Power. That’s what Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is, and what it gives you. Imagine all of the typical functions of a business — inventory management, shipping and receiving, accounting, human resources, public relations, project management, and everything else — ERP integrates these into a single system. The system is supported by a database that is linked to all of the functions, thereby ensuring consistency and relevance when performing day-to-day business operations.
ERP systems have spread to more than just big business operations. Medium-sized businesses and those experiencing fast growth are getting on board with the success of a massive integration and a centralized database. Another facet of modern technology is affecting ERP, that is cloud-based ERP systems. Software as a Service (SaaS) is another model that is on the rise, and the two go together within the world of ERP.
ERP: What’s it For?
An ERP system comprises much more than simply centralization and efficiency. When thinking about ERP, it’s important to consider the word “enterprise” to fully grasp the scope. Software that promises to make everyone’s job more doable, from the C-level executive to the dude blasting Lynyrd Skynyrd in the shipping department, is certainly going to be complex.
ERP brings easement to reporting. Much of the work of business intelligence (BI) is streamlined with a good ERP system, and reports are made more flexible and customizable with one. Users can run their own reports, if the software allows. This means that sales teams are able to instantly view big data reports and visualizations without waiting for IT to handle their tickets.
Managing pricing tactics is another way that ERP can assist sales teams. By utilizing the simple reporting tools and other analytics, employees can gauge market elasticity and create price floors with a clearer understanding of the market overall. Pushing prices higher, staying competitive, and bolstering negotiation abilities are all benefits of using ERP to increase sales.
Supply Chain Management
Dealing with procurement and purchasing can become convoluted without consistency of inventory count and records, and proper service offerings. ERP software allows for the integration of enterprise-wide supply chain management data, which reduces costly errors and implements consistency.
There exists software that handles supply chain management alone. These applications perform generally the same as the supply chain management facet of an ERP, but without the rest of the features and benefits of the full suite. Some ERP systems omit supply chain management due to the widespread availability of systems specific to that task; however, compiling multiple features into a single system allows for a single point of contact with a vendor and provides consistency to employees who only have to learn a single system.
One of the most widely reported benefits of ERP software is better customer service. This may sound like a broken record, but integration and a centralized database provide customer service representatives and other front-line employees the ability to have access to accurate data.
Because an ERP will improve supplier relationships, streamline shipping operations, and generally help automate processes, businesses will find that they can deliver goods to consumers faster. When supply matches demand and your inventory accurately reflects your offerings, customers will take notice and you will save money. Again, the basis for improved customer service is the real-time data presented to the customer, as well as office and warehouse integration.
The benefits of ERP systems cannot be stated so simply and so succinctly while communicating their true scope. Working with a company like ClikBoutik can help you better understand all of the aspects of your business that you can improve by implementing ERP software.
The bottom line is this — the power of big data is astonishing. Even if you’re a small retailer or a brand new online business with little more than a warehouse, ERP can help you improve overall business functions, growth, and profits with a single piece of software.