What is ERP and why do you need it?
ERP is an acronym that stands for enterprise resource planning (ERP). It’s a business process management software that manages and integrates a company’s financials, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities. Most companies have some form of finance and operational system in place but most of the software that’s out there can’t go beyond everyday business processes or help with future business growth.
As company’s needs change and they expand, their systems should keep up with them. We’ll define what ERP is and why it’s smart to have software in place that keeps up with your business needs.
What is enterprise resource planning?
In the past, businesses had some sort of accounting, finance, or HR process but the software systems they had often worked separately and didn’t talk or work with one another. What makes modern ERP software different is that it brings all these different processes to the table to collaborate and create one fluid system.
Current solutions also allow each department to see what the other is doing. The result is that accounting and HR can easily collaborate with sales and customer relationships.
Why ERP is critical for your businesses
While there’s no all-up solution software for every business processes, ERP technology is getting better and better at bringing all your business processes together to improve collaboration, help your company make data-driven decisions, and advance business productivity.
ERP can cover a lot of company functions, but some of the main business processes include:
Modern ERP offers dashboards that give you an overview of your finances, so you can tap into the real-time information anytime and anywhere. It should also help you cut down on entering information manually by automating daily tasks and include tracking abilities that help with your business’s regulatory compliance.
Modern solutions offer ways to manage company data and streamline employee management tasks like payroll, hiring, and other duties. You could also track employee performance and identify HR problems before they happen.
This function improves business communication, automates daily processes, and offers manufacturers the ability to fulfill customer needs and manage resources by accessing real-time data. This solution also optimizes project and cost management as well as production planning.
If your company is still entering information by hand and trying to track down stock in your warehouse, you can easily save time and money by automating these processes with ERP. Modern solutions also offer dashboards and business intelligence to help you get a handle on your stock management.
Why some businesses are afraid to embrace ERP implementation
Despite all the options out there, some companies are still hesitant about ERP. There could be many reasons why, but where there’s a fear, there’s a solution.
FEAR: How do I know I’m choosing the right ERP solution for my business?
You don’t have to find the perfect software solution to fix everything. ERP should actually be able to take the best of the business processes you’re using now and bring them together under one system, while letting everyone in your organization view the same information. This is where your choice of a right technology partner is important.
FEAR: We can’t afford a major ERP overhaul.
A solution doesn’t have to be an all or nothing implementation proposition. Software solution modules can be purchased separately depending on your business needs. This will help your team ease into the implementation piece of ERP and it’ll save having to invest in a major software renovation without knowing whether or not the functions you’re adding will pay off.
FEAR: We don’t want to lose the systems we have in place now.
As we mentioned, any ERP solution you choose should work with what you’re using now but also include features that can help in your future growth. For instance, if the software you have mostly handles the financial, supply chain, and manufacturing sides of your business, you may want to look for a solution that brings in a strong business intelligence component.
Three signs that you need ERP
If you’re struggling with your legacy system, you probably already know that implementation is in near future, but here are the signs that you definitely need new ERP starting today:
The basics aren’t letting you grow, perhaps you’ve been doing fine with basics, but if your current software is putting limits on your market expansion and ability to grow on a global scale, it may be time for a system that does support you.
You’re dealing with disparate systems, as technology changes, you’re noticing that your disparate systems don’t work well together. You may notice that your new accounting software isn’t compatible with your old HR system, and you’re tired of wasting time and resources trying to stitch a solution together.
You can’t meet customer expectations, if your staff and customers are mobile and your system isn’t accommodating them, it’s time to invest in one that meets everyone’s needs. If you feel like you can’t afford to invest in meeting your customer’s expectations and you’re not willing to give your staff the tools they need to succeed, you’ll lose them to a competing business pure and simple.
New advancements in ERP technology can put you ahead of the competition. Not only do they help you enhance employee performance, but also offer opportunities for better customer engagement.
One of the ways you can take advantage of these advancements is by implementing intelligent business applications that let you:
- Modernize basic ERP functions
- Use data and intelligence to help your staff find new business opportunities
- Customize and build applications that meet your business requirements with little to no code development
Discover what modern ERP can do for your business
Now that we’ve got a good grasp on what is ERP, discover the ways that Microsoft Dynamics 365 brings the best of what enterprise resource planning has to offer to your business—like optimizing your financials and operations to help you and your team make data-driven decisions that improve your business performance.