Growing companies reach a point where dozens of spreadsheets and Quickbooks become unmanageable – inefficient, time consuming, error prone, and people aren’t on the same page.
That’s when Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software comes in. An ERP systems collects and organizes key business information, standardizes data and process, and automates manual work. Most people have heard the term ERP, but not everyone’s aware of everything it does.
ERP software helps organizations manage day-to-day business processes from one place. It includes activities such as purchasing, inventory management, human resources, supply chain & logistics, sales, cash collection, accounting, financial reporting, and more.
ERP systems are costly and time consuming to implement, but the benefits can be huge for organizations that need better data, increased efficiency, and more connected processes.
The benefits of ERP include:
Improved productivity: ERPs automate routine tasks – saving time while reducing error and rework. Employees can spend more time improving products and customer service.
Better collaboration: ERP software improves communication across the company with a single set of auditable transactions and data across departments.
Smarter decisions: ERP provides a central view of data, with analytics that empower intelligent decision making. For example, you can see which customers are profitable, or which products are losing money. Data on day-to-day operations can be shared across multiple departments and entities.
Better customer service : Another ERP benefit is improved customer service with centralized data on sales and customers. This makes it easier for staff to communicate with clients.
Compliance: Maintaining regulatory compliance is tough and never ending. One powerful feature of ERP systems is they are updated to comply with changing regulations.
Customer relationship management (CRM): CRM modules manage customer data and track customer interactions. It helps identify new prospects and improves customer service.
Is your business ready for ERP?
Here are a few signs that you’ve outgrown spreadsheets and are ready to explore an ERP system.
Unanswered business questions: If you don’t have answers to key questions related to your business such as revenue, product returns, inventory, or costs, then it may be time to implement an ERP.
Missed opportunities: ERP analytics help identify investments and capitalize on opportunities for products, customers, supply chain and more.
Manual work: If your staff is spending too much time on manual processes, there’s error and inefficiency. ERP systems automate tasks, reduce error and improve productivity. If it’s taking longer to manage basic activities like closing the books, purchasing or inventory management, then it may be time for an ERP.
Factors for successful ERP implementation:
Decide what you want your ERP system to do before starting. Document detailed requirements and consider the following factors:
Management support: Senior and mid-level managers should be involved in the ERP project, from inception to completion. This gives the project the proper visibility across the organization and shows everyone the importance of the project.
Employee involvement: Your ERP implementation team should comprise the best employees across the company. These people know the business and can be trusted with critical decision-making.
Project scope & requirements: Define your ERP project- fully detailing what the project is going to include. Document the requirements and the resources that need to be deployed.
Budget: Budget for the implementation, such as licensing, vendor support, software, hardware, and staff resources. Plan on post-installation expenses.
Mobile-friendly ERP: The system should be accessible via mobile devices.
Change management: The ERP project will result in changes to process and the organization. Plan on time to train people on new systems and processes.
Budget: The average cost of ERP implementation can vary widely – from $60k to $4MM and take 3-18 months to implement. A number of factors such as business complexity and modules needed can impact the price and timeline. Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Business Central are leading ERP choices for small to medium businesses.
Want to talk about ERP? We have decades of experience in every part of the ERP decision and implementation process and we are vendor neutral. Contact us to learn more