ERP solutions have been around for quite some time; and until now, many companies have succeeded without one. Yet, as ERP solution vendors begin to focus their efforts on small and mid-market businesses, more and more companies are starting to implement an ERP solution, reaping significant benefits from doing so.
So, why does your company need an ERP solution? Countless different processes, activities, and systems are used to run your business, and you need to establish numerous workflows and procedures – some manual, some automated – that may or may not be formally documented. As a result, a variety of departmental applications and legacy databases that are likely disjointed and not well-integrated.
While this approach may have served its purpose in the past, in today’s dynamic and highly competitive marketplace, it can seriously hinder productivity, profitability, and growth. The primary reason an ERP solution is so vital to a company’s success is efficiency. Cumbersome, error-prone, labor-intensive manual processes can drain both time and money. Businesses must operate as lean as possible in order to keep the bottom line in check, and failing to automate critical yet routine business activities makes it nearly impossible to do that.
An ERP solution allows companies to achieve true business process automation – streamlining many of the important day-to-day tasks across a business and freeing up staff to focus their efforts on more complex initiatives that require more personalized attention. This can not only boost productivity and worker output, it can dramatically reduce operating and overhead expenses.
An ERP solution also bucks the notion that efficiency needs to be considered one department at a time. Business processes and activities have become increasingly complex – no matter how big or small your company is, or what industry you’re in – requiring multiple teams and divisions to operate as a single, cohesive unit. Without an ERP solution in place, creating that kind of cross-departmental coordination and workflow execution can be quite challenging.
Another reason an ERP solution is so critical is their ability to increase information consistency and accuracy. Many companies still suffer from “multiple versions of the truth” – incorrect and inconsistent information across the business. For example, if the accounting department and the contact center access two different databases which aren’t integrated, a customer with a billing question will likely get an inaccurate answer if they call the contact center for assistance. These problems, although they may appear small on the surface, can add up, leading to bigger customer satisfaction and retention issues that can negatively impact revenues and market share.
Most importantly, an ERP solution makes it easier for employees at all levels – from front line staff members and team supervisors to senior managers and executives – to assess company performance and understand their impact on it. ERP solutions enable effective objective setting, and allow everyone to monitor progress towards that goal. This makes companies far more agile by helping them quickly identify problems in the business, and take immediate corrective action. An ERP solution can also empower companies to be more responsive to shifts in the marketplace, quickly changing strategies to address new customer needs as they emerge.