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ERP for the Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers Industry

Agricultural equipment manufacturers face some unusual challenges compared to other types of equipment manufacturers. Sure, they face similar issues of complexity, continuous change, price pressures, and innovation demands. Likewise, their customers also demand equipment lifecycle management, whereby all the activities involving the product must be managed from cradle to grave.

However, there are a few twists that make the agricultural equipment market a unique environment.

What Makes the Agricultural Market Unique?

Export Demand & Support

Export Demand & Support

Demand for agricultural food products is steadily rising around the globe, particularly in the remote undeveloped regions of the world. The major driver for this demand lies in population growth. Within time, this demand for food imports becomes replaced with a need to produce food products locally. This local need creates new demands for agricultural equipment, and subsequently mandates that sales, service and support networks be created to nurture those markets. Call centers, spare parts, effective warranties and support documentation must all be available to support equipment sold into the new markets. Additionally, strong CRM software systems are required to build the fledgling dealers into long-term growing partners.

Cyclical Demand

Cyclical Demand

The agricultural equipment industry is a highly capital intensive endeavor. From sophisticated machinery on the shop floor, to expansive buildings, to expensive inventories of finished goods; the AG equipment business requires large reservoirs of capital. The AG equipment market is also subject to rapidly changing peaks and valleys of demand, caused by changes in farm income, commodity prices, the strength of the dollar, changing interest rates and the strength of the farming balance sheet. In combination, these factors can cause wide swings in profitability.

To combat these challenges, an AG equipment manufacturer needs to be as agile as possible. They need to produce more with less, and to switch operations on a dime. More capacity can be gained from higher uptimes, better quality, less queue time and precisely scheduled work. Switching operations on a dime can be done with effective systems that re-plan in minutes, and give managers immediate insights into the details.

For some, configuring the product to hold the variety (options, features, colors, etc.) until the end of the production process, can significantly improve deliverability. Variety is expensive when stored in finished goods, (and subject to write-offs and discounting), rather than in stocking the less expensive lower level components.

Manufacturing Efficiencies

Manufacturing Efficiencies

For some AG equipment manufacturers, the product unit sales do not support full time assembly lines for each product. To maximize utilization of operations and capacity, changeovers are required for the various different products. It therefore becomes imperative to use shop floor systems to minimize the impact of these changes, and to maximize the efficiencies on the plant floor. ERP software ools such as MES, visual scheduling, mobile data collection, and real time dispatching are essential.

Manufacturers operations also must control costs by maximizing uptime, quality, and throughput with use of such tools as CMMS, TQM, and MES.

High Dollar Inventories

High Dollar Inventories

Products of AG equipment manufacturers tend to have high dollar price tags, with an additional requirement for stocking of finished goods at both the manufacturers and in the dealer network. Forecasting of customer needs can be difficult, with many variants. Poor forecasting can result in expensive discounting or significant write-offs of obsolete finished goods. The answer to this problem lies in designing flexibility into both the product and the production process, along with refining the forecast within a sophisticated ERP tool.

Supply Chain: Cost Control & Timely Deliveries

Supply Chain: Cost Control & Timely Deliveries

Purchasing can be a key value driver for AG equipment manufacturers. Material costs remain a large factor of product cost for AG equipment manufacturers. Added to this, late deliveries or poor quality can stop a production line for days, causing high costs, and even higher inventories. Managing supplier performance can have a big impact on all three factors – price, quality and timely delivery.

Because of the huge impact, there is a constant pressure to build dependable relationships with suppliers. These relationships can provide reliable delivery of expensive components, and warn of shortages and price variations. Supply chain collaboration can make the difference between profitable or non-profitable product lines, and high or low levels of inventory.

WorkWise ERP Software for Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers

+- Challenges Faced by Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers

Export Demand and Competition

  • Need for comprehensive low cost aftermarket service and support
  • Requirement for readily available aftermarket parts
  • Mandated full warranty coverage and extended time frames
  • Better customer service

Cyclical Demand

  • Economic
  • Seasonal
  • Weather
  • Shifting world-wide markets
  • Capital intensive business

Manufacturing Efficiencies

  • Equipment downtime
  • Changeovers
  • Limited equipment and capacity
  • Poor scheduling
  • Quality and rework

High Dollar Inventories

  • High priced supply chain components
  • Expensive finished goods
  • Coordination of inbound supply
  • Rising material costs

Supply Chain Weakness

  • Fluctuating raw material prices
  • Unreliable suppliers
  • Poor delivery performance
  • Need to outsource
  • Need greater insights into supplier activities

Total Solutions / Life Cycle Performance

  • Customer mandated solutions- birth to death
  • Mandated full warranty coverage and extended time frames
  • Better customer service

Innovation / Change

  • Incorporating changes to remain compatible with large manufacturers
  • Different farm conditions (rain, soil, etc.) around the world
  • Staying ahead of the competition
  • Meeting customer expectations
  • Controlling product design changes


  • Rising material costs
  • Product line profitability
  • Pressures to reduce cost
  • Push for lower total cost of ownership for the product
  • Inefficient operations
  • Customer demand for lower prices
  • Customer demands for more features, functions and solutions


  • Low cost foreign competition
  • Supply exceeds demand
  • Large manufacturers consolidations


  • Lifecycle quality-birth to death
  • CAPA, APQP, ISO 9001

Tailored Products

  • Capturing the customer feedback
  • Coordinated design efforts
  • Handling variety throughout the organization
  • Expanding special features, options, colors, etc.
  • Ability to match the customer needs with the optimal mode, ETO, CTO, MTO, ATO

Safety and Ergonomics

  • Large costs of recalls
  • Product liability costs

+- WorkWise ERP Key Features for Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers

Mixed Modes

  • Make to stock
  • Assemble to order
  • Build to order
  • Configure to order
  • Repeat and tweak
  • Engineer to order

Mixed Methods

  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Kanban
  • MRP & MPS
  • JIT
  • 5s
  • MES
  • Role based manufacturing
  • TQM, Six Sigma, Kaizen

Manufacturing Execution

  • Product configuration
  • Visual scheduling
  • Shop Floor Control
  • Work in process manager
  • Asset utilization manager, CMMS/EAM
  • Mobile data collection
  • Kanban
  • Kaizen
  • 5s
  • Performance management
  • Human resource management

Supply Chain

  • Inventory management
  • Purchasing
  • Supplier portal/ Supplier score carding
  • Bill of material
  • Engineering change orders
  • JIT
  • Warehouse management


  • Purchase Order and Change Printing
  • Go Paperless with Integrated fax/email capability
  • Blankets and Releases
  • Vendor Quotations with Quantity Breaks
  • Purchase for Stock, Jobs (WIP) and MRO
  • Outside Process Services
  • Optional Inspection Processing
  • Complete Purchasing History
  • Vendor On Time and Quality Tracking

Production Planning

  • Material requirements planning
  • Master scheduling
  • Product configuration
  • Available to promise
  • Lot traceability
  • Capacity planning

Aftermarket Sales and Support

  • CRM sales
  • CRM-Call center
  • eCommerce
  • Warranty
  • Customer portal
  • Spare parts
  • Document management

Cost Management

  • Job cost
  • Standard cost
  • Multi-layered cost application
  • Product line profitability

Dealer Service

  • Quoting and estimating
  • Complex orders
  • Product configuration
  • Copy and tweak order creation
  • Direct Fulfillment
  • Dealer portal
  • Dealer relationship manager

Product Life Cycle Management

  • Dealer portal
  • CRM-Dealer
  • Product configuration
  • Document and file management
  • Engineering change orders
  • Supplier traceability
  • As built BOM and routing
  • Build histories
  • Quality archives
  • CRM-Support
  • Warranty

Cost Management

  • Job cost
  • Standard cost
  • Multi-layered cost application
  • Product line profitability


  • Engineering change orders
  • Quality control
  • Regulation compliance
  • Tools supporting ISO 9001 and TS16949 standards
  • Supplier score carding

+- WorkWise ERP Software Additional Features & Functions

  • Multidimensional sales forecasting and planning
  • Preventative/predictive maintenance tracking
  • Features and options
  • Multi-level pricing
  • Rules based quotations and configurations
  • Blanket purchase orders
  • Role based screens and applications
  • Document archiving
  • Rules based configurations
  • What-if quotes and costing
  • Available to promise
  • Shop order explosion
  • Modular design capability
  • Asset purchased and tracking system
  • Cost application of design, research and other special costs
  • Matrix bills
  • Family forecasting
  • Serialized label generation
  • Complete audit trails
  • Multi-currency, international shipping
  • Forward and backward lot traceability
  • Kitting
  • Cumulative lead time
  • Smooth forecast error
  • Substitutes and alternatives
  • Serialized inventory
  • Attribute management

+- WorkWise Solution Benefits

  • Global reach along with cost and capacity advantage
  • Complete engineering change control, product lifecycle, and lot tracking, across all internal and external operations
  • Improved collaboration and relationship with the customer, engineers, and suppliers
  • Rules-based, multi-level sales configurator – Configure and price
  • Quick bidding with bids, quotations and estimates
  • Improved supply chain management and cost control
  • Lower operational costs
  • Speed time-to-delivery
  • Maximize aftermarket opportunities, and lowering aftermarket costs
  • Supports aftermarket parts sales
  • Extend value add programs (solutions)
  • Support production of complex products
  • Improved equipment lifecycle management
  • Maintain plant and equipment with CMMS activities factored into production schedules
  • Full lot, serial, and revision control
  • Ability to handle multiple mixed mode planning models
  • Lower costs and waste thru lean practices
  • Better visibility into all aspects of your operations
  • Precise execution throughout the business
  • Real time feedback to stay on top of all activities and performance
  • Enhanced productivity for the shop floor
  • Low cost efficient operations
  • Better customer fill-rates and delivery promises
  • Improved quality with Kaizen, TQM
  • Extend value add programs (solutions)
  • Optimized production capacity
  • Insights into accurate product costs with full view and alternative application methods
  • Tight control on serial numbers and lots
  • Manage high level receivables
  • Project and manage cash flow

Ready to Learn More

Ready to see how our powerful ERP software can benefit your business? Schedule your personalized, one-on-one demo today.

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All aspects of our company are now running through our ERP software. Having everyone work out of the same system and not have multiple programs that you have to jump back and forth through, has allowed us to get more done in less time.

Gary Volz

Software Developer


One of the main benefits we’ve experienced using WorkWise ERP is being able to get meaningful information we can use, versus getting data that requires more work to get the answers you’re looking for. The data is integrated and streamlined for efficient use which keeps our fixed costs lower and allows us to invest our capital into building better products.

Michael Ray



It doesn’t take all day to do our schedule anymore. Also, the Performance Management WorkBench lets us see what information we want to see, and what time we want to see it, in a nice visual way. Item Planning is also great. It’s so easy to look up specific information related to whatever we need to see.

Kelly Crowell

AMI President

American Metal Fab

What’s really nice is having everything in one package. My financials are in the same package as manufacturing and customer orders. Everything integrates seamlessly. Bringing in inventory management has been a huge benefit for us. Being able to jump between workbenches and different points of data has been really nice.

Pam Reynolds

Chief Financial Officer


I would highly recommend WorkWise to other companies. It’s cost competitive, the Cloud ERP implementation has been great, the people have been great. WorkWise bends over backwards to help us. We feel that they’re on our side.

Don Lavrenz

President and CEO

The Industrial Controls Company

WorkWise has been a true leader in our ability to drive process change and productivity enhancement, and to assist us in our lean capabilities.

Jim Moldenhauer

IT Manager


I would definitely recommend WorkWise ERP to anyone looking to improve their manufacturing processes. We’ve been utilizing the software for 20 years and have never regretted our decision.

Chris Reid


Service Stampings

The team at WorkWise is phenomenal. I highly recommend WorkWise ERP to any company looking to improve their processes, improve their efficiency, become more productive and work with a company who really gets to know them and understands what they’re going through.

Mike Campise

IT Systems Specialist


The screens and dashboards within OnContact CRM are incredibly easy to use and navigate. We no longer have to waste time endlessly scrolling and clicking. The product is user-friendly and designed to be efficient.

Dave Manahan

IT Director