If your business has never used an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, you may wonder what exactly such a system is capable of. Many small to medium-sized businesses use a myriad of platforms and processes to run their operations day-to-day, without ever being aware of the difference ERP could make to their efficiency and productivity.
What common business problems can ERP help solve? Here are just a few of the ways an enterprise resource planning solution can improve the way your business works.
ERP enables you to see all your assets in one place
Many businesses, particularly those in the manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution sectors, may find it difficult to keep track of their inventory across multiple sites, ever-changing stock levels, batch management, and returns coming back in. With numerous systems managing different stock reserves, it can be almost impossible to see the bigger picture when it comes to the assets your business holds, particularly if the amount of transactions being processed is increasing.
An ERP solution can log all the stock and assets within your business as well as make monitoring and managing them simple as the click of a mouse. With the ability to view everything in one simple interface, ERP allows complete visibility of goods in and out, minimising waste and boosting turnover.
Manufacturing businesses can also track the production of goods at every stage through ERP, taking into account costs versus sales through multilevel bills of materials.
ERP allows you to access your systems from anywhere
Traditional, aging business management tools can restrict the operations of your company to one place; your workplace will lack the flexibility to represent today’s modern working world. As many businesses now consist of multiple departments, numerous teams, countless projects, and in some cases, several sites, not being able to access the information you need while moving between locations is a problem.
Not so with an ERP solution. Thanks to omnipresent cloud connectivity, your workforce can retrieve all the resources they need from anywhere and on any connected device, giving them greater working freedom and flexibility. Cloud-based business management is also infinitely scalable, offering no limits to the resources you can store, so you can be confident your system will grow with you.
ERP saves your business time by streamlining processes
How much time is taken up in your business by having to consult any number of different systems and documents to find the data you need to perform one simple task? With separate software systems and add-ons in operation for each area of your business, such as sales, accounting and finance and warehousing, valuable time is often wasted simply by reproducing data in various forms for each department.
With an ERP solution, all of these disparate systems are brought together, centralising the information and combining data streams so that communication and collaboration across departments is straightforward. You no longer need to trawl from system to system or spend time and money updating numerous platforms, as ERP can do it all.
ERP delivers insightful reporting for better business planning
Without effective reporting on your company’s activities, it simply isn’t possible to make the best decisions for future growth and development. If you cannot analyse and evaluate the efficacy of what you’re currently doing, you cannot know what elements you need to modify to gain even better results.
The reporting capabilities of an ERP system are second to none, enabling you to interrogate and dig deep into the metrics behind your business performance. With scheduled and on-demand reporting functionality, you have a comprehensive overview of the state of play at all times, through which you can accurately forecast and plan for continued growth.
ERP gives your business the tools it need to grow
Inadequate or non-existent business management software is often a contributor to stagnation. When archaic processes and time-consuming, overly complicated data analysis stand in the way of the smooth running of your business, expanding your company’s reach is an arduous task.
With an ERP solution specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses and the challenges they face, the integration and simplification such a system can provide makes progression a natural outcome. By giving you complete control of your company’s operational workflow, accounting and finance, sales, customer relationships, and reporting in one application, your business will have the processes in place to develop and flourish, with a business management system fully capable of growing alongside it.
For more on future-focused business tools, see Going Beyond ERP—Artificial Intelligence-Based Business Applications.