To understand why ERP integration is critical to your business, I would like to use an allegory that may help you better understand how an ERP integration can really ease your business.
Engineering is like cooking, it requires passion and dedication to lead to success. Engineers do not only turn their ideas into products, products turn into data. As for cooking, cooks turn their ideas into dish…, dish also generates a lot dishes. At some point in the process, we have to manage those dishes (data) and we are facing three options:
This is all what ERP integrations are about… do you really want to do it manually? Or would you prefer to fully automate it? Once you start using a dishwasher to clean your dishes, I believe that you never want to go back to the old good way, or if you have to then you know how valuable your dishwasher (integration) is.
When talking about ERP integration there are two aspects to take into consideration: importing and exporting data between the two systems.
This could be used for instance to run live search from SOLIDWORKS against your ERP, to search for items that already exist in the ERP. For instance those items could be spare parts or manufactured parts that exist in both systems (ERP & SOLIDWORKS) but are not linked. With CUSTOMTOOLS this is very easy to implement. You only need to create a link with your ERP and define some property mapping between attributes of the item in the ERP and custom properties of the SOLIDWORKS files.
This is used typically to automate the creation of new items and BOMs in the ERP from SOLIDWORKS. If the items or BOMs already exsist then they can also be updated. The data export requires customization based on the ERP systems and based on the logic to be implemented, which is different for every company. This is why every ERP integrations are different from each others.
1. Unify your CAD and ERP data:
2. Fast return on investment:
Integrations are not free, manual work (or dishwasher) either. Considering the average price of an ERP I would not say that integrations are expensive. Typically an integration is a 5 to 10 days project (from 5k€ to 10k€ on average).
The real questions is not how much the integration will cost, but how much will you gain from it. Is the integration worth the investment? This may seem like a hard question to answer but it is not. You can easily estimate how much time you need to create/update items and BOMs manually in your ERP. Having an integration requires two clicks; rather your SOLIDWORKS assembly consists of hundreds or thousands of parts.
On the 15th of March at 10.00 (CET) we are going to host a webinar where we will demonstrate an ERP integration between Oscar (a Finnish ERP) and SOLIDWORKS. If you are interested you can register here.
Francois Simon, Sales Manager