To thrive in today’s increasingly complex and competitive business environment, professional service companies must implement systems that allow them to easily automate, streamline, and scale business processes.
For many companies, ERP software can help achieve this goal and run a more agile and efficient business.
What Is ERP?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. At its most basic level, ERP software connects and integrates different aspects of your business using a shared database that can be utilized across different business departments and functions.
This means that employees from across your organization can work with the same set of real-time data, using information from the system to do their jobs more effectively. By providing a single data source for your organization, ERP allows information to flow more freely between departments and enables you to better manage your business.
What ERP Can Do for Your Business
Not so long ago, there were a limited number of ERP providers, with most of them focusing on large-scale enterprises. However, the ERP industry has grown tremendously in recent years to accommodate all kinds of industries and businesses. In fact, it is expected to have a market value of $90.63 billion by 2029.
While that number is impressive, you might not have much of a notion of why ERPs are so popular if you’ve never used one. Here are four of the ways in which ERP systems help a company:
An ERP system can automate the most tedious business tasks. The database eliminates redundant, time-consuming tasks such as data entry, order processing, and financial tasks by using AI-powered systems to perform advanced calculations within seconds. This in turn frees up your staff’s time to do more meaningful work, boosting your organization’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability in the long run.
Promote Better Collaboration
All ERP applications improve collaboration in one way or the other. A centralized database is an integral part of what makes ERP solutions unique—it provides your company with a single source of truth to work with, reducing errors brought on by working with fragmented data.
Since all data is compiled in one place, there’s no need to merge information from various sources, and there is no concern about how accurate, secure, or complete the data files are.
Improve Inventory Monitoring
Tracking and monitoring inventory is a major challenge for many growing companies. ERP utilizes serial numbers, barcoding, RFID tags, and other indicators to keep track of inventory levels at every stage of the supply chain. Your workers will know exactly which items are in transit and which are ready for sale, significantly optimizing the packing and shipping procedures and eliminating guesswork.
Aid Risk Assessment
As your business expands, it can be challenging to keep track of the forecasts and risks that apply to your future business activity.
This is also something an ERP platform can help with. For instance, forecasting tools allow users to predict demand, labor, and events that will impact your budget. Information from various business departments can be compiled into one place, and your staff can create more secure, low-risk forecasts, schedules, and product development plans.
Three Signs You Might Need ERP Software
If you've been planning on upgrading your legacy system and implementing ERP software, here are three signs that now may be the right time:
- Basic tools are no longer enough to manage business growth. If your current software limits your market expansion and ability to grow globally, a flexible ERP system could serve you better.
- You have customers and staff in different locations, and you need a way to ensure all business operations are integrated into one central solution.
- You’re dealing with disparate systems in your organization. For instance, your old human resources system isn’t compatible with your new accounting software, and you’re looking for a streamlined way to stitch both solutions together.
Finally, if you wish to upgrade to an ERP system but are experiencing resistance from staff or colleagues, it can be helpful to schedule a demo and introduction or training sessions to make them more comfortable with the new system. Implementing ERP will be much easier if your team feels included in the decision-making process. It might also be a good idea to learn what an ERP specialist is and how they might be able to help with the transition.