Most companies nowadays use a range of software solutions for smooth business management, from keeping track of sales & managing the supply chain to scheduling & managing tasks. But all these require different software solutions and organizing everything at the same time can be a challenge.
To effectively manage any type of successful business, ERP software is essential. An ERP system gathers information from all areas of the business, e.g. Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain, Production, Accounting & Finance as well as Human Resources & Payroll. It takes important data from manual storage and adds them to a centralized server which can also be on the cloud. Different functions across various departments within the business are seamlessly integrated into a single system through a shared database. Important business-related information such as customer & supplier outstanding, bank & cash balances and inventory levels are easily available across the organization on click of a button. Valuable insights such as sales performance, inventory movement & purchase trends through built-in Business Intelligence in the ERP system helps management make well-informed decisions.
Most businesses may start out using a variety of simple, standalone tools to manage different processes – such as QuickBooks or excel spreadsheets. This may work well, but only to a certain point, after which the business will require an integrated software solution that allows all departments to work in harmony with one another. Below are 5 signs that you’ve outgrown such standalone tools and you truly need an ERP solution.
1. Multiple software systems being used – which do not talk to each other and are disconnected, e.g. CRM used by the sales department and a financial tool used by the finance department. If the information for closed orders does not flow through the departments on a timely basis, i.e. from Sales to Finance, then this results in more time being spent on getting the information across from one department to the next. To avoid people working in isolation, an ERP software solution can help smoothen up data flow in all departments.
2. As the business of any organization grows, the revenue plus the number of transactions will also increase. Book-keeping and accountancy are not possible for each and every transaction unless processes are set and automated across each department thus ensuring that nothing is missed out. If things are handled manually, then the entire process is at risk of being inaccurate while being costly and time-consuming as well. An ERP system can help set these processes and achieve automation – saving time & money.
3. To optimize sales & increase profitability, efficient inventory management is crucial. When sales increase – checking product or service availability and planning for estimated demand through JIT (Just in Time) ordering may prove to be a big challenge for the purchasing department, especially if different systems are being used. An ERP system helps address these challenges by providing the necessary consolidated information to maintain optimum inventory levels at all times.
4. In today’s dynamic business environment people work on-the-go and having access to various business functions on the mobile platform is a necessity for increased productivity. If the software being used is not mobile-friendly, especially for various functions required on-the-go then this will negatively impact the employee’s productivity. Most of today’s advanced ERP systems provide user-friendly interfaces for both desktop and mobile users.
5. When each department is using a different system or if the information is being managed manually in excel sheets, then many important questions related to the business, required by management regularly, may go unanswered at the critical time. The accessibility of the required information is dependent on the availability of the concerned team and their ability to compile the relevant data on time. An ERP system will readily provide this information on an up-to-date basis, making it easier to handle such queries instantly.
The 5 signs listed above are just some of the indications that your company may not be operating in the most efficient manner and truly needs an enterprise resource planning software for smoother functioning to increase productivity & profitability.
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