Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an essential tool in the business world, as the ability to integrate a variety of business processes comes with many advantages. Most ERP benefits are well-known, thanks to the persistent advertising of vendors. However, it would appear that vendors are doing themselves a disservice by not advertising certain benefits as much as they deserve. Here are a few of the ERP benefits you've likely overlooked.
ERP solutions are meant to streamline business processes, which can improve customer service and increase revenue. As it turns out, the software can also decrease operating costs. Instead of needing an IT specialist or administrator to run reports, for instance, ERP solutions make this easy for anyone to accomplish.
Ease of report running means IT professionals can focus their time on more pressing matters. Additionally, the central storage aspect means employees from different departments can input updated information as they receive it. This removes the need of having focused teams to collect and correct information.
Business owners rarely consider the security implications of an ERP system, and when they do, they often make inaccurate assumptions. While it may seem like everyone in the company will have access to potentially confidential information, this isn't how ERP works in the real world.
Business owners can selectively choose who they want to have access to certain information. Additionally, having all of this data controlled by one solution and stored in the same place makes controlling access a much simpler endeavor.
Whether it's on-site or SaaS, ERP solutions provide a new level of security.
There are certain activities that are a time drain but must be performed. One example is the fact that Americans spend over four hours a day checking work email. Technological tools that can cut down on this exist, but email isn't the only necessary evil that drains employees' time.
Running reports often involves filling out complicated spreadsheets. Inputting sales orders into a company's accounting system is also time-consuming. Fortunately, many ERP solutions automate these and countless other processes.
This means a company's employees can spend more time doing their jobs and generating revenue for the business.
Depending on a company's specific industry, they could face thousands of different regulations. Credit intermediation businesses, for example, have to abide by over 16,000 regulations just on the federal level. While many of the regulations that a business faces will have nothing to do with their enterprise software, there certainly will be some overlap.
Companies that deal in healthcare, finance, product traceability and data security are highly regulated, but there are ERP solutions for each industry that abide by these strict rules. While it may take some time to find a vendor that caters to a specific industry, this is par for the course in running a regulated business.
Many ERP vendors advertise mobility as a great benefit of their software, but most entrepreneurs let this go into one ear and out the other. They believe that their systems should only be accessible on-site for security reasons. Considering the modern business world and the security features of ERP solutions, this needs to change.
In 2016, over 40 percent of American employees said they at least occasionally worked remotely. This means it's time for business owners to stop ignoring the benefit of mobility with their corporate software. Fortunately, their vendor will often walk them through the process even if they decide to utilize mobile functions long after initial implementation.
ERP solutions give entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over their less-technological competition. While these often-overlooked benefits add to the reasons a business should utilize ERP, there's little doubt that these will change over time. As technology evolves, enterprise solutions will as well. This dynamic process ensures the benefits of ERP will only increase as time passes.