When a startup opens its door, it is fueled initially by lots of caffeine and high hopes. The only thing you typically can bank on in those early days is a belief in your revolutionary vision.
Getting to market involves investment, risk-taking and strategic planning. Even then, failure rates are high.
With so much to learn, business models often are basic at first but grow ever-more complex as you start to juggle financials, manufacturing, inventory, quality, and project management. For this reason, it’s important for a company to make an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) a core part of its overall strategy for planning, maintaining, and growing the business.
An ERP is a company-wide business management tool that provides the critical visibility you need for the entire business to run and expand. All your data is managed in one place, with automated processes that you can customize and control using easy-to-use tools to receive real-time analytics and critical insights into your operations.
Here are some of the top reasons your business needs ERP.
Elimination of Manual Processes
Without an ERP, your accounting department likely will spend lots of wasted time manually entering data into various systems and trying to make sense of it at the close of a financial cycle.
With ERP, there’s no need to rely on Excel sheets and QuickBooks or other systems that keep piecemeal bits of data across different platforms. Many ERPs even allow you to integrate with financial service providers, such as banks and credit card processors, to simplify some of your financial and customer service processes.
With all your data on one system, every worker in your firm can be on the same page and not duplicate efforts. This helps avoid errors commonly associated with manual entries across disparate systems. Getting a complete picture of your financial performance without the need to keep cross-checking and re-keying data makes reporting simple.
You might think you get the same thing with accounting solutions such as QuickBooks, but take a closer look and you’ll find that your firm will quickly outgrow Quickbooks.
You likely often feel strapped for time, given pressures coming from every area of the business. Going to market for the first time can be especially stressful. The beauty of ERP is that it streamlines the commercialization process by suggesting best practices as your product launch ramps up.
The system can integrate with other systems used by contract manufacturers or third-party suppliers. This gives you real-time view of vendors, inventory and logistics. Production management, procurement, forecasting of materials costs, scheduling, shipping, and inventory all are centralized, so you can see the full picture of your product’s life cycle.
Ultimately, ERP automates business management and provides an integrated approach that allows all the different functional areas of your business to manage everything in one place. Optimizing this flow of information will help everyone be able to turn the focus back to the core business.
Full visibility into all areas of your business gives you the big picture of what’s going on with your company. ERP helps with visibility—a lot.
ERP gives you a comprehensive view of the costs and expenses in your business, for instance, so you can save time and, ideally, reduce costs. In one simple dashboard, you can track accounts payable and receivables, billing and invoicing (including that from your suppliers), cash flow, income, expenses, budgets, and more.
Just about any area of your business can be managed on the system, too. Think of the simplicity you could gain from managing inventory, supplier relationships, and operations from a single system.
HR management is another useful feature for any growing organization. An ERP will help organize and maintain all your information related to payroll, personnel, absence management, and more.
ERP handles all parts of a business, so data visibility is greatly increased by having all parts of the business integrated and interfacing with the same system.
Automatic Reporting and Compliance
If you are a manufacturer or planning to become one, you cannot overlook quality mandates from various regulations. ERP can help with quality management by producing the proper documentation.
Automation is a key feature of ERPs that can optimize your entire supply chain along with managing your corporate functions. If you are in an industry that requires validation of your business systems, many prepackaged ERP solutions can help cut the costs of this process because they come preconfigured with regulatory requirements.
You can streamline your communication both within the organization and with customers. ERP will help automate and consolidate customer records and manage communication processes more comprehensively.
Customer management is important, and retention is a key to profitability. An ERP provides everything you need to manage customer service and relationship building, including an easy-to-use customer portal for self-service or automated customer service management, along with sales lead management and marketing analytics.
To learn more about how ERP can help startups, one of our consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You also can schedule a demo to see an SAP ERP solutions in action.