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How Can an ERP System Super-Boost the Business Productivity?

Do you think software can give you a million dollars? Yes, a million dollars. Read to find out how. Business Management is all about getting things done effectively and efficiently. Effectiveness refers to the kind of impact your results generate, whereas efficiency refers to completing tasks with minimal resource usage. If someone tells you that you can minimize the use of your resources and maximize the profit you earn, i.e. cut costs and still expand at the same time, how would you react? Before you start criticizing this ‘fantasy’ plan, you need to know that there is a three-letter solution to all of your business problems - ERP. Fact: Last year, 25 % of organizations implemented ERP software in order to either replace non-ERP systems or because they previously had no true system! ERP systems have recently become an integral part of all efficient and effective businesses. If your business, irrespective of its scale, isn’t close to being on this stage, ERP can be your new hire! It Shares Your Burden! ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. As the name itself suggests, it is a tool for planning and managing all of the resources of your business: Human Resources, Raw Materials and Customers (of course, they’re also a recurring source of income; probably the most important resource of your business). Fact: The 2015 ERP report says that approximately 47% of organizations are either in the process of implementing ERP software or have completed implementation. Most importantly, ERP saves you and your business the most significant and precious resource:  Time. If you’re wondering what an ERP system does and why you should be using one, read this carefully. Your Warehouse Management is going completely haywire. You’re having trouble maintaining the inventory and the huge files and long Excel sheets add to your troubles. Solution: ERP system. You are successful in generating leads and bringing first-time customers to your business but you are having trouble converting them into recurring sales. Solution: ERP system. Your business accounts are well-kept, but maintaining them requires the tedious task of data entry and analysis at regular intervals. Solution: ERP system. Your meetings are held periodically, but you aren’t able to meet your project targets that easily. Solution: Yes, you’ve guessed it correctly, ERP system. ERP systems have various dimensions that cater to various solutions for your business. ERP systems can help you in Database Management, Customer Relationship Management, Project Management and Meeting & Target Scheduling. Are you wondering how this works and how it will boost your business’ productivity? Here’s how.

1. It brings parity to your management system

Usually, business owners end up using different software systems for different functions throughout different departments.  The inventories are managed using one system, whereas the Sales’ team uses a different system for keeping track of deliveries.  Additionally, the system protecting employee data is altogether different as well. When the various departments need to collaborate, for example, the Inventory Management team and the Sales’ team, it becomes a complicated task just to transfer data accurately and timely. Fact: 59% of buyers cite the need to improve the integration of data between different business processes as a top reason for seeking an ERP system. Integrating an ERP system into your business would help you solve this problem.  Businesses have now begun to understand this. As the Inventory Management team inputs data regarding expected dates for available stock, the Sales team will have real-time access to the same information in the same software program and as a result, would be able to promise feasible delivery dates for their customers. Hence, ERP systems create a parity of information and remove information asymmetry within different departments of the same organization.

2. ERP systems make information accessible

Sometimes getting specific data can become a headache, i.e. the number of days taken off by an employee in past 6 months, the number of customers closed after the first call, the exact amount of raw material available on a specific date or the exact orders taken or visitors greeted every day. Knowing this information can sometimes prove vital when making business decisions, but it simply isn’t handy or easily-accessible. With an integrated ERP system, the decision-makers in an organization get access to the entire ecosystem within the organization, thereby getting all of the data in an organized manner, whenever required. This allows for faster and more accurate decision-making, since it is based entirely on the collected data and as a result, increases both the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization.

3. ERP system can improve the customer experience

Fact: 47% of all buyers cite the need to improve their customer relationship management (CRM) database as a reason for wanting to purchase an ERP system. Collecting data has become easier as a result of ERP systems. One simply needs to analyze the collected data and they’re good to go. ERP systems are fundamentally-essential for Customer Relationship Management. From the first call to the sale closure, with additional data such as the quantity to be delivered and on what specific date, at what specific location, all maintained in a single database. When a customer reaches out with an issue/query, your Customer Service team has the customer’s entire history available with the click of the mouse. Creating ‘bespoke’ solutions for your customers becomes easier when having this type of access and as a result, assists you in getting recurring business from your customers. Using an ERP system, you can track the nature of your customers’ orders, i.e. quantity, urgency, follow-up details, etc. and meet their expectations more-easily.

4. ERP helps you control costs

Using an ERP system, the decision-makers can track all costs incurred, regardless of their magnitude, and trace them back to their specific overheads.  This might look like a simple task, but it has the potential to easily cut costs. Fact: 19% cite cost as their primary reason for wanting to switch to a new system. When all of an organization’s costs are entered into the same system, alongside fundamental details like which department incurred the cost, the previous history of similar costs and the after-effects of incurring this cost, it helps in decision-making, which in turn increases the efficiency of the organization. If done regularly, this contributes to a significant decrease in the organization’s operating costs.

5. Better project management

ERP systems can walk parallel to your ongoing or future projects and help you determine the effectiveness achieved by the Projects team. An ERP system would contain all of the necessary data regarding a specific project and, in addition to that, one could integrate this data with specific goals that were attached to a particular date. ERP systems can help the decision-maker set and achieve SMART goals, i.e. Specific, Measureable, Achievable Results, Focused and Time-Bound). Consider this example:  A business development executive is exploring a prospective, new market for the organization. This individual can look at the existing response to this organization, in similar markets using the ERP records and use it to establish expansion goals. Since the goals have now been fed into the system, they become measurable as each step taken towards a particular goal is now recorded. Additionally, completion dates scheduled alongside achieved results now clearly accompany the project details. Therefore, an organization can grow with the utmost grace and ease by using a simple ERP solution. Still wondering how the ERP system can give you a million dollars? Choosing to integrate a full-fledged ERP system into your operations, will exponentially-increase the effectiveness of your business, as well as allow you to track and reduce costs, resulting in an increased efficiency and tracked data as it relates to customers. With the cloud computing platforms making their presence felt, the Cloud ERP is quickly gaining popularity amongst businesses. Fact: By 2018, at least 30% of service-centric organizations will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud. By making better solutions available to each one of your customers, you will satisfy them every time they come to you and still allow you to keep a check on the holistic outlook of your business. You have just saved hundreds of hours which would otherwise have been wasted researching data and saved a significant number of resources which would otherwise have been carelessly spent without any fruitful results.  As a result, you’ve just discovered an efficient and effective future for your business. Now, that’s worth more than a million dollars!
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