Enterprise resource planning, better known as ERP, is a software system that is crucial to the success of a business. The purpose of using an ERP system is to efficiently combine the core processes that are necessary to running a company. These processes may include supply chain, procurement, manufacturing, finance, and human resources, among others. At a rudimentary level, ERP systems use new technology to bring these processes together in real time.
ERP systems comprise various separate applications that share a database and communicate with each other. These systems not only ensure that your business runs at peak efficiency, but they also prevent the formation of department information silos. These systems put all of your business’s data together to create one source of truth for the business as a whole, also providing easy access to information.
If your business is suffering because you cannot access the information you need, if accounting is taking too long, or if you have many different software solutions that are used for different processes, you may need an ERP system to run your business. Not only large businesses, but also small to medium businesses (SMBs) can benefit from the adoption of an ERP system.
One of the first considerations to make when thinking about implementing an ERP system is how efficiently your current system is operating. Questions to ask yourself include:
- Are your business processes inefficient?
- Is your business running so inefficiently that you cannot serve your clients in the best way?
- Have your current systems become too expensive to maintain?
- Has your access to information become limited or inaccessible to most of the company?
One of the benefits of ERP is that these systems offer a shared database, so that information is always in the same place and is easily accessible to everyone in the company. Managing the business through one system is beneficial to small and large businesses alike. For large businesses, it prevents departments from being disconnected, thwarting information silos. For small businesses, it streamlines processes, enabling fewer people to do more jobs by putting all of the needed information at their fingertips.
The interconnectivity of ERP systems allows companies to better service their clients. Well-informed and possible demanding clients are more common than ever, and they expect more from businesses with which they have forged relationships. New ERP technology endows your business a competitive advantage over companies that do not keep the same technological pace. Furthermore, upper level management is able to effortlessly access information with these systems and make decisions accordingly.
Additionally, you will no longer generate reports with nonsensical data. With the shared database of ERP systems, data is updated and shared with all departments at any one time, so the data is always current and relevant. This centralized data also eliminates the need for synchronization between multiple systems and facilitates standardization throughout the business.
Improvements to Business Security
Another core benefit of ERP systems is that they improve the safety and security of business information. Because these systems are built as a single structure, they eliminate the need for multiple security systems to protect sensitive data.
ERP systems also work well for regulatory compliance. An ERP system can keep track of regulations and monitor any changes in compliance. Furthermore, with only one system to access, any breaches are more obvious and easier to locate than it would be running multiple systems. The built-in resources and firewalls also protect your data. In addition, specific restrictions can be set for the ERP system, allowing only certain people to access particularly sensitive information.
These systems protect vital information and control access to data to keep your business secure.
Company Growth and Expansion
If your business is in a phase of growth, ERP systems can mark a point of transition to greater expansion, allowing your business to flourish. At some point the founders of the company need to step back from the day-to-day grind of the business and allow their employees and processes to take over. ERP systems allow this transition with fewer people, allowing for stronger communication and efficiency throughout the organization.
New Business Venture
In beginning of a new business venture, you may seek to streamline the workflow from the get-go. Beginning your business with an ERP system will allow you to manage core business areas with one system, which is important when starting from scratch. This system will also allow you to easily explore data in all areas of your company.
An ERP system is designed to be flexible, adaptable, and scalable, which are all key considerations when starting your new venture.
If you are acquiring a new company or have been acquired by another company, the combination of systems can be overwhelming. Here, ERP systems are particularly helpful. If neither company has an ERP system implemented already, this is the time to execute that vision. In this scenario, combining all of the information of both companies is crucial to the success of the acquisition.
A new ERP system will benefit your business in a myriad of ways. Having organized and streamlined data allows for superb customer interactions. Customer expectations are higher than ever, and customers expect to have a cohesive and consistent experience across all channels of communication with a company.
ERP systems facilitate business data analysis, allowing you to gather and analyze data more efficiently to allow your employees to procure the insights and information that will support the growth of the company. These systems can also enable you to keep up to date on the latest technology.
One integrated system can keep your business on the edge of technology, enabling the identification of trends and patterns for more educated decision-making.
If it’s apparent that your business needs an ERP system, investing in the help from selection experts is a step in the right direction. Consulting firms, such as Technology Evaluation Centers, assist businesses through the selection process. They guide a company through shortlisting requirements, and scrutinizing solutions, to locate the best software for an individual enterprise.