Used by both small businesses and multi-national corporations Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, is a type of software solution, typically a collection of integrated applications, designed to collect, manage and interpret a company’s data, from planning and development figures, to costing, marketing and sales. This allows companies to manage almost every aspect of their business quickly and efficiently, fully-integrating and automating many back-office systems.
How does it work?
Providing an overview of a business’s core processes, ERP can be used to track resources, automatically update the status of business commitments and manage payroll. In fact, it can track just about any aspect of commercial activity providing usable and collectable data, such as budgeting, cost management, recruitment and employee management, order control, manufacturing flow, order processing, pricing, managing commissions, sales and marketing and project management.
Cloud ERP, hosting data services via an online platform, is particularly popular, as well as being beneficial to businesses. Rather than relying on built-in software, Cloud based ERP allows data to be accessed remotely from virtually anywhere, offering a company’s management the maximum possible flexibility.
Saving your business time and money
One of the biggest draws of ERP software is the savings it can make to a business, both in time and money. It can make excellent commercial sense to implement a single system that manages all data. ERP minimizes mistakes and reduces the time it takes to complete a task manually, in addition to cutting down on paper wastage and saving valuable office space, as all data is stored within the system. Put simply, ERP can help a business to run more efficiently, cut overheads and allow more time to be devoted to other aspects of running a busy company.
The ERP system is clean and consistent, providing a common database that looks and feels the same across the board. Implementing an ERP solution will protect critical business data, ensure secure access and keep sensitive data in one place. It can also help to define business processes and ensure they’re properly adhered to; plan workloads based on current and forecasted data and provide the tools for a better and higher level of customer service, as well as converting data into easily accessible and understandable information. Real time updates can be monitored to increase a company’s overall performance and help it stay ahead of the competition.
Implementing an ERP system
It is important, when implementing an ERP system, to consider what modules will work best for your company, ensuring it meets specific requirements. It is also essential that all staff members are properly supported and trained during the installation of new software, ensuring that system updates are completed as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
While implementing an ERP system can be time-consuming and costly, with careful planning and research it is a task that can have far-reaching benefits to a business. It is essential to be realistic in terms of expectations, however, as with any new software it will take time for ERP to fully integrate a company’s systems.