What is ERP and How It Can Improve Your Business?
Small- and medium-sized businesses constantly struggle with different areas of business, whether it’s accounting, inventory, or strategic planning. This is because SMBs often lack the tools to manage these systems efficiently. However, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can come in handy. If you’re looking to improve business performance, read on.
What is ERP?
Simply put, ERP software integrates various aspects of your business — from accounting and human resources to production and sales — into one system where you can easily manage tasks and process data.
The key feature of any ERP system is a central database that gives users a complete summary of financials, sales figures, and other important metrics. In practice, this means employees in different departments can rely on the same information without your having to reenter that information into a different database.
But simplicity is only one of many benefits.
With business information consolidated in one location, you can generate comprehensive reports and analytics at any time.
One of the most popular uses for this feature is financial reporting. General ledgers, revenue recognition, and tax reporting functionality are built into most ERP software solutions, allowing you to balance the books in seconds.
In addition to this, ERP systems come equipped with business intelligence features that provide intuitive analysis into your operations and forecast the growth of your company. This helps you and other executives find fresh business opportunities and make better-informed decisions.
Better customer service
Access to up-to-date business information also makes it easy to provide high-quality customer service. Suppose a customer inquired whether or not an item was still in stock. Rather than wasting five minutes asking your supply manager, who then checks his or her own records, representatives can access the ERP database to provide the customer with information in half the time.
Until recently, most organizations were forced to rely on impractical spreadsheets and manual processes to meet compliance requirements; but with ERP, you can easily and consistently achieve this.
ERP software generally comes with audit functionality, giving you full visibility into your processes. What’s more, it provides templates and guidance to help you meet regulations within your industry, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the International Financial Reporting Standards.
Another key feature is automation. Repetitive tasks that eat a huge chunk of your time can be eliminated by programming automated workflows. For example, you can set your ERP to instantly reorder materials when stock levels have reached a certain threshold. This ensures that your shop never experiences out-of-stock or overstocked incidents.
You can even assign workflows that route invoices and reimbursements to the right accountant to make sure tasks are handled quickly and efficiently.
The beauty of ERP software is that you can integrate it with other services to extend its capabilities. If you need to track customer information and sales figures, you can combine it with customer relationship management software or pair it with e-commerce services to streamline web-based purchases.
ERP systems can adapt to your ever-changing needs, which is incredibly valuable for your rapidly growing business. If you need more ideas or solutions that can add value to your business other than ERP, call us today!