Whilst a very lucrative sector (contributing £78bn to the UK economy in 2019) , the UK Aerospace and Defence industry is a highly complex and demanding environment to either operate in or supply to. Aggressive delivery cycles, strict compliance requirements and long supply chains are all typical characteristics of this sector and companies need to take advantage of tools such as ERP to successfully survive and thrive in this competitive marketplace. Generally, an ERP will integrate the data from all functions across a business and give you clear visibility of all your operations but it also offers much more for those in A&D. Here are the 5 key reasons to use ERP for Aerospace and Defence manufacturing.


#1 Full Traceability

In general, components or parts produced for the A&D industry must be of an exceptional high quality. Strict regulations mean that manufacturers need to review and test these parts and, in case of any defect or recall, be able to track each part back to its original source. Think of the effort, time and money you can save by being able to trace components or parts from their creation to shipments and returns.

Fortunately, ERP systems for Aerospace and Defence manufacturing, like E-Max ERP, do just that. E-Max ERP automatically tracks every batch, serial or heat number that goes through the system. E-Max also tracks additional variables, including the machine and operator that manufactured the part. Material certificates can be attached to inbound material batches from as early as raising the original PO, with details of the chemical or mechanical properties of raw materials also stored, and tracked through the business.

Using barcode scanners and RFID technology enables materials to be recorded as soon as they are received and subsequent movement of these materials is tracked through the business.

Approved suppliers for materials can also be saved in an ERP system and their quality performance tracked and analysed for future orders.


#2 Planning and Scheduling

Many of our customers are in the A&D supply chain and need to manufacture and deliver to very specific dates, often in a short time frame. A good quality ERP system will be equipped with powerful scheduling tools. These will use the information within the ERP system to calculate the most efficient schedules to meet required delivery times to keep the supply chain moving. Schedulers will also highlight conflicts and allow quick decisions to be made for the benefit of the business.


#3 Cost Controls

As with any business, costs need to be managed at every stage. An ERP system will allow you to track a huge variety of costs, such as full project costs, purchased material costs, labour costs, overheads, and even subcontracted work. These costs can all be broken down and, in E-Max ERP, tagged to a BOM or a particular work order. The great benefit of this is the visibility provided around costs can help improve future purchasing and/or manufacturing processes and help to reduce the overall cost of products moving forward. It can also help identify unprofitable jobs.


#4 Quality Management

Quality Management standards for the Aerospace and Defence sector are more complex and rigorous than most other industries. Any ERP system for A&D should enable users to identify and manage nonconformances and take appropriate actions by fixing issues and rejecting sub-standard parts quickly. It’s good to know that E-Max ERP allows users to quickly create work orders and route cards for rework and other quality related issues.

Defects are easily recorded, monitored and reported in E-Max ERP.  The inbuilt 8D process allows you to perform root cause analysis, assign teams and allocate preventative or corrective actions. Practicing continuous improvement becomes painless.


#5 Full Document Management

Having a robust document management system is a necessity in the Aerospace and Defence supply chain. In this fast-paced environment, changes in design or drawings need to be implemented immediately. The most current versions of each document need to be available to the appropriate personnel on the production floor.

Using E-Max ERP, you can attach all types of documents, from contracts, technical specifications, designs, drawings, revisions, certifications, material composition requirements, etc, to a specific record, such as a contact, job or wider project. These documents can be scanned or copied documents or digital versions – E-Max’s Outlook integration means emails can also be stored to any record. Once scanned, paper-based documentation can be discarded, ending the requirement for space consuming filing systems.

Security levels can also be applied for approvals or acceptance of revisions, etc.


Use ERP for Aerospace and Defence and enjoy more benefits

We’ve covered the top 5 reasons why you should use an ERP system for A&D but there are plenty more reasons. Most, if not all, of these companies will require suppliers to be accredited with a quality standard like ISO 9001. See how you can use ERP for accreditation by developing standardised processes and activities.

Find out more about what other benefits you can expect when using E-Max ERP for Aerospace and Defence by speaking to our team on 0141 644 4424, messaging us today or visiting our website. If you’d like to see E-Max ERP in action, one of our specialists can take you through a no obligation demo.

If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out some other E-Max blogs that may be of interest:

Using ERP for improved Quality Management

Case study: Tarvin Precision: Getting transparency of costs