Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can help businesses streamline and manage all core business activities, processes and communications with suppliers and other partners. This can revolutionize key functions of a business, including supply chain operations, production, project management, accounting, procurement, finance, trade and more.
Implementing ERPs and embedding the tool into employees’ day-to-day workflows can be quite costly and time-intensive given how complex these systems need to be when managing so many facets of a company. The Canadian government has introduced several non-repayable funding programs for the implementation, training and upgrading of ERP systems.
The Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP) provides funding for projects that address national or sector-wide priorities that help the agricultural industry mitigate emerging issues and capitalize on opportunities. CASPP provides up to 50 percent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $1 million in non-repayable funding. Eligible projects include adopting new technologies, such as ERP systems, to help improve productivity, environmental sustainability, strategic planning, capacity building and emerging issues.
Eligible businesses include not-for-profit organizations and associations, cooperatives, marketing boards and indigenous groups. This program is accepting applicants until funding is depleted. The projects cannot exceed five years in duration.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a $3 billion investment from the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to grow the agri-food sector over the course of five years (2018 to 2023). One of the streams within this program is the CAP Ontario: Agri-Processors Stream, which provides between 25 percent to 50 percent of eligible expenses to a maximum of $20,000 to $250,000 in grant funding depending on the funding stream that an applicant applies under, including streams covering costs towards ERP implementations, productivity improvements, waste monitoring, and more.
Applicants for this funding stream must be Ontario-based manufacturers that have a CRA number. They must have under 200 full-time equivalent employees, a valid Premises Identification Number and vendor quotes that demonstrate project costs. They must be directly involved in transforming agricultural commodities, food, beverage or agri-based bio-products. Application intake periods for this program are announced on the program’s website throughout the year for their various project focus areas.
The Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) is an Ontario provincial government funding program administered by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA). It helps automotive supply chain businesses improve their operational efficiency and global competitiveness through the adoption of lean manufacturing processes and Industry 4.0-related technologies, including hardware and software implementation and related training.
This program covers up to 50 percent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $100,000 in Ontario government grants. Businesses eligible for O-AMP funding must be an Ontario automotive business with fewer than 500 employees and at least 50 percent of revenue coming from the automotive supply sector. The O-AMP program is currently closed. Watch out for information about future funding rounds in fall 2021.
Funding for ERP training
The Canada Job Grant (CJG) is a federal-provincial co-funded program that launched in 2014 with the purpose of upskilling new and existing employees. The goal of the program is to increase the employability of Canadian workers by teaching them new skills that are desirable in their industry and role. The CJG maintains a provincial stream for each province, except for Quebec, and each provincial stream has varying funding amounts and eligibility criteria.
Each provincial variant of the CJG program has unique eligibility criteria and funding limits. Between 50 to 100 percent of eligible training costs are covered based on the type of training, employer and trainee. Eligible training costs typically include third party training costs, course fees, textbooks, materials, supplies and examination fees. Eligible training themes vary by province. Many variants allow training for post-secondary courses, technical skills development and transferrable skills development.
The program is generally open to the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises to train Canadian employees and new hires and can be used towards ERP training.
The Ontario Manufacturing Training Program (OMTP) provides up to $100,000 in grant funding or 25 to 50 percent of eligible trainer costs (third party or in-house) and 25 to 50 percent of trainees’ internal labour costs for time spent being trained. The training projects that are eligible for funding must be related to software (for example, ERP, CRM or CAD software), equipment and processes to improve manufacturing productivity and promote exports.
The applicant must be a Southern Ontario manufacturer that is financially stable, has ten to1000 employees, has been incorporated for more than three years and is currently exporting or intends to as a result of the training. This funding initiative has been around for several years and releases funding periodically as it receives funding top-ups from the government.
Applying for ERP grants
One common element across all of these programs is the need to proactively submit a funding proposal to the funding agency before starting your project. Most government grants and repayable funding programs require applicants to wait until their funding application is approved and a contribution agreement is signed before carrying out project activities or expenses. If you need help determining which program is best for your business, please call Mentor Works team at 1-888-599-3111 who can help you target the most suitable programs for your business’ unique investments and streamline the application process.
Matthew Mongeon is a marketing coordinator at Mentor Works. He helps business owners by creating educational content on what government funding opportunities are available to Canadian businesses. To find out your business’s eligibility for grants and tax credits, visit mentorworks.ca.
This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Manufacturing AUTOMATION.