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What is ERP and why do you need it?

ERP is an acronym that stands for enterprise resource planning (ERP). It’s a business process management software that manages and integrates a company’s financials, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities. Most companies have some form of finance and operational system in place but most of the software that’s out there can’t go beyond everyday business processes or help with future business growth.

As company’s needs change and they expand, their systems should keep up with them. We’ll define what ERP is and why it’s smart to have software in place that keeps up with your business needs.

What is enterprise resource planning? Yesterday and today.

In the past, businesses had some sort of accounting, finance, or HR process but the software systems they had often worked separately and didn’t talk or work with one another. What makes modern ERP software different is that it brings all these different processes to the table to collaborate and create one fluid system.

Current solutions also allow each department to see what the other is doing. The result is that accounting and HR can easily collaborate with sales and customer relationships.

Why ERP is critical for your businesses

While there’s no all-up solution software for every business processes, ERP technology is getting better and better at bringing all your business processes together to improve collaboration, help your company make data-driven decisions, and advance business productivity.

ERP can cover a lot of company functions, but some of the main business processes include:

Finances

Modern ERP offers dashboards that give you an overview of your finances, so you can tap into the real-time information anytime and anywhere. It should also help you cut down on entering information manually by automating daily tasks and include tracking abilities that help with your business’s regulatory compliance.

Human resources

Modern solutions offer ways to manage company data and streamline employee management tasks like payroll, hiring, and other duties. You could also track employee performance and identify HR problems before they happen.

Manufacturing

This function improves business communication, automates daily processes, and offers manufacturers the ability to fulfill customer needs and manage resources by accessing real-time data. This solution also optimizes project and cost management as well as production planning.

Supply chain

If your company is still entering information by hand and trying to track down inventory in your warehouse, you can easily save time and money by automating these processes with ERP. Modern solutions also offer dashboards and business intelligence to help you get a handle on your inventory management.

Why some businesses are afraid to embrace ERP implementation

Despite all the options out there, some companies are still hesitant about ERP. There could be many reasons why, but where there’s a fear, there’s a solution.

FEAR: How do I know I’m choosing the right ERP solution for my business?

You don’t have to find the perfect software solution to fix everything. ERP should actually be able to take the best of the business processes you’re using now and bring them together under one system, while letting everyone in your organization view the same information. This is where your choice of at technology partner is important.

FEAR: We can’t afford a major ERP overhaul.

A solution doesn’t have to be an all or nothing implementation proposition. Software solution modules can be purchased separately depending on your business needs. This will help your team ease into the implementation piece of ERP and it’ll save having to invest in a major software renovation without knowing whether or not the functions you’re adding will pay off.

FEAR: We don’t want to lose the systems we have in place now.

As we mentioned, any ERP solution you choose should work with what you’re using now but also include features that can help in your future growth. For instance, if the software you have mostly handles the financial, supply chain, and manufacturing sides of your business, you may want to look for a solution that brings in a strong business intelligence component.

Three signs that you need ERP

If you’re reading this and struggling with your legacy system, you probably already know that implementation is in your future, but here are the signs that you definitely need new ERP starting today:

1

The basics aren’t letting you grow

Perhaps you’ve been doing fine with basics, but if your current software is putting limits on your market expansion and ability to grow on a global scale, it may be time for a system that does

2

You’re dealing with disparate systems

If your staff and customers are mobile and your system isn’t accommodating them, it’s time to invest in one that meets everyone’s needs. If you feel like you can’t afford to invest in meeting your customer’s expectations, and you’re not willing to give your staff the tools they need to succeed, you’ll lose them to a competing business pure and simple.

3

You can’t meet customer expectations

If your staff and customers are mobile and your system isn’t accommodating them, it’s time to invest in one that meets everyone’s needs. If you feel like you can’t afford to invest in meeting your customer’s expectations, and you’re not willing to give your staff the tools they need to succeed, you’ll lose them to a competing business pure and simple.

tip

TIP:

If you or your staff is asking for a new system and there’s a resistance to an ERP change, one of the ways to combat this is to schedule a demo so everyone can see what’s out there. Plus, when everyone feels like they’re included in on the decision process it’ll make implementation much easier.

ERP applications

New advancements in ERP technology can put you ahead of the competition. Not only do they help you enhance employee performance, but also offer opportunities for better customer engagement.

One of the ways you can take advantage of these advancements is by implementing intelligent business applications that let you:

  • Modernize basic ERP functions
  • Use data and intelligence to help your staff find new business opportunities
  • Customize and build applications that meet your business requirements with little to no code developmen

Learn about a company that’s successfully implementing ERP

Discover how IMEL, a Chilean company that produces electrical parts and markets products utilized an ERP system to gain greater control over its supply, production, and invoicing.

READ THE STORY 

Discover what modern ERP can do for your business

Now that you’ve got a good grasp on what ERP is, discover the ways that Microsoft Dynamics 365 brings the best of what enterprise resource planning has to offer to your business—like optimizing your financials and operations to help you and your team make data-driven decisions that improve your business performance.