An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution automates and integrates functional business processes into a single system. Organizations with applications spanning multiple departments and supply chains will find ERP solutions especially useful to streamline operations, such as inventory management. Information can be automatically and accurately adjusted as a result of the various processes and transactions the ERP automates, saving time and money while eliminating human error.
Integrating all of an organization’s processes into a single system seems like an overwhelming task; however, the benefits of an ERP solution can be profound.
Rather than paying for several different departmental applications and subscriptions, an ERP solution uses a single platform. Getting applications to communicate with one another often requires an application program interface (API), which can be costly to create and maintain.
A single source of accurate, real-time information provides a rich source of data that businesses can apply throughout the organization. Cost savings are multi-faceted, but for most businesses, creating one efficient process that takes a transaction from start to finish is where they save the most. Items don’t have to be keyed into the system multiple times, and the single source of data provides a place to work from for purchase planning, as well as connect outside integrations for key stakeholders.
An ERP solution reduces repetitive processes, including manual data entry, and can be applied to automating certain operations as well, including core operations like as order-to-cash and purchase-to-pay. Freeing employees from repetitive, manual processes allows those resources to be directed toward higher-level, strategic objectives while improving the efficiency and accuracy of the processes themselves.
With an ERP solution, a company can gain an end-to-end view of internal procedures, and apply this newfound transparency to optimize cross-department functionality, streamlining workloads to further improve efficient operations.
Because an ERP solution draws data from a centralized repository, it improves communication by providing standardized, accurate information that departments can easily share. Functional and departmental silos can be broken down, and collaboration and communication enhanced as cross-departmental knowledge is shared.
For example, shared information means that a customer service representative can see customer order history and CRM information, but also access invoicing history to see if payments are up-to-date, or warehouse inventory to check that a requested product is in stock – and apply this information to improve the customer experience.
One often-overlooked benefit of an ERP solution is mobility. Many ERP functions can be accessed through a web portal, making information accessible regardless of the user’s physical location, be they a customer, vendor, or employee.
This feature helps to meet the needs of a flexible, distributed workforce and to take advantage of opportunities as soon as they arise, without the need to be in a specific location.
As a company grows, its systems must be able to adapt to new business requirements. Legacy systems can be challenging to manage and expand, complicating the addition of new users or new functions. However, an ERP is scalable and flexible, quickly growing with the changing needs of an organization.
To conclude, an ERP solution can be applied to integrate accounting and finance, inventory, supply chain and customer relations, and every critical procedure in between. By doing so, an ERP solution can improve an organization’s overall functionality by providing a clear view of business processes and create a centralized repository of data for actionable insights. An ERP solution supports a company’s strategic goals by providing a scalable, flexible tool that can be used to promote efficiency, collaboration, and innovation throughout an organization.
Third Wave Business Systems is a Gold Partner of SAP, the world leader in ERP software. As North America’s longest-standing SAP Business One partner, small to enterprise level businesses trust us to implement scalable ERP solutions with hands-on expertise every step of the way.
To learn more about how Third Wave enables companies to implement scalable ERP solutions and drive transparency and growth throughout an organization, submit the form to speak to one of our experts.
Learn more about how your business can benefit from implementing a ERP solution and how to select the ERP partner that’s right for your needs.