The term enterprise resource planning (ERP) as we currently know it was coined fairly recently in 1990. But systems that lived up to the spirit of today’s ERPs have actually been in place since the 1960s. Created by software engineers for the manufacturing sector, these programs were initially limited to functions like inventory management and cash balancing. A later evolution of these systems, called material requirements planning (MRP), expanded their functionality to help determine production schedules.
Nowadays, ERP systems are more advanced and comprehensive in nature. The kind of software that you can get today can handle several key business processes all at the same time, using one complete system. Its defining feature is a shared database that can support multiple functions, with key examples accounting systems, inventory management, customer relationship management, and human resources.
Perhaps you can already see the advantage that this poses to your company. For one, it eliminates your need to keep a lot of separate files or records just to maintain the business. On top of that, it gives you access to detailed business intelligence and heightens your capacity to handle all of it.
What are some other ways that an ERP system can accelerate your operations? Here are some key benefits to installing an ERP system for your business.
Streamlined Business Workflow
An ERP system will simplify the workflow for everyone, leading you and your staff to become efficient, organized, and in tune with each other’s actions. Regardless of department or function, everyone who has access to the ERP will be on the same page thanks to the consolidated workflow.
Less Reliance on Manual Input and Manual Computation of Data
No longer will your staff have to deal with manual keying and calculation of figures. Instead, they can enjoy the automation and quick computation facilities of the ERP. This will lead them to greater accuracy in handling business data and in turn, decrease their risk of subjecting the data to human error.
Enables Business Leadership to Make Sound Decisions Across the Board
ERPs also offer advanced business analytics and detailed financial reporting, all in a snap of a finger. Business executives can use these to acquire a full picture of how the company is doing. They’ll also be a solid basis for crucial decision-making.
Ease of Keeping Up with Financial Compliance
The ERP will also reduce the need to scrounge for disparate files when it’s time to pay taxes, get audited, and the like. It can maintain accurate and updated records for submission to regulatory agencies, thus keeping your business compliant with the law.
Enhanced Customer Service
There’s also the likelihood that your customer relationship management, or CRM, will improve with the use of the ERP. What happens if your customer wants a particular item and needs to know if you have it in stock? Your ERP can link you to updated data from your inventory, and then you can give your customer a clear answer on the spot. If you have this level of efficiency on your side, then you are sure to maintain your customers’ satisfaction.
Easy Integration with Additional Software Services
One of the best things about ERPs is that they aren’t standalone systems. Most software packages are engineered for easy integration with other services. If your company needs additional software services in the future, it won’t be hard to connect them to your ERP.
If you’re thinking about purchasing an ERP for your business, look for a SAP business partner or software provider that specializes in business solutions. Ask them about their ERP’s core features, what services can be integrated with their platform, and how much their package costs. Best of luck in finding the right provider and obtaining software that serves the interest of your enterprise.