Whether you are experiencing growing pains now or are anticipating growth in the future, you’ll likely be faced with a decision to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. With an investment of this size, you have to justify it and might be asking how does ERP improve business performance? That’s a smart question and here are 5 ways ERP will make an impact on your performance.
Separate Software vs. Integrated ERP
There are many reasons a business accumulates disparate business management systems. Some pick software a la carte, choosing specific accounting solutions, inventory tools and so on to address specific needs. Others start with basic business software and add other solutions as needs arise. Eventually, you may find that across departments your business is utilizing a bunch of different tools to achieve a common goal.
While disconnected applications and programs may have been the only option for new or small businesses with limited budgets, times have changed. Modern ERP has become far more affordable and scalable to meet the unique needs and budgets for businesses of all types and sizes. Today’s integrated ERP solutions offer time-saving automations that improve productivity and data management. They make it easier for employees to enter data and for managers to analyze it. These features alone offer a competitive advantage, but there are even more ways ERP will improve business performance.
5 Ways ERP Provides a Competitive Edge
In this digital age, businesses must have modern technology to meet a new range of demands. The marketplace is fast-paced and customers expect prompt, accurate responses. An integrated ERP solution streamlines operations and provides a competitive edge. Here are five ways an integrated ERP solution will improve business performance:
Process management: ERP solutions are comprehensive and offer functionality to address core business operations. ERP centralizes data from accounting and financial transactions, suppliers and inventory management, manufacturing and distribution operations, human resource and payroll, and other unique business processes. A single solution is far easier to learn and use than multiple specialty systems. In addition, centralizing data makes it easier for department and business leaders to stay on top of what’s happening at all times.
Automation and workflow: Since ERP is integrated, data flows seamlessly throughout the entire system. Workflows effortlessly guide employees through data entry and tasks. Automatic alerts notify key managers when certain situations arise. For example, when inventory is low or an invoice reaches so many days outstanding, a manager receives an alert and can take action before problems arise. Workflows and alerts can be customized to meet unique business functions and needs. These time-saving automations improve productivity and data management throughout your organization.
Transparency and data flow: Business leaders can establish security features to allow or prevent certain employees or managers from accessing certain features or data. This security protects the integrity of your data and secures proprietary or private customer data. However, business leaders with permissions are able to access critical information in real-time. With their fingers on important information, they can respond faster to new opportunities or prevent exceptions from becoming larger problems.
Business intelligence: Role-tailored dashboards are easily configured for each employee and their specific responsibilities. The sales department can monitor customer orders, for example, and your procurement manager can track inventory. Modern ERP provides multiple ways to visualize data including charts and detailed reports. Data is automatically populated in a way that enables leaders to identify trends or follow data in real-time. In addition, automations streamline reporting for colleagues, shareholders, banks or taxiing and regulatory authorities.
Customer satisfaction: Customers today will not wait for a call back to check inventory availability, delivery status or get other questions answered. They also want an easy way to place and track orders as well as process payments. ERP allows you to integrate eCommerce and provides sales and customer service reps with a 360-degree of your customers. Convenience and speed is essential to strengthening customer relationships and ERP supports this important process.
What Are the Next Steps?
Replacing disparate and legacy systems with an integrated ERP solution will alleviate common growing pains and accelerate business performance. If you are ready to upgrade your business management technology or want to discuss your options, contact us or a reputable ERP solution provider to ensure you are on the right track from day one.