We all know that successful companies are efficient, streamlined and scalable. But with ever-increasing client demands, endless performance pressure, and mounting costs, how do you keep your company moving in the right direction?
Enterprise Resource Planning Software (ERP) may be just what your business needs. Below, we outline what you need to know, and why ERP makes sense for businesses of all sizes.
What is ERP?
ERP is a type of commercial software. It can be onsite or cloud-based depending on your business needs and/or your budget restrictions. What’s important is that ERP allows you to:
- Run every aspect of your business from one integrated, real-time platform
- Check your business performance at a glance
- Automate certain functions to reduce the likelihood of human error, and to free up staff to focus on more important tasks
Increasingly, SMBs are embracing ERP technology, with over 80% of businesses recently surveyed introducing some form of ERP into their infrastructure. Let’s see why in more detail.
Why you should introduce ERP into your business
ERP works for some companies, but does it work for everyone? Here are some of the key benefits of ERP to help you decide whether the technology is an investment worth making.
Planning and visibility
Wouldn’t it be great to log on to one platform and monitor every key business process, in real time, at just the touch of a button? ERP lets you track, for example:
- Inventory levels
- Consignments in transit
- And so much more
Since every company manager can access the same data, everyone can plan ahead and collaborate on what needs to happen next. ERP means less time wasted on poor planning or miscommunications.
ERP is uniquely designed to make your business more efficient. For example, ERP:
- Limits time wasted on repetitive processes and admin tasks
- Lets staff find the information they need, when they need it, with just a few simple clicks
An ERP can be customized to suit your unique business needs. This means you can streamline the platform to suit very niche tasks. You can also integrate as many software applications as you wish.
Long-term cost savings
Sure, there’s an initial cost involved with bringing ERP solutions into your business. The good news is that you offset this upfront investment because the ERP helps:
- Employees focus on profitable tasks or fee earning tasks as opposed to monotonous manual processes
- Managers see exactly where there are efficiency problems, stock issues, etc. so that immediate action can be taken
- Decrease task turnaround time
ERP solutions are available on the cloud, too, so it’s not always necessary to invest in expensive onsite equipment. It all depends on your unique needs.
ERPs boost productivity because there’s no need to go searching around a computer or cloud, or wasting time browsing through folders, looking for the right information. It’s all in one place, precisely when you want it.
What’s more, colleagues can work together and watch changes unfold live in the ERP. This is especially useful for evolving documents or team planning.
So often, companies need access to the very latest data to make accurate commercial decisions. With ERP, everyone can access live, as-it-happens information. This reduces the time spent on inaccurate calculations or projections.
What’s more, because so many processes can be automated, human error is reduced.
The great thing about ERP solutions is that they’re flexible. You can shrink or grow your ERP depending on your business needs, your evolving budget, and your long-term goals. Remember, successful businesses plan ahead, and ERP lets you do just that.
The bottom line is that, although an ERP requires initial capital investment and costs more in the short term, it has so many long-term benefits. Businesses of all sizes should utilize an ERP that suits their commercial needs.