4 benefits of ERP software for metal service centers

Tony Barnes
| 2/20/2023
4 benefits of ERP software for metal service centers

As metals companies continue to experience volatility in the market, it’s crucial for metal service centers to know what their customers want and which products and services are the most cost-effective for their businesses. More importantly, they need accurate data to understand how those two things intersect to make smarter, more informed decisions. However, many metal service centers are working with outdated systems that don’t provide valuable insights.

With the power of a single enterprise resource planning (ERP) system tailored to the specific needs of metal service centers, metals leaders can enhance operations and offer a higher level of quality and excellence to their customers.

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Here are four ways metal service centers can benefit from ERP software:

1. Improve employee experience

As the world and industries across the globe increasingly adopt more digital solutions, companies that fail to keep up with modern technology often experience the tension of being left behind. This is no different for those in the metals industry as metal service center workers become increasingly frustrated with outdated and inefficient systems on the job and seek out a better way – or a better company.

Implementing an ERP system with a modern interface can help employees be more efficient, feel more empowered in their work, and focus on more value-added activities for the business. This improves the working experience of current employees and creates an environment to help attract new talent.

For metal service centers looking to the future, having a modern ERP system is one way to help draw in the next generation of metals leaders.

2. Maximize margins

In the midst of a volatile market and questions about the future, metal service centers could benefit from analyzing data and maximizing margins.

A standardized process with an ERP system helps metals leaders be more flexible with pricing models to match customer needs, set pricing by product attribute, and easily make updates. As pricing is streamlined, metal service centers can access a more accurate and comprehensive view of their gross profit and margin, which helps them make better business decisions moving forward.

3. Optimize production planning

Maximizing margin and material usage can be difficult without accurate inventory tracking. With a single ERP system, metal service centers can improve inventory visibility and control, and they also can optimize matching of materials by supply and demand.

In a single system, metals leaders can capture and validate the unique characteristics that define material, handle unit conversions with metals-specific formulas and calculations, and improve forecasting. At the same time, they can use features that automatically calculate an optimized production planning schedule based on customer demand. From one screen, they can combine demand from multiple orders, match feasible supply, select alternative routes, and minimize scrap.

Without the right technology, staying on top of outside processing can be complex and time-consuming for metal service centers. However, an ERP system tailored to metal service centers can remove the complexity by streamlining processes and centralizing key information while showing related transfer, purchase, and sales orders.

4. Enhance customer experience

When the top priority for metal service centers is to deliver quality and excellence to their customers, giving customers virtual insight into their orders is one way to go above and beyond.

An ERP system allows customers to access a customer portal, giving them the ability to log in and view sales orders, packing slips, delivery status, invoices, and more. With this information, customer service teams can spend more meaningful time with customers identifying areas for new sales and growth. Customer satisfaction and retention increase when they see that their requests are being met with quality and excellence.

Discover the ERP solution built for the unique demands of metal service centers

Our team at Crowe has helped metal service centers with one to hundreds of locations standardize their business on a single platform. Crowe understands the unique differences for metal service centers that carry any type of product, from coil product or long product to plate product and more. With our understanding of the intersection between technology and metals, we’ve built a tailored, end-to-end solution in Microsoft Dynamics 365™ called Crowe Metals Accelerator.

Schedule a demo today and see how Crowe Metals Accelerator can work for your steel and metal service center business.

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Tony Barnes
Tony Barnes
Principal, Microsoft Cloud Solutions Leader