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Leveraging ERP to preserve domestic manufacturing: How Microsoft Dynamics can help businesses adapt

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

In Can ERP Software Help Save American Manufacturing Jobs?, Eric Kimberling addresses issues that are top of mind for many companies and citizens right now, including the demise of American manufacturing and the offshoring of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. As managing partner of Panorama Consulting Solutions in Denver, Kimberling sees Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions as a vital tool for manufacturers looking to buck the trend, save American jobs, and prosper for the long term.

"There is a general sense that manufacturing jobs are being moved overseas to China, India, and other developing markets, yet from what we can tell, U.S. companies and other developed multi-nationals are still looking for ways to leverage ERP systems," writes Kimberling, who was an ERP consultant for firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers and SchlumbergerSema before founding his own consulting firm.

Pointing to rising labor costs and an increasingly global economy as just two of the reasons why some work is being shifted overseas, Kimberling says that for each company that moves jobs from the U.S. to another part of the world, "there are additional opportunities to replace these typically less-complex commodity manufacturing activities with higher-value products and services that are less likely to be handled outside developed countries such as the U.S."

Kimberling says ERP software can give a domestic manufacturer new options for adapting to global change on four distinct fronts:  by allowing them to focus on complex, made-to-order and engineer-to-order manufacturing (as opposed to high-transaction, volume-based business); enabling global supply chains (by managing business processes and providing supply chain visibility); supporting globally-dispersed employee workforces (ERP software has been reengineered to address companies' changing needs over the last few years); ...

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

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