The world of business ERP
In a commercial world where businesses need to be savvy about their systems and costs, constantly looking for the next advantage to increase productivity and profitability, they need to look for solutions that will help them deliver these additional benefits.
This is where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) comes in. These software solutions can free up operations, reduce the need for expensive hardware and software in departments, and will allow employees to focus on the business’s core activities.
What is ERP?
ERP is a series of software modules that can be used by a business to help reorganize and streamline its operations. As a business management tool, ERP lets companies integrate all aspects of their business, and can work for large, medium sized and small businesses, especially when the latter are planning expansion.
Data streams from various operational departments can often be dysfunctional if information is not shared effectively between them. Data input may be incorrect or can be corrupted, and this has a knock on effect within the business until the problems are investigated and solved.
What can ERP do for a business?
ERP removes the need for multiple data entries from departments by providing a system whereby a data entry from one department automatically updates information in other departments. Information put into the sales department, for example, will show up in every other part of the business. ERP can be used for product planning, product development, manufacturing and production processes, marketing, finance, sales and deliveries. It can also be applied to human resources, distribution and specialized accounting processes.
By streamlining operations, ERP software can also have a significant impact on costs if implemented properly. Many businesses will be used to dealing with hardware and software upgrades to their IT systems on a regular basis. ERP means that costly upgrades are no longer needed. The software can be accessed online in the Cloud, from any location, and it provides real time data updates so that managers can keep track of every aspect of the business. The centrality of shared information is a key driver for the benefits of the system.
Benefits of ERP
As long as good training is given to employees working with the system, there are significant benefits to be obtained from ERP. These include:
- Senior management has contemporaneous oversight of all departments using the system allowing for fast and well-informed decision making
- Departments have automatic and coherent work-flow between them so that there are smooth transitions for processes and they are finished correctly
- Stand-alone software systems for individual departments are no longer necessary – ERP software applies to and is used by them all
- The system can be purchased as modules so a business can decide what is or is not appropriate; as a business grows it can add new relevant modules that will fit straight into the system
- The cost of human resources can be reduced, as there is no requirement for multiple data operators to input from each department.