Why Millennials Taking Over Metal Fabrication Expect More From Their ERP

There are more Millennials living right now on the earth than there are Baby Boomers, according to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. As millennials become the new leaders, they’ll be re-evaluating the way mom and dad did things to see if business could be done better or quicker. An article by The Fabricator explains that many millennials will be looking at the most important core business system at many metal fabricators: the enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

Why Millennials Expect More An ERP that might have worked well with Baby Boomers in charge just won’t cut it once a millennial takes over. Most millennials have grown up with access to instant technology in the palm of their hand. Gen Y kids barely remember the days of dial-up internet and don’t like waiting for technology to catch up to their fast-paced life. A lot of fabrication shops may still be running on outdated ERP platforms that don’t give them the kind of visibility they need to run a business efficiently.

Switching to a New Cloud-Based System Millennials want to be able to access an ERP from anywhere, including when they’re out of town or working from home. A lot of older legacy ERPs don’t have the capability to be accessed remotely, or they require costly additional IT maintenance and staff to make that possible. Instead of trying to make an old system fit a new way of doing things, Gen Y leaders will want to replace their legacy ERP system with a cloud-based model.

Mobile-Friendly ERP Options Are Important Along with a cloud-friendly option, Millennials expect an ERP platform to be accessible from multiple devices, including a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.


An ERP needs to be convenient as well as capable. It needs to be able to handle complex data without running slowly or inefficiently.

“Therefore, many ERP vendors have developed mobile applications that offer portions of the entire ERP functionality, such as customer relationship management, key dashboards, and shop floor visibility. Other vendors have invested heavily in giving their platforms a responsive design in which data resizes or reorients itself automatically based on the screen size.”

Intelligent Dashboards Printing statistical reports on posters or paper is a thing of the past. Next-generation metal fabrication shop owners will want their ERP to present them with graphic dashboards and charts that instantly show them the information they’re seeking. Business Intelligence (BI) tools can show a Millennial business owner specific trends emerging and predict future outcomes. These tools allow next-generation owners to make business decisions based on both present and future data.

Combining Other Systems in an ERP “Modern fabricators use multiple software tools beyond ERP, everything from product life cycle management (PLM) and nesting systems to other machine automation and production control platforms.”

Millennial owners will want all their tools in one box, so to speak. Legacy ERPs may make integrating other software a difficult challenge that’s just not worth it. New ERP modern platforms make it easy to allow integrating ERP to PLM, as well as design software, machine controls, and other systems.

One-Size-Doesn’t-Always-Fit-All In the past, it was challenging and expensive to customize ERP systems for a specific company’s needs, so most companies just made do with the programs available, even if they didn’t fit their requirements. Today ERP platforms allow companies a way to tailor the software so it’s doing what it needs to. Many ERP developers use codeless or low-code development platforms that require just a basic understanding of business process mapping. Customers can also test out the ERP in a “demo” environment first so they know what to expect before switching over.

The Evolution of ERP As ownership of metal fabrication businesses shifts to millennials, ERP platforms designed for these shops need to adapt to the changes the younger owners stipulate. “Metal fabrication’s next-generation leaders will have a lasting impact on manufacturing ERP, and its evolution will only accelerate in the coming years.”

With cloud-based Cetec ERP, all modules are already included. There’s no extra IT setup and no extra costs. We believe in a transparent system that’s easy to setup and easy to use. Whether you’re in the metal fabrication business or you’re a small business looking for a better system for your inventory and accounting, Cetec can help make things clearer and easier for your company. Plus you can access our cloud-based system at any time, any where!

Cetec ERP is a cost-effective, all-in-one platform designed to scale with your company as it grows.