The world of ERP
Businesses are always seeking ways to become more efficient and to streamline operations to cut costs and boost profitability. In order to do this effectively they need management tools that will help them achieve these goals and that can be adopted and rolled out across the organisation, connecting departments and cutting down on data input errors.
Many businesses, especially large, complex organisations, are adopting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to help them gain maximum efficiency and to ensure they are market competitive in their sector. ERP can also be very beneficial to medium sized and even small businesses too, because it has a structure that can be used as much or as little as required.
What is ERP?
ERP is a business management tool that helps organisations to manage their operations effectively and to collate data centrally. The software, which can be implemented online via a Cloud solution, integrates every aspect of a business to produce a smooth-running operation that has real potential to reduce overall costs and to significantly minimise human error in data inputting
The software is based on modules that are applied to specific departments, allowing as many or as few as required by the business to be implemented. For example, modules may relate to financial controls, sales and marketing, production processes, human resources, product development, distribution and inventory control. ERP can be tailored closely to exactly what a specific business requires.
Rather than a company needing each department to constantly update its data manually, ERP relies on a central database, which means that when one department inputs a piece of information the software automatically updates all departments using the programme. This minimises the amount of hardware and software needed across the organisation and also reduces the need for employees involved in data inputting on the administrative side, potentially saving considerable sums.
This streamlining of operations, coupled with the capability to make significant cost savings, are the key reasons why many businesses are now choosing to implement ERP.
For businesses looking towards a long-term, profitable future, ERP has many advantages over more traditional management systems.
- It is possible to choose modules to suit current needs, but as the company grows it can also add new modules to fit seamlessly with the software programme.
- Key processes can be seen by senior management through all departments, giving them effective oversight and control of the business across the board.
- When data is inputted in one place it is collected centrally and automatically updates all other departments. This makes data processing seamless and reduces the possibility of errors occurring.
- The necessity for departmental specific software and hardware systems is eliminated, bringing the benefit of a long term reduction in capital expenditure.
- A high level of security is achieved, due to the application of centralised policies. The system allows effective tracking across all segments of the business.
- Real-time numbers, statistics and status can be analysed in a single reporting system across every department deploying ERP.
- There may be a reduction in human resource requirements, with a resultant lowering of personnel costs.