The decision to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in an organization is a crucial one because it comes with significant costs and requires a certain level of expertise to ensure that the right software is chosen, and that the implementation of the selected software is done in a constructive manner. However, if you engage the right people to define the processes and procedures that are to be mapped onto the ERP system, it does not have to be such an overwhelming task.
An ERP system can optimize your business to achieve its goals in the most efficient way, thereby resulting in overall cost-savings and benefits right from your strategic initiatives right down to the bottom line. The following are some advantages of implementing an ERP system within your organization:
- Streamlined process management and improved efficiency
An ERP system allows its users to perform complex tasks in a streamlined and efficient manner, thereby reducing the rate of human-error and improving overall productivity with a reduction in repetitive and monotonous manual tasks. Especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses that used ERP systems were able to allow their employees to work from home with ease due to these streamlined processes.
- Forecasting capability The ability to predict trends in the market has been a key differentiation factor for many successful companies like Apple and Amazon. The most human-centric elements of businesses today are being driven using data analytics. For instance, studies have shown that companies that earn US$1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional US$700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience. Installing and using the right forecasting features of an ERP system can give you a competitive edge like no other.
- Integrated information management
One of the main bottlenecks that organizations face is that of dispersed information and the lack of a centralized environment where data can be accessed with ease. ERP systems solve this issue by allowing firms to manage their data and information in a platform that can also handle authentication policies, so only the authorized people can access the right information, and are able to do so in a timely manner. Most companies that were successful during the COVID-19 pandemic saw that their employees were able to work from home seamlessly because they had remote access to the information that they required to carry out their tasks successfully.
- Mobility and flexibility
There has been a striking rise in the amount of ‘flexible’ work that is now being carried out by offices and workers all over the world, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In April 2020, a MIT survey of 25,000 Americans showed that 34% of those who had physically been going into office four weeks earlier were now working from home. Many firms have announced that they will continue to allow their employees to work from home even after the pandemic ends. Google has announced that they will let their employees work from home at least until July 2021. So, how do these companies function successfully with such a mobile workforce? ERP systems can be configured to cater to a particular user group no matter where they are physically located, so a salesperson on the field and an administrator at the office can both use the same system to carry out their specific tasks.
- Informed Decision-Making
One of the key requirements in decision-making is the need for data to be presented in different formats to various groups of stakeholders. If done manually, this could be a daunting task. However, using the features of a good ERP system can not only automate the generation of simple and custom reports, but also provide improved customization options with the use of advanced data visualization tools.
Despite the numerous benefits of implementing an ERP system, one of the key concerns businesses have in deploying an ERP system is that of cost – working with external consultants who have the required technical and domain knowledge will enable you to implement a solution that suits the needs as well as the budget of your organization, with faster ROI, and improved workflow management.