An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can act as the brain of an organisation. Your brain is responsible for controlling the various parts of your body. However, if your brain lacked the understanding of your body’s strengths, weaknesses, and abilities, the body would be… well moving around haphazardly. Much like the brain to the body the ERP system aids in integrating various functions or departments within a company.
When chosen effectively, ERP software can assist in maintaining company information and processes for multiple company functions. Some of the most popular functions include manufacturing, human resources, customer relationship management, and finances. Users are able to seamlessly access information within the common database in real time for more effective decision making. In times past, each department within a company relied on their own computer applications. This made it harder for departments to collaborate in that common information was not easily accessible from separate computer applications.
Though an ERP system might prove beneficial to small businesses looking to streamline processes and improve customer service, deciding which system will work best can be a chore. Utilising a reliable ERP checklist can help you in determining which features and benefits you should receive for a quality system.
Here are just a few of the benefits that your small business could reap from investing in ERP systems:
- Scalability – You never know where your small business might be a year or two from now. ERP systems are easily scalable to meet the needs of your business. Whether you need to implement new processes or departments or scale back due to funding, the system is easily customisable at each stage in your organisation.
- Improved reporting – Improper reporting can lead to ineffective business decisions. ERP systems on the other hand provides automated templates which make it easy for varying departments to export information across the board for more accurate statistics and reports.
- Saves money – When managers can generate reports and review common information through one system it reduces the potential for delays in business processes and collaboration. Thus the less time spent on delays is more money that can be put back into the growth and development of the business.
- Improved customer relations – At the end of the day, business is all about providing quality products or services to the customers. When an ERP system is implemented it streamlines businesses processes which simultaneously improve the staffs’ ability to provide better customer service.
- Improved collaboration – Functioning departments within the company can now work seamlessly together on consumer accounts, projects, and other business tasks through one database. Information is readily available for use, updates, and comments in real time.
- Improved data access – When managing accessibility through various platforms it can be time consuming for managers. Deciding who has access, who doesn’t, and keeping track of the progress within multiple systems can leave room for error. However, working through one platform, managers have an easier time in managing user accounts within the system.
- Better supply chains – The right ERP system can help in effectively managing company supply chain. From procurement and inventory to demand forecasting and vendor payments, everything is readily available for use.
- Simplicity – Have you ever heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder?” Well, implementing an ERP system helps the operational process to flow seamlessly. With neatly designed systems, the entire company is able to be more productive.
Enterprise resource planning systems can provide a multitude of benefits to small businesses. ERPs help to structure functioning departments so that they can seamlessly collaborate on company processes. If you’re considering investing into an ERP system, be sure to utilise analytic tools and checklists to ensure that you’re purchasing a system that will help improve workflow processes and not complicate them.