Better Together

October 31, 2022

Better Together

How Integrating ProLinc® with an Existing ERP Eliminates Data Siloes & Powers Efficiency

By Joe Schutte

Today’s manufacturers handle billions of products, all of which must be tracked simultaneously across multiple facilities. Due to the complexities of the manufacturing process, companies should ensure they utilize the right product security and traceability solution to uphold the highest standards in quality, safety, and efficiency.

While many manufacturers already utilize enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing execution systems (MES) to help optimize and automate operational functions, today’s intense product security and traceability demands cannot be solved by a standard ERP or MES solution alone. In fact, 50% of companies are soon acquiring, upgrading, or planning to update their ERP systems.

It’s critical that all of an organization’s systems work together to enable an efficient workflow. While ERPs and MESs play an important part in the manufacturing process, they can have some drawbacks. Data siloes can occur due to disparate or missing data, undefined processes, and misalignment across the supply chain. This can lead to operational inconsistencies, increased costs, reduced accuracy, and poor quality. With manufacturers struggling to prevent organizational siloes, many are seeking a partner who offers a robust system that delivers real-time visibility into the manufacturing process—and cooperates with any current software that’s already in place.

A solution like Ashton Potter’s ProLinc® offers global product security and traceability to manufacturing environments of all sizes, with real-time reporting that allows organizations to eliminate manual data entry and improve visibility. In this blog post, we will discuss how ProLinc’s capabilities help remove data siloes, how the platform effectively integrates with existing ERPs, and how it delivers tangible results—truly setting it apart from other traceability solutions.

Only 5% of organizations

use their ERP effectively for high-quality data

How Data Siloes Happen

 Data siloes can accumulate over a company’s lifetime and affect manufacturers in every vertical. A recent survey of organizations that identify as being highly data-driven reported that 39% of them had more than 50 data siloes. This often happens without the awareness of the team because of insidious process complications and disruptions. With so much disorganized data, it can be a huge endeavor to correct these long-standing issues.

Siloed data usually happens because some standalone systems, like ERPs, are incompatible with other organizational systems. Data siloes impact every aspect of the business, making it hard for users to access data needed to make important decisions. These gaps in data make it impossible to gain a comprehensive view of the organization’s processes and operations. Additionally, data siloes create a breakdown in data communication mitigating real-time access to information. This inconsistent data can lead to miscommunication, lost or inaccurate orders, incomplete data sets, data security and regulatory compliance issues, and a myriad of other errors that can have negative reputational and financial impacts.

For industries with highly sensitive and rigorous requirements, ERP and MES solutions often fall short when it comes to meeting today’s intensive production monitoring and traceability requirements, as their data reporting capabilities can be tedious and delayed. Utilizing a solution like ProLinc®, however, allows every product and component to be individually tracked and reported in real-time—thus minimizing data siloes. With these siloes resulting in reduced efficiency, poor communication, and decreased data quality and credibility, integrating with the right system is the most straightforward way to empower success.

Integrating with an Existing ERP

Manufacturing companies utilize ERPs to optimize and automate operational functions. However, standard ERP solutions alone cannot always meet the intense product security and traceability demands of today’s global supply chain, due to complicated workflow processes and poor management of data. In fact, only 5% of organizations use their ERP effectively for high-quality data, leading to inaccurate information and uninformed analytics. Additionally, 12% of respondents in a survey gave poor quality software as the reason that integration failed—so it’s important to find a quality partner that can help bridge any gaps.

But with integration comes challenges. Too often, the ERP and the product security solution create their own codes, leading to confusion that diminishes visibility. It’s critical that a chosen solution is capable of effortlessly integrating with current systems, and can serve multiple purposes at once, like communicating critical information in real-time.

Manufacturers are under heightened pressure to cut costs, improve agility, maximize output, and continually improve operational outcomes. Therefore, manufacturing operations can’t afford to engage in cost or time prohibitive integration efforts. Companies need to find a strategic approach to integrating both systems to properly eliminate any existing data siloes and power efficiency. Equally critical is the identification of an integration partner that understands the manufacturing operation and is capable of rapidly executing the appropriate integration steps.

The Power of ProLinc®

In today’s complex product landscape, choosing the right solution to integrate with an existing ERP or MES is essential. Manufacturers can leverage ProLinc’s keen interoperability and implement the platform within their environment to ensure product integrity, quality, and compliance are upheld. With this integrated solution, data can be exchanged in near real time through automated processes, keeping information updated within each system, while eliminating the need for manual data entry.

ProLinc’s strength lies in its ability to rapidly deliver real-time reports with precise, granular data—which is especially crucial for ensuring compliance and enabling recall prevention and resolution. Accessing real time reports and compiling data from disparate sources not only eliminates the need for manual data inputs, but also provides key data points that can be utilized by different stakeholders to inform important decisions. The preciseness of the data, easily accessible through ProLinc®, allows organizations to identify potential product compromises in real time and instantly gather any data needed to respond to government inquiries and requests that require little to no turnaround time.

ProLinc® enhances standard MES or ERP systems by utilizing a single, serialized identity for products, in which manufacturers can establish one true data record that aligns information instantly. This data provides valuable insights which creates a powerful link between production planning and production execution that improves efficiency and output.

With ProLinc® integrating seamlessly into a manufacturer’s systems, new insights can be gained where they may have been lost previously. Processes like demand planning, product costing, and recall management are transformed with greater efficiency and effectiveness simply by having better access to more informative data. This ease of access through one centralized data source breaks down data siloes, resulting in improved operations and a better ROI.

Some additional benefits of integrating with ProLinc® include:

  • More automated & efficient processes
  • Better workflow visualization & real-time visibility
  • Improved overall equipment efficiency
  • Reductions in human error & reduced labor demands

ProLinc® + ERPs/MESs = Better Together

Manufacturers must opt for a product security and traceability solution that offers the utmost interoperability and configurability alongside its robust capabilities. ProLinc® is designed to act as a natural extension of the ERP by providing a high-value layer of product security and traceability capabilities with real-time visibility and real-time reporting. By working seamlessly with existing ERP systems, factory equipment, and business intelligence tools, ProLinc® contextualizes product insights with other data sources and makes these insights actionable throughout the supply chain.

With a blockchain-enabled database that creates a single, secure, and tamper-evident record of product and component-level data, ProLinc® offers complete product serialization and authentication, helping manufacturers gain more operational success than ever before—and achieve so much more than an ERP can do alone.

Speak with an expert to discover how to eliminate data siloes and enable greater traceability and visibility by integrating ProLinc® with your existing ERP or MES.