Any manager who wants to streamline the internal processes of their business needs to consider the value an effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy can offer. A good ERP system allows data to be synchronised and shared across an entire organisation’s departments – from manufacturing to sales.
ERP software usually has a single database at the very heart, which holds all of the company’s data, and is constantly synchronised in real-time.
This allows users and managers to track data and take decisions with confidence, and can help the company increase productivity, reduce wastage, and deliver higher levels of customer service.
Rapid Growth Requires Slick Systems
Companies that experience rapid growth often find the different departments in their organisations become somewhat separated and isolated from each other. Systems that worked perfectly well on a small scale quickly become hopelessly inefficient as the organisation grows, and the costs associated with mistakes rise. If each department is relying on different data, entered into a different system, it’s highly likely that errors and inconsistencies will occur. As an example, without an up-to-date and reliable indicator of output, sales and production, the team responsible for forecasting sales is likely to be operating largely on guesswork.
By integrating an effective ERP system, sales forecasters will have access to all the data they need to make reliable predictions based on accurate figures. If employees are finding it difficult to access vital information that details how the company is performing, chances are an adapted ERP solution could improve matters greatly.
The weak economic climate has also forced many companies to consider reassessing their processes and strategies to boost efficiency. The Darwinian conditions mean companies that fail to act to maximise opportunity, through simple mistakes – such as failing to have as much stock on order from suppliers as demand dictates. This can have devastating consequences. Old, outdated and fragmented systems are also vulnerable to the type of cyber-attack that is becoming ever more common, with government research suggesting 87% of SMEs and 93% of large businesses in the UK were attacked in the last year. As a manager, there’s no need to accept a fundamental lack of control over a business. An online ERP solution is a secure and flexible way to merge systems and gain a complete – and constantly updated – overview of a business.
Integrating a single, effective and unified ERP system will give the business increased agility, and the potential to operate to maximum efficiency and productivity. As an example, accounting is an area where work is often needed to improve processes – especially in growing companies. If employees are forced to deal with increasing paperwork, and have to manually enter data – such as invoices – into multiple systems, they are going to be wasting time, and limiting the amount they can achieve each day.
Customer service improvements
Customer service can also be greatly improved. With a unified system in place, staff will have instant access to a wealth of live information about orders – including stock levels and shipping dates – so will be able to provide satisfying and accurate answers to customer queries. A well-integrated system will even allow customers to automatically access the information online themselves if the company desires it, again freeing up employee time.
Getting the Right System and Approach will Help Your Business
One thing is certain. If you are in business and trading, paying attention to getting the right systems in place and making your systems, people and processes align will help your business grow. Start where you can have the most immediate impact. Typically this means clarifying and documenting simple step by step procedures for how the main activities in your business should be done.
This article was contributed by Dave at the Publisher Network.