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How Can an ERP Create a Competitive Advantage?

If you want your organization to be agile and nimble, breaking down silos that inhibit collaboration and transparency should be a priority. One way to do this is with data-backed decision-making that enables you to better respond to evolving market conditions. 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems allow you to do just that–these solutions can be customized specifically for your industry, optimizing your business operations and lowering costs. Here are a few ways ERP solutions can give you an edge so you can outperform the competition.

Manage Supply Chain

Modern supply chains are complex systems that require fast and streamlined processing to deliver the right product at the right time. ERP supply chain management (SCM) and distribution software allow you to manage your entire SCM ecosystem from a single dashboard.

The role of ERP software in warehousing is multifaceted. ERP solutions help you forecast demand more accurately. Excess goods that sit idly in your warehouse can increase your carrying costs by up to 30% per year; with an ERP, you can implement Just-in-Time and other lean inventory strategies. The system allows you to order raw materials just before they are needed in the production process, and this reduces your holding costs and frees up capital that you can use in other areas of your business.   

Because ERPs let you predict demand, you can better anticipate labor requirements and plan manpower resources that are aligned with production scheduling. Getting a bird’s eye view of your operations allows you to quickly identify production bottlenecks that might cause delays and lost productivity. You can also automate invoice, job order, and approval processes to free up time spent on cumbersome administrative tasks.

Improve Customer Service 

ERP systems are equipped with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to help you improve customer satisfaction and increase brand loyalty, helping to manage customer interactions so you can better understand their needs and apply business intelligence to your operations. CRMs can provide visibility at different points in the supply chain and the data can be shared with various departments. This helps companies quickly resolve customer complaints and enhance the customer experience.

CRM data can help you target the right customers for your products and services so that the marketing team can effectively promote your brand. Because CRMs track customer interactions, they make it easier for you to identify pain points in the buyer’s journey and allow you to make the necessary adjustments to address these issues.

Leverage Analytics

ERP solutions offer material requirements planning modules to help visualize data in a simpler and more impactful way. ERP systems can notify you if raw materials have fallen below a set threshold as well as inform you of delays in shipping times.

ERPs can analyze trends based on historical data to help you anticipate bottlenecks in the supply chain and plan accordingly–this is especially useful in the biotechnology industry. The best ERP systems for biotech help pharma companies maintain formulation purity and potency to remain compliant with FDA regulations. Analysis of historical data and related documentation is imperative to streamline production, ensure quality and improve return on investment. 

Artificial Intelligence-powered ERPs have wide-reaching implications and are considered game changers in SCMs and manufacturing. With their superior data processing, they can make smart forecasts and generate actionable insights. ERPs equipped with AI can recognize context that most standard computing technologies are unable to do. 

Machine learning in ERP systems can use information from weather patterns, shipping times, material-supply levels, and inventory status changes to make accurate forecasts. It learns how to respond to market forces and helps you better calibrate factory production, manage human resources, and improve distribution.  

As your business scales, the amount of data that needs to be processed grows exponentially. ERP solution providers like NBS enable you to harness data so you can focus your resources on strategies that will allow you to gain a competitive advantage.

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