Organizations are ditching side books and upping compliance audits while exploring the impact trends like AI, blockchain and augmented reality will have on their enterprise resource planning systems.
ERP systems are essential to enterprise operations. Yet this core clerical workhorse may not get as much attention as your other systems. That’s a mistake, as significant opportunities to improve cash flow and reduce risk await those who attend to the health of their enterprise resource planning systems.
Here’s a look at how organizations are revamping their use of ERP systems to improve organizational outcomes.
Manually processing payments to suppliers and other stakeholders can be a significant weigh down. Add in the rise of fraud, and you can see why there is an increasing desire to centralize accounts payable in ERP. And the rise of AI in ERP tools is helping to fuel this trend.
We are seeing more AI and machine learning be used to make decisions on expenses in the enterprise. For example, deciding when to take an early payment discount on an invoice payment is an area where AI impacts ERP, explains Mickey North Rizza, program vice president for IDC’s enterprise applications and digital commerce research practice
Like it or not, Excel remains the tool of choice for CFOs and finance departments all-inclusive. ERP adoption has always had a long way to go, thanks to these side books, but companies are finally realizing the power of moving at least some of that Excel workload to ERP systems.
Seeking to abolish Excel spreadsheets from finance is not a worthwhile goal, as no ERP application can entirely win over the Excel faithful. But ERP is taking over more of the routine, core processing work that used to be done in Excel.
Ask any experienced IT manager about ERP projects, and you will hear the same story over again. ERP systems are infamous for taking a long time to execute. After all, you are changing an organization’s core system. A mistake or data loss can undermine customer service and accounting, jeopardizing the health of the organization as a whole.
If you were in suspense that had changed, you’re out of luck. But companies adopting an ERP system for the first time may be an exception to the ERP projects take years rule, thanks to industry wisdom around ERP implementation hurdles.
ERP systems were first created for the manufacturing industry where raw materials and parts were the key resources. But as manufacturing ever more goes digital, ERP systems are now being extended with cutting-edge tech to help drive efficiencies. Fisher Dynamics, a manufacturing company based in Michigan, has adopted Google Glass and location beacons to pick up tracking of materials and workers.
Once you have identified compliance needs, ask some tough questions about how these are being managed. Do you have staff manually carrying out communication like compliance reviews? Several of the largest ERP companies such as Epicor offer compliance-related products. When possible, use compliance add-ons from your current ERP vendor to minimize implementation complexity.
Blockchain technology is gaining interest in the enterprise, and it will probably have a role to play in ERP in the future as well.