Avoid labor shortage problems with outsourced ERP services

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April, 2023- Avoid labor shortage problems with outsourced ERP services

U.S. manufacturers have been struggling with labor shortages for several years, and that trend doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. But there is a solution— using outsourced services from trusted partners to improve processes and complete more work with fewer people. Other industries have been using this approach to fill in labor gaps for a long time. Now, the manufacturing industry is catching on. To start, when manufacturers can’t find an experienced CFO or controller, the health of their business and their financial security is at risk. At Global Shop Solutions, we realized we had internal financial experts on hand that could bridge the gap for manufacturers and give them back peace of mind while they locate and hire the right candidates. We call this service Virtual Controller, and it provides manufacturers with a financial consultant who can produce financial statements, summary reports, complete month-end and more every single month. The Virtual Controller provides these services until the customer hires or develops qualified accounting professionals to perform the essential month-end tasks. In addition to handling the financials, our long-term goal is to strengthen the ERP skills and financial acuity of the customer’s accounting personnel. Once they have hired the right personnel or promoted someone internally, Virtual Controller teaches them how to understand what the numbers are saying and how that affects the business. The accounting team learns how to analyze what’s happening from a financial perspective, identify areas for improvement and uncover issues that may need correction. Most importantly, the team becomes adept at completing month-end on time while closing an employee gap that could have a serious impact on their business.


Furthermore, manufacturers who struggle to hire more workers for the shop floor and back offices often spend more time and money on recruiting. Global Shop Solutions thinks there’s a better way, so we developed the Operations Process Audit. Our team helps customers overcome labor shortages by reviewing processes, identifying areas for improvement and developing a plan to implement them. Upon completion of the review, the customer receives a full report with recommended changes and estimated ROI once the changes are implemented. Decisionmakers gain a better understanding of their company’s processes so they can continue to meet their customers’ needs with fewer employees. As both labor shortage problems and manufacturing processes grow more complex, manufacturers are seeking to tailor the software to their specific needs. Our Global Application Builder (GAB) software allows our customers to tailor screens and create applications in our software, on their own. But when a manufacturer doesn’t have the workforce to code or tailor the software, we use our Development as a Service (DaaS). When customers want an integration, a new application, a custom screen or dashboard, they give us precise specifications, and our DaaS team codes it into their ERP software. Common DaaS projects include creating, scheduling and automating production reports so managers can see the information the way they need to see it. Many customers request projects that pull data and functionality from several screens into one so people can work from a single screen all day. Others choose removing or adding functionality to standard screens to maximize efficiency. Regardless of the project, it helps overcome labor shortages by enabling employees to get more done in less time.


There are many consulting firms serving the manufacturing industry that can teach companies how to gain efficiency and productivity. However, companies achieve the best ROI from a financial or process analysis review by working directly with their ERP provider. Why? Because today’s manufacturing processes are so intertwined with ERP software that the most effective changes are made by consultants with a deep understanding of the ERP system. Until the labor shortage abates, companies in the manufacturing space might consider exploring outsourced services that can help address problem areas. They can work at continually improving the company’s ERP skills. And they may come to realize that hiring more personnel might not be the best or only solution.

DUSTY ALEXANDER is president and CEO of Global Shop Solutions (800/364-5958, ). A second-generation member of the family-owned business, he is actively involved in the benefits customers derive from the company’s software.