Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software system that helps organizations streamline core business processes for optimal performance. ERP software oversees the flow of data between a company’s business processes, offering a single source of truth and simplifying operations across the enterprise. It can link a company’s financials, supply chain, operations, commerce, reporting, manufacturing, and human resources activities on one platform.
Many companies have a finance and operational system, but siloed systems are limited to everyday business processes and can’t assist with future business growth. As companies expand and their needs develop, their systems should evolve too. In this article, you will read about ERP, and why having software that adapts to your growing company can help run a more agile and productive business.
In the past, ERP systems were a bunch of software suites that didn't communicate with each other. Each system needed expensive, complex, and customized code to match unique business requirements. This often slowed down—or even prevented—the adoption of new technology or process optimization.
Nowadays, ERP software is different because it brings all these different processes together in one fluid system. It doesn't just provide data connectivity within your ERP system, but also within your productivity tools, e-commerce, and even customer engagement solutions. This allows you to connect all your data for better insights that help you to optimize your processes across your entire business.
A modern ERP solution also provides flexible deployment options, enhanced security and privacy, sustainability, and low-code customization. However, what is most important is that it builds continuity and resiliency into your business and processes through insights that help you rapidly innovate today, while preparing your business for what’s to come.
ERP technology is consistently becoming more and more effective in bringing processes together. Once your processes, systems, and data are connected, you will have the business intelligence, acceleration, and adaptability needed to start optimizing your operations. Here are three ways in which an ERP system can improve your business:
1. Drive optimal performance - With solutions that use AI, you will gain access to information that will improve your decision making and reveal ways to optimize operational performance in the future.
2. Accelerate operational impact - By connecting processes and data, you will give employees more visibility and flexibility, allowing them to take action quickly and deliver more value across the business.
3. Ensure business agility - Many ERP solutions are designed to adapt to your needs and grow with you, helping you proactively prepare for--and readily respond to--any operational disruption or market change.
An ERP system can unify many core functions throughout your organization— removing the barriers between the front and back office while also giving the ability to change the solution to new business priorities. Some of the key business functions are as follows:
An ERP system can provide a complete, omni-channel commerce solution that unifies back-office, in-store, and digital experiences to today's retailers. Customers get a more personalized and seamless shopping experience through AI recommendations, while retailers increase employee productivity, help reduce fraud, and grow their business.
Modern ERP boosts productivity and complies with regulations.It has dashboards and AI-generated insights that give you a overview of your finances, allow you to access real-time information anytime and anywhere, and diminish the need for manual information input by automating daily tasks. It also has tracking abilities that help with your business’s regulatory compliance.
Modern solutions make it easier to manage company data and tasks related to employee management, such as payroll, hiring, and other duties. You’ll be in a better position to help retain, recruit, and empower employees while also tracking employee performance. This will enable you to identify HR problems before they happen.
This ERP capability improves business communication, automates daily processes through robotic process automation, and offers manufacturers the ability to fulfill customer needs and manage resources by accessing real-time data.
Supply Chain Management
Automating manual processes like data entry and inventory tracking with ERP can save your company time and money. Modern supply chain solutions also come with features like dashboards, business intelligence, and even technology to help you gain visibility into your inventory management.
If you're reading this and struggling to keep up with your legacy system, you might be wondering if it's time for a change. Here are some signs that you need new ERP software:
Your current software is holding you back from expanding and growing on a global scale- if your basic tools are limiting your market expansion, it might be time for a better ERP system that is more flexible and can accommodate growth.
Your disparate systems aren't working well together and technology changes are only making it worse- if you're using different software for different purposes and they aren't compatible with each other, it's time to invest in an ERP system that will work for everyone.
Your staff and customers are mobile but your system can't keep up- if you're struggling to meet customer expectations because your system isn't accommodating them, it's time to invest in a new ERP system that will meet everyone's needs.
If you or your staff are asking for a new system and there is resistance to an ERP change, schedule a demo so everyone can see what is available. When everyone feels like they are included in the decision process, implementation will be much easier.
Even though there are plenty of options available, some companies are still undecided about implementing ERP. There could be many reasons why, but for every challenge, there is a solution.
Choosing the right ERP solution.
You don’t need to find the perfect software solution to fix everything. ERP should be able to take the best of the business processes you’re using now and bring them together under one system that allows everyone in your organization to view the same information. This is why choosing the right technology partner is important.
Affording the cost of an ERP system.
A solution doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing implementation. Software solution modules can be purchased separately according to your business needs. This will help your team ease into the implementation piece of ERP, and it’ll save you from having to invest in a major software renovation without knowing whether the functions you’re adding will pay off.
Any ERP solution you choose should be able to integrate with your existing software but also include features that can help you grow in the future.For example, if the software you have now mostly handles the financial, supply chain, and manufacturing sides of your business, you may want to look for a solution that has a strong business intelligence component.