Brad Kuvin Brad Kuvin
Editorial Director

ERP Software Taking Center Stage

April 29, 2024

Coming later this year, MetalForming magazine and the Precision Metalforming Association will once again host a forum on Industry 4.0 applications for metal formers and fabricators. New this year: the addition of an ERP (enterprise resource management) software shootout, where four ERP-software providers will discuss the unique features and benefits of their systems.  

Day one of the event, scheduled for August 13-14, features presentations on Industry 4.0 applications and a networking reception with attendees, speakers and sponsors. Day two begins with a 2-hr. ERP bootcamp, addressing such topics as:

  • Managing change throughout the organization
  • Best practices for vendor selection 
  • Planning the next ERP-implementation project.

Then we’ll launch into the ERP-vendor shootout sessions, providing attendees with in-depth software demonstrations and lively group discussions designed to address any questions regarding software features and functionality. 

No single manufacturing technology evolves more quickly than does ERP software. Vendors seemingly issue updates and improvements quarterly, if not monthly. It’s critical that metal formers large and small diligently stay informed —not only on what’s new, but on what’s coming!

As noted in our feature article in this issue, beginning on p. 35 and authored by senior editor Louis Kren:

“ERP software promises the ability to provide actionable intelligence based on data gathered from several sources—the production floor, sales, estimating, engineering and human resources teams, the supply chain, and more. Given this data history and associated trends, and tuned to sophisticated algorithms, ERP provides predictive, proactive and reactive maps to optimize production, sales, quoting, material ordering and delivery. Every day, as the software becomes more powerful and knowledgeable, and manufacturers become more knowledgeable about its use, ERP becomes more integral to manufacturing success.”

We’ll follow up in the next issue of MetalForming with examples from the shop floor of several metal formers detailing the benefits of their recent ERP-software investments. Those benefits include:

  • Improved process efficiency, quality and accuracy
  • Quickened response time
  • Decreased costs
  • Improved ability to scale operations.

Today’s ERP systems are linked to the shop floor and the front office by 5G, and employ artificial intelligence (AI). They monitor activity coming from every level of the supply chain and track every facet of production—whether performed via automation or manually. Information flows into the software from every corner of the plant, including data collected from numerous sensors mounted on presses and other machines, measuring temperatures, pressures, flow rates and more.

Like so many segments of industry, AI appears poised to take ERP-software capabilities to new levels. As we learn in Kren’s article, one vendor, Cetec ERP, has launched a new AI-based chatbot tool that provides immediate responses to the most common questions asked by users accessing any screen within the ERP system. Another vendor, Rootstock, “bridges the physical and digital worlds and enables smart, autonomous manufacturing-related decision making using predictive and generative AI,” writes Kren.

We hope you’ll join us in August for our 2024 Industry 4.0 Forum and ERP Shootout. Visit to learn more and register to attend!

Industry-Related Terms: Corner, Functionality, Scale
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

Technologies: Management


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