5 Ways an ERP System Paves The Way for Success
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has become the solution to the growing complexity of doing business for thousands of companies around the world. This software enables business owners, managers, and employees to unify all their work into a central database, coordinating all information and many of the day-to-day processes into a unified whole, even if the various departments involved are scattered around the country -- or even the globe.
ERP, when facilitated correctly, doesn't just make things easier -- it can also prepare and even promote your company for growth and success. Here are just five ways, out of many, that ERP can pave the way for success.
First, if you're going to grow, every aspect of your company will have to be able to grow with you. A good ERP suite will help you do that. Built to expand with your company, ERP is modular, so you can add new functions when you need them, whether it's a new employer or entire new department.
Naturally, as your business grows, so will the number of customers or clients you serve. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module included in many ERP packages allows you smoothly integrate new accounts and sort your customer information in whatever way is most convenient to you. The ideal ERP software will have the capacity for growth from only a few customers, to dozens, to hundreds, and beyond.
There are a lot of business products out there that claim they will be able to save you money once you spend money to buy them. When it comes to ERP, that claim is quite literally the real deal. One of the keys to making money is efficiency, and that is the heart of ERP. Since you'll be able to see and direct all operations in real-time, you'll be able to react instantly to any shifts in the market.
The consolidation effect of ERP also means you'll need less equipment for your IT needs. In fact, should you opt for cloud-based ERP, you won't even need one server, let alone the separate servers for separate functions many that businesses need. If you have less equipment, that means fewer resources spent on support staff, which means more savings for the company.
A Better Customer Experience
Every business would be nothing without its customers, so it's important to treat them right. That goes without saying. An idea less considered is how the CRM functions of your ERP system can improve the customer experience for your all-important clients.
Just like every other function, the changes you make to your customer database, whether it be orders, personal information, or notes for special consideration, will be made in real time, so no one will ever be caught without the right facts when that customer comes calling again. Your sales representatives, even ones that have never talked to a particular customer, will have all the pertinent details right there.
Many ERP systems will integrate the customer relations functionality with warehousing, purchasing, and other functions, so you'll have real-time knowledge of what you have to offer, what's no longer in stock, who is most likely to want what, how much of any given item you'll likely need for the future, and what you're going to need less, all to better serve your customers.
Even the smallest businesses have a lot of information. Once more workers come into the picture, data access becomes more and more important. Everyone should always be up-to-date so they can work with the reality of the situation rather than assumptions from past trendsand outdated information.
The convenience of being able to look at your entire company and understand it in a glance is immeasurable. You'll be able to see where you're doing well and where you need a little more workat any given time. Often, you'll be able to see a minor trending problem before it becomes a big problem, and you’ll have the means to fix it well before it has any real effect on your work.
ERP ensures that the days of an employee looking frantically for a necessary file are over because everything is in a centralized location. Want to know the preferences of a particular client? It's just a few keystrokes away. When one person updates data, it's simultaneously updated for everyone.
It Just Makes Work Easier
Running a business is a complicated affair. Using ERP makes it much less so. A primary feature of ERP is the creation of workflows. This system allows one part of a process to move smoothly into the next, and everyone knows exactly what their part in the process is at any given time. That greater efficiency means you work smarter, rather than just harder.
As said before, there are far more than five ways ERP can make your business more successful. In today's world, a good ERP is a true necessity.
Shariq Toor is Content Strategist and Outreach Expert working with the ERP software vendors at TGO Consulting. He loves discovering the latest trends in Technology, Social Media, and Health. In his off time, he practices landscape photography and keep up with his favorite sports. Twitter: @Shariqtoor