The A B C of ERP
There have been numerous pieces, articles and blogs published on line, and opinion leaders and techies on either side of that line, who have tirelessly defined and described the numerous advantages of implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system. Here’s what we know for sure. There are four basic “must haves” when it comes to ERP. We’ll call them the ABC’s of ERP and here they are: Improve productivity, increase efficiency, decrease costs and streamline processes.
ERP, for as far back as anyone can remember, has been delivering all of the above and more. ERP was born from its predecessor, Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) that dates back to the 60s. That’s over half a century ago and we’re still singing its praises. MRP and the first ERP systems were designed as an organizational and scheduling tool for manufacturing firms.
Gartner first coined the term ERP in the 90s, when new software systems known as ERP targeted mainly large, complex businesses. Since then, it’s grown up, gotten smarter and it continues to reinvent itself. Simply put, ERP does not disappoint.
So here’s what your ERP system should, ideally, deliver, across the board, on any given day.
Here are the ten essentials of true 24/7 enterprise resource planning software:
- Scalability Easily scalable; adds new functionality to the system as business needs change/grow
- Enhanced reporting Inefficiency comes from incorrect reporting; ERP follows an automated reporting template system, various departments easily access information
- Data quality Can’t even compare to manual record-keeping! ERP improves the underlying processes; better data = better business decisions
- Lower cost of operations Improved resource management eliminates delays/costs, just as mobile apps enable real-time data collection, saving valuable time/resources
- Superior CRM Improved customer relations, a clear result of better business processes
- Business analytics Intelligent analytics tools result in better business decisions
- Improved data access Advanced user management results in better data access control
- Better supply chain Improved procurement, inventory, demand forecasting, etc. across entire supply chain, making it more responsive
- Regulatory compliance Improved organizational control results in better compliance, with most important/recurring regulatory requirements built right into the system
- Reduced complexity Neatly designed, effective system of workflows makes the entire human resource chain more efficient
There’s more, you know. This is just a short-list. But it does make one wonder how we ever managed in business, in the workplace or on the shop floor, pre-ERP. Stands to reason, however, that a reliable and responsive ERP system is the forerunner to the success of any business, organization or company. Yours too.