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When businesses experience such unprecedented growth, they can also often find themselves at a loss in terms of how to deal with daily demands.
Internal processes have become increasingly complicated as they try to cater to all the different factors that come with a burgeoning business. Concerns regarding inventory, order volume and managing a healthy customer relationship have sprung up.
At this point, it is wise to look into getting an agile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Considering ERP software to help an organization improve their internal business processes can contribute to the overall business performance.
The Advantages of ERP
Companies should take advantage of what modern technology can offer to help their business rise to meteoric heights. As a product of the 21st century quest to make life easier and more convenient, ERP systems have been designed with people in mind.
At the most basic tier, ERP software can help streamline various information, functions and processes within an organization. ERP offers advantages such as:
- Growth through the integration of information and methods
- Decreased labor and operational costs
- Increased efficiencies
- Improved productivity
Some ERP consulting companies and providers even offer a whole suite of solutions that go beyond ERP. These providers have integrated ERP suites that may include:
- Enterprise Project Management (EPM)
- Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)
- Service management
This kind of application can be configured to suit the needs of a business, offering top-notch functionality that can be expanded to other areas of operation.
How, then, can a company determine if they are ready for an ERP system?
Here are five tell-tale signs to look out for:
No easy access to business information
Businesses today run at such a fast pace, which means that key information should always be readily available for top honchos or key employees.
With the help of ERP software, executives can get a holistic view of operations data at any time. At the same time, staff members can also have access to information that will allow them to do their jobs effectively.
For example, a sales officer will be able to readily check a customer’s purchase history and can thus devise a plan to retain and delight that customer. This could then lead to possible upselling opportunities and increased renewal rates.
Several software systems used for different processes
Having several software systems that manage a company’s front-end and back-end operations can adversely impact processes that are meant to ensure smooth operations:
- Inaccurate data from sales may cause inventory management to suffer
- The absence of the latest information from accounting can trigger a ripple effect on everything from marketing budgets to payroll
- Warehouse employees may have difficulty tracking shipping and receiving with software that is disconnected to headquarters inventory
With an agile and flexible ERP software, these systems can be integrated so that every business function relies on a single database.
An ERP solution breaks up information deadlocks, helps staff make faster and more informed decisions, and gives them more time to work on more high-value exercises that can help the business grow faster.
All these are possible with the implementation of an application that stems from a single source of information which contains accurate, real-time data.
Longer and more difficult accounting
If the company accountants rely on paper-based invoices and sales orders and spend endless hours manually recording and inputting them into separate accounting and sales systems, chances are, they are wasting precious work hours that are better relegated to more business-enhancing activities.
An ERP software application can streamline processes such as accounting and financial reporting. The finance and accounting department won’t need to waste time cross-posting information, re-entering numbers or reconciling data manually.
With ERP, accounting staff will have more time to be productive and deliver reports in a timely manner without the frustration and delay of traditional accounting processes.
Suffering sales and customer experience
When sales, inventory and customer data are managed separately, this can lead to grave concerns across the company.
For instance, if a business runs out of a popular product, sales will have nothing to sell until the next shipment arrives. Similarly, if a client inquires about an order and it cannot be tracked real-time — or there’s no way of knowing if it’s even in stock — a company risks harming its reputation for delivering reliability and quality service.
An ERP system can ably address these matters by providing every department with access to the same, up-to-the-minute information.
Client-facing representatives should be able to answer customer questions about order and shipping status, payment status, service issues, and other matters related to their purchase without having to check with another department.
In addition, what’s great about some ERP software solutions is that customers can even just go online to check their account and status information.
Demanding business settings call for flexible and agile solutions. With ERP systems, an enterprise can have a wider view of the operations involved through a unified application that connects every department.
With a cohesive hold on the processes that a business needs to be able to run smoothly, it’s clear to see why a system such as ERP is truly a worthwhile investment.
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