How can an ERP system help your business outpace competition?

The marketplace is saturated with applications claiming to solve every one of your business problems and make you more money. What if I told you that this could be true? You just need to choose the right solution for your business…

Regardless of size or sector, a common problem amongst business leaders is that their organisational processes are siloed. This means the onus is on individuals or departments to communicate effectively and close the gaps.

Of course, this poses a significant number of risks; human error, miscommunication and loss of data – to name a few.

It also stunts growth opportunities, as employees are bogged down with mundane, manual data entry and administrative tasks.

Not to mention the amount of time wasted searching for a simple answer to a question because someone is off sick, the sheer volume of emails going back and forth between departments, or the monthly report that needs input from too many disparate data points and approval from too many people.

Without intending to sound like another application selling a pipedream, the reality is – all these issues can be resolved. You just need to implement the right ERP and the right support for your specific business needs.

What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) put simply, is a type of software.

The difference is that rather than focusing on one module or section of the organisation, an ERP integrates all aspects of the business into one single application.

ERP systems tie together a multitude of business processes and enable the automated flow of data between them. It acts as a single data repository and consolidates data from different operating systems.

Today, ERP systems are critical for managing businesses of all sizes and across all industries, acting as the vehicle for integrating processes, people and technologies.

Data is the lifeblood of every modern organisation and ERP systems make it easier to collect, organise, analyse, and distribute this information to each individual and system that requires it. ERP systems eliminate data duplication and provide data integrity with a single source of truth.

How do I know which ERP is the best-fit for my business?

It’s extremely difficult and pointless to answer this question without first asking yourself, “what do I want out of my ERP system?”.

If you are looking for financials alone, then an application such as Sage is probably going to suffice.

If you are looking for an enterprise standard, fully scalable and customisable ERP system (and have the budget to support this), then Oracle could be the best-fit.

But if you are looking for a system that easily integrates into your existing workplace processes and daily applications (e.g., Outlook, Office 365), and brings together your financials, supply chain, operations, commercials, reporting and human resources activities- then I strongly recommend you consider Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Through its modular approach, Dynamics 365 allows businesses to take only the applications that are most appropriate and suitable to them and their existing systems.

Consider the scalability and growth of your business, how do you want your ERP to serve your business now and in the future?

How can I use an ERP to outpace competition?

  1. Don’t try to reinvent your business processes
    An ERP does not automatically mean you need to reinvent your processes or operations. It simply allows these processes to run smoother, more efficiently and communicate with one another. Taking advantage of automation features can save you a huge amount of wasted time and resource capabilities.
  1. Make smart business decisions with real time data
    Many SMEs struggle to find the resource and/or capacity to regularly analyse operational data across all departments. This can handicap your organisation from making timely decisions. Empower your decision-makers and strategic leaders to improve business performance, by improving data access, making real-time data available wherever and whenever it is needed.
  1. Integration with existing business systems to track KPIs
    It’s important to find a versatile and compatible solution that and can easily integrate with numerous popular systems and applications. This is one of the many reasons I believe Dynamics 365 is a fantastic option, as it integrates seamlessly with the likes of Excel and Outlook. This allows for automated reporting and data access across all areas of your business and boosts productivity levels.
  1. Keep your employees engaged and improve performance
    Automate routine and mundane processes. This will enable employees to refocus their time and skills to nurture existing customer relations, identify new opportunities and think creatively and strategically.
  2. Nurture customers for life
    Sourcing an ERP that integrates data across all departments – from sales and marketing to the supply chain and product/service delivery. By connecting all departments to a single source of client information, this allows for precise and faster communications, giving customers consistency and an improved overall experience.

If you are considering investing in an ERP system, but don’t know where to start – you’re by no means alone. Reach out to one of our Business Applications experts today to talk us through your business needs.