10 Benefits of ERP Software
Growing businesses will quickly reach a stage where spreadsheets bring more inefficiency than productivity. To keep up with your growth, you need to centralize your database and automate various routine tasks for greater efficiency, productivity, accuracy, and visibility. This is where an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system comes into play. By implementing an ERP, businesses can enjoy a single, integrated database that collects and stores information across all business functions for streamlined processes and actionable insights for decision-making. The many benefits of ERP are applicable to all businesses, and from these 10 main benefits of ERP, you can begin to imagine how your business can be transformed.
1. Go Beyond Financials
As the name suggests, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a system that covers all parts of your business, beyond just accounting and financials. A strong ERP solution will have systems for accounting and invoicing, CRM, inventory management, distribution management, HRIS – all tied together into one centralized platform. All systems share data between each other, producing insightful cross-functional reports.
2. Higher Data Security
ERPs offer much higher security over your data as opposed to spreadsheets or entry-level accounting solutions. Both on-premise and cloud-hosted ERPs provide the highest level of data security. Cloud-based ERPs also offer many advanced data security features, including data encryption, malware protection, intrusion prevention, and regular backups in the case of a ransomware attack.
There are myths that cloud is more secure than on-premise, and vice-versa, that on-premise is more secure than cloud, but in reality, ERP security is more dependent on your software provider. Advanced ERPs like Sage Intacct run on highly-secured data centers that are monitored 24/7 every single day, with full data recovery within 24 hours, in case of a major breach. Both Acumatica and Sage ERP solutions also have a 24/7 IT team working to ensure that their servers are protected from any breaches.
3. Improve Customer Experience
Whether you run a B2B or B2C business, optimizing your customer experience and customer service is key to boosting revenue, and ERP can help in many ways. A modern ERP with a CRM allows your sales team to manage, analyze, and manipulate customer data, to identify what your customer demographics, patterns, and needs are. ERP solutions automatically generate customer insights to help you build your website, change your product lines, improve on aspects of your service, create different marketing automation campaigns for different customer groups, and much more.
Solutions like Acumatica also offer useful features like a customer self-serve portal, where customers can view their contracts, financial statements, purchase orders, tracking information, customer service requests, and more.
4. Regulatory Compliance
In all industries, and in the manufacturing and food & beverage industries in particular, there are legislations and requirements that are always changing. Failing to comply with them can really cost your business. On top of GAAP and IFRS compliance, advanced solutions like Acumatica and Sage Intacct also assist with documentation, training, accuracy, reporting, security, and process control – which are all hugely important components to meeting regulations.
Your ERP solution can help tackle many types of regulatory compliance, including:
- Government Regulations
- Business and Finance
- Information Technology
- Industry Compliance
- Labour Regulations
- Trade Regulations
5. Boost Productivity
One of the main benefits of ERP is its ease of use. An ERP can streamline the processes related to your business and facilitate automatic data handling in the fastest and most effective way. ERP solutions reduce paperwork and the chance of human error that can disrupt production flow. Many manual tasks can become automated and as a result, employees’ free time is increased, allowing them to turn their attention to more productive tasks. Your team will be able to finish their work faster and with greater ease.
6. Access Data Anytime, Anywhere on the Cloud
Depending on your needs, ERP systems can be implemented as a web or mobile application through cloud technologies. Data can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, as long as you have a device and an internet connection. This allows for greater flexibility and mobility in your organization, especially if you have team members working in different cities, working remotely, or on the field. With up-to-minute accurate information at your fingertips, you’re able to make data-driven decisions quickly and catch up with the competition.
7. Insightful Dashboards and Reports
Better insight is one of the most important benefits of ERP software. Bringing all of your information into one place helps you assess your business practices and see what makes sense or what can be improved. With the help of useful reports and analytics, you can cut out unnecessary processes and see the different ways you can increase efficiency and generate a stronger cash flow. In addition, ERP vendors offer business intelligence (BI) solutions that allow businesses to gain a deeper level of understanding and analytical insight into their operations. This kind of visibility gives you the ability to make better business decisions based on accurate and timely data.
8. Flexible and Scalable to Your Business
One of the biggest benefits of ERP is its scalability and flexibility to the size and changing nature of your organization. Many smaller businesses hesitate to even consider an ERP because of the misconception that there are only costly one-size-fits-all solutions. Best-of-Breed and Best-in-Class ERP solutions allow businesses to design a tech stack unique to their business needs, a truly one-of-a-kind solution. Customizing and adding specific functionalities is hugely important for ensuring smooth business processes. This means that instead of purchasing an all-in-one solution with many functionalities and systems that you don’t need, you only pay for the modules, add-ons, and integrations that directly benefit your business.
Acumatica and Sage Software are also scalable to growth; instead of per-user fees, which can quickly become very costly as your team grows, you scale with ease by only purchasing new systems and features as your business grows.
9. Collaboration and Data Sharing
Collaboration tools are one of the most favoured benefits of ERP, as it can greatly improve productivity and satisfaction amongst your employees, partners, and customers. For your ERP, users of each department will have different user-level access to data and capabilities. They can also get customized dashboards with metrics most important to their department. One of the most useful collaboration features in modern ERPs is the live chat for employees to share updates. There are also project management tools with dedicated space for notes, task assigning ability, and notifications and alerts.
From your ERP, you can also efficiently and securely share data with external parties, including customers, partners, and other stakeholders. Whether it’s invoices, documents, or reports – you can share real-time information with those outside your organization with a single click.
10. Useful Integrations with Other Software
The modular structure of a modern ERP allows for businesses to design their system according to their specific needs. Best-of-Breed and Best-in-Class solutions already have countless systems that directly tackle industry-specific needs. On top of this, you can achieve seamless integrations with third-party systems, apps, and tools.
Acumatica Marketplace and Sage Intacct Marketplace list many useful integrations with some of the most popular systems. One of the benefits of hiring an ERP consulting firm is their ability to help you customize integrations with popular software, such as Shopify, Criterion HCM, Lightspeed POS, Procore Construction Management Software, and many more. In an integrated ERP, removing and adding new modules and systems will not involve tremendous development costs, so you can scale with ease.
Implementing ERP software can seem daunting and represents a significant investment, but the benefits of ERP far outweigh the costs. With the help of an ERP partner that truly understands your business, you can design a custom ERP solution that directly addresses your business needs.