When most business people think of enterprise resource planning, they think of sales, products and time management. Hiring and benefits invariably come to mind, but rarely are these specifics discussed. Human resources are the primary resources of business. Without people there can be no business, but an in-depth look at this part of the ERP system is seldom done. Payroll is one of the largest expenditures of any company, but it is not often considered that 30 percent of the cost of any employee is benefit-related.
We all know that ERP systems can run an entire company from accounting to the shop floor, but few of us know that workforce, resource and talent management can be done in the same system. Tools can help recruit employees, allocate work time and even retire employees all within the same system.
Two of the industry leaders are SAP and Oracle. They are robust, widely used and well-regarded tools used around the world. Their human resource functions can be used to manage employees from hire to retire. These programs can be used to manage benefits, leave, project time, time evaluation and terminations. But for many small and medium-sized businesses, SAP and Oracle are expensive.
Now for the practical side of this discussion. How many companies actually use a human resource tool to its maximum capacity? We all know the answer is very few. So what do you really need all these bells and whistles for? The most important part of the software purchase is actually having access to the tools you need or, most importantly, might need. There is always an argument for the idea that large human resource modules are the domain of companies with hundreds of employees and tens of millions of dollars to spend on ERP tools. This simply isn't true.
Payroll is the biggest expense for small and large businesses. Track your time, leave and human resources as efficiently as possible to increase your company's bottom line. This is where good management departs from other management. Tools like HCM can track non-exempt time and overtime to the minute. This saves your company time and money and keeps records of unplanned human resource-related expenditures in one place to examine and discuss. Keeping your costs down involves working closely with HR and line managers to reduce waste and abuse in the workplace. The end result is more shareholder value and profit.
HCM features a web-based interface, and all other competitors have added a web interface for data input in the task management function. Other new features include employee data aggregation, analysis and data warehousing.
These tools are the very best when it comes to benefits administration. Benefit administration is one of the most overlooked parts of the ERP toolset. Benefits are 30 percent of salary costs but are rarely eyed for savings at a granular level. This is usually due to poor data in this area. Imagine a small company of 300 employees saving 10 percent on benefits each year. This could easily be a six-figure savings. Or how about using the time management analysis tools to cut overtime by 15 percent annually? This number could be several million dollars over a year. Using a good ERP system to deal with resource, talent and workforce management is worth its weight in gold.