Managers of a business that functions on a national or international level, with complex systems required to manage a range of interlocking departments, know that keeping track of everything on a daily basis can be a challenging task. Smooth-running systems are vital to maximize business performance, produce good and reliable results, and make that essential contribution to improving the bottom line.
A major contribution to business growth is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a software solution that integrates management information both internally and externally across the whole organization.
ERP functions and use
ERP allows users to access real time data across an organization quickly and effectively. Instead of accessing information from different departments to obtain organizational trends, each department has the ability to view all data independently across the business. This real time advantage, which streamlines management systems, enables businesses to pursue strategic plans whilst being instantly aware of any problems, either occurring or likely to happen in any department.
Management systems are only as good as the data inputted, so instead of multiple entries being made for each department, ERP provides a system of modules and sub-modules. These represent a specific element of the business, such as human resources, manufacturing or supply chain management, and when data is entered into one module, all related modules are updated automatically.
As with the introduction of any new machinery or, in this case, software to a business, it is crucial that those who are going to use it are properly trained. This includes managers who will oversee as well as use the system, and staff responsible for inputting the data.
ERP can be used for many types of businesses but it is important to research and source the appropriate program. Mainly used in manufacturing operations, where there are multiple departmental issues to bring together, ERP can also be used in different business environments, such as the fashion industry, utilities, local authorities and schools. The development of online ERP gives businesses additional opportunities to explore the best solution.
The benefits of using ERP
There are a number of major benefits that come from using an ERP system, including accountability, customer relations management, strategic planning and, perhaps the most important, the saving of time.
In business time is money, and the ability to use a streamlined system that reduces the time needed to accomplish tasks means that money will be saved and that crucial bottom line improved. Manual systems need people to input data in every department, whereas ERP reduces the number of people needed for these tasks and also cuts the number of machines and associated servers required.
Taking care of customers is the lifeblood of a successful enterprise, and ERP’s centralized database means that details of clients and their requirements can be accessed quickly and accurately, ensuring that their needs are prioritized, and completion of product deliveries or specific projects can be put to the forefront of the business operation.
Monitoring inventory in any business can be difficult, but with ERP there is additional accountability in the system whereby the usage and ordering of raw materials can be tracked, and thus over consumption can be controlled, again leading to improved overall margins.