As global markets grow more competitive and fast-paced, enterprises in all industries have become increasingly hard-pressed to gain an edge over competitors. Many companies achieve this by utilizing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to streamline and optimize their operations. Simply put, ERP is an umbrella term for a collection of software programs that organizations can use to manage business functions like supply chain, inventory, human resources, finance, and much more. ERP programs centralize and integrate a company’s data and processes within a single secure system, making it easier for different parts of the company to work together efficiently.
Although ERP software has long been a go-to solution for large businesses, smaller-scale solutions like SAP Business One have become increasingly popular among small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in recent years. It’s entirely possible for any business operating today to find an ERP system that works for their unique needs, regardless of their size or core industry.
Here are just 4 of the most compelling ways that a robust ERP solution can set businesses up for success:
One of the most important functions of an ERP system is its ability to automate the vast majority of basic business processes. Some of these key functions include managing payroll, tracking work hours, delegating tasks to employees, tracking inventory, and generating financial reports. Entrusting these activities to human employees often takes a lot of time and effort, and even the most well-trained workforce may still occasionally make costly errors. Transferring the bulk of your manual labor to the software ensures that these tasks can get done faster and more accurately.
Relieving your employees of tedious manual duties also gives them the opportunity to focus on more complex, challenging, and fulfilling work. For example, an accounting team that doesn’t need to spend most of its days on basic bookkeeping tasks can apply itself more fully to business forecasting and crafting sound financial strategies for the company. Similarly, HR employees can focus on developing employee-centric projects like culture-building activities and professional development sessions.
Whatever team or department they work for, employees will definitely appreciate the opportunity to put their skills and expertise to good use instead of functioning like simple number-crunchers or paper-pushers. And the happier and more motivated your workforce is, the more productive your company is going to be overall.
Facilitates Companywide Collaboration
As previously mentioned, ERP systems create a centralized, fully secure database for all company data and procedures. This gives your entire organization a single source of information to work from, reducing the possibility of setbacks and errors caused by working with incomplete, incorrect, or otherwise compromised data. A unified database also eliminates the need for teams to enter the same information into multiple databases or sources so that it can be accessed companywide.
Furthermore, working within a single system makes it easier for different teams to communicate with each other. The system allows multiple users to access and work on it from a range of different devices, and it also records and reflects the changes they make in real time. This makes it easy for employees across the whole company to exchange updates, brainstorm, and engage in other collaborative work.
Helps Save Money
Although the cost of ERP solution varies according to a company’s size, needs, and chosen vendor, the implementation of a full ERP system is still a substantial investment. Many companies that are wary of ERP’s value are understandably skeptical that such a costly product would deliver adequate ROI. The truth, however, is that the increased efficiency and convenience that ERP systems offer can do a lot to whittle down your company’s operating costs.
One major reason that ERP ultimately helps your organization cut costs is that working within a single system helps your employees make more efficient use of their time. Whatever their specific role, all your staff members will be able to find the tools and information required to do their jobs well within a single solution. Reducing the risk of data input errors and other setbacks also eliminates any costs associated with addressing or rectifying them, such as penalty fees from regulators or refunds made to unsatisfied customers.
Improves Data Security and Privacy
As businesses today grow increasingly digital, concerns about cybersecurity and data privacy have skyrocketed. Successful cyberattacks today can and do cost organizations millions of pesos in financial and reputational damages, and many enterprises simply never recover from major security breaches. Companies thus need to ensure that their software systems are outfitted with state-of-the-art security features to protect them from digital fraud, data breaches, and other forms of cybercrime.
ERP systems are outfitted with multiple security controls and features to protect company information from hackers and other bad actors. Password-protection, encryption capabilities, and firewalls prevent unauthorized access to sensitive business data. System admins can also take advantage of permissions management features to control, monitor, and even revoke employee access to the software when necessary.
At the end of the day, the possible benefits a good ERP system offers far outweigh the cost of purchasing and implementing the right solution for your business. As long as you take care to select the right product, your chosen system will surely fuel greater efficiency and productivity for your company and deliver abundant returns on your initial investment.