New technologies are emerging in manufacturing all the time, and it isn't surprising that industry leaders are getting sucked into the hype.The excitement is palpable, but it can fade fast when organizations run into problems integrating data from these new technologies into their enterprise resource planning systems.

New Technologies Gaining Ground Quickly

"Technological innovation is becoming central in how manufacturing organizations plan to spur growth."

Emerging technologies are taking hold of the manufacturing sector, and they are advancing in a hurry. Zebra Technologies found that the number of fully connected warehouses is expected to double by 2022. Technological innovation is becoming central in how manufacturing organizations plan to spur growth, and it isn't enough to just put new solutions in place. Companies must ensure they use the rise of connected, industrial internet of things (IIoT) devices to generate operational transparency.

Check out our whitepaper on Warehouse Automation Trends to learn more about emerging technologies in the supply chain.

Achieving visibility improvements through technological investment is only possible if organizations can get data to the right people at the right times. ERP integration is essential here. Generally speaking, companies have three options when it comes time to integrate emerging technologies with their ERP. These include:

1. Hire a Team of Programmers

You could create a custom program to handle data workflows between a new manufacturing technology and an ERP platform. This would require developers who:

  • Understand the programming of the technology enough to create code that can pull data from the new system.
  • Have a deep enough knowledge of the ERP ecosystem you use to generate custom integration workflows.
  • Possess sufficient business knowledge to understand the core goals and functions of such a solution.

The combination of specialized skills required for the effort and the time it takes to do manual programming will make such a strategy incredibly expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, it will leave your business saddled with a custom program it has to manage and maintain over its entire life cycle without support.

2. Use a Dedicated ERP Module for the IIoT

There are ERP integration modules built for IIoT systems, but the cost is high as the technology is still emerging and the development process is complex. This avenue for integration eases the programming burden, but doesn't necessarily reduce costs. Furthermore, you are forced to deal with the highly specific capabilities of that system.

3. Leverage a Third-party Solution

Companies specializing in mobile data collection and ERP integration within the manufacturing sector often have the solution ecosystem needed to support new technologies. That is the case at RFgen, where our platform can support any kind of machine or input method with relative ease. Our comfort and familiarity with the sector allows us to provide cost-efficient, easy-to-use, and fast to implement solutions that can't be matched through alternative means. Contact us today to learn more.

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