Business planning is a job in itself. Ask any businessman or woman and they will tell you, planning is perhaps the most fundamental part of establishing a business and maintaining its operations.
But those who work within a business sector all have one thing in common: they’re all extremely busy. Planning takes time. Sharing data takes time. And coordinating every element that it takes to run a business, takes an army, if not an entire legion, of personnel.
Well, thankfully today we live in an ever-advancing technological world. And as our technology develops at lightning speed, everyone in the business world, no matter which industry you work in, can take advantage of these tools and technologies.
Whether you own a small business that manufactures vape cartridges or if you’re sitting at the helm of a multi-billion dollar corporation and you oversee a thousand employees, you can (and should) take advantage of software that makes your life easier and increases productivity and proficiency.
Here in this guide, we’ll take a look at one of the most essential business software tools that you can use to streamline your business affairs and reduce the “busy work” that comes along with outdated methodology.
What is Enterprise Resource Planning Software?
Enterprise Resource Planning software, or ERP, is essentially a suite of programs that allows businesses to integrate and better manage all critical moving parts of their business.
An ERP program eliminates the need for CRM and other progress-tracking programs by integrating all of the programs needed to manipulate, modify, and share business data into one central program, accessible in real-time by any device.
ERP programs can integrate a number of processes including HR accounts, accounting, sales, marketing, purchasing, acquisitions, finance, inventory, planning, and progress-tracking all in one program.
Essentially, ERP software can integrate all of the moving parts needed to run a business, and make it convenient for any authorized user to view or share data.
Why is Enterprise Resource Planning Important?
As you probably know, running a business is a lot like keeping up with a child. You have to nurture it and love it, but you also have to manage every aspect of its life in order for it to become successful.
In larger organizations, ERP software is like the thread that ties all of the processes together into one cohesive unit. For example, in a large business, there are multiple computers using multiple systems. Each system is unique and operates to fulfill a specific business-related task.
With ERP software, each department within a business operates its own system, but every department can be located, accessed, and data can be shared across multiple departments through only one interface.
Basically, instead of having access codes to 10 different systems and learning how to use each one independently and then sending emails, you can access each department (regardless of the program they use) without having to jump through multiple hoops.
Business Corporations Become More Efficient
ERP programs will enable a business to link all of its most important data together by connecting together different technologies that each department within a business uses on a daily basis.
This eliminates the need for other programs that take time to learn. And in addition, as ERP has evolved, instead of storing data in large servers much of this data is stored in cloud-based technology, which enables data to be shared in real-time across multiple liaisons and team members.
A note of caution should be entered here, however, as an ERP program must be properly administered otherwise data sharing and program efficiency could be reduced. For these reasons, many ERP products are often accompanied by consulting professionals.
For example, EnterpriseOne or JD Edwards World (ERP software from JD Edwards), can be managed and assisted by JDE Consulting, which takes the guesswork out of setting up these systems and having them run without any errors.
Significant Benefits of ERP Software
Some of the more significant benefits of implementing ERP software can be easily seen just by the integration quality that the software offers. However, the following are a few universal benefits of such a system.
- Reducing lost data or errors
- Business expansion
- Cost reduction
- Streamlined efficiency
- Better team performance
- Less training on multiple program modules
- Ease of access
- Improvement of overall operations
With ERP as a standard, your business will function cohesively instead of worrying about certain departments falling behind from being out of the loop.
The New Way Vs The Old Way
One of the ways that ERP implementation can fail is by businesses sticking to their old processes and failing to learn on an integrated system. And while you might wonder why this is the case, the answer is simple: humans are resistant to change.
No matter what business you’re in, it takes a lot to change a method that you’re used to.
To put this another way, most people take a specific route to work each day. Studies have shown that even if you show a person a more fuel-efficient or faster route, he or she is 60 percent more likely to continue driving the old route in place of the time and money that it could save by taking the “better” approach.
The same is true with adopting technologies such as ERP software into a business environment.
After implementation, you might have a lagging effect with specific departments as they learn the new approach. But, you also might have a few departments that prefer not to change and handle their tasks with the older, more familiar methods.
Why Using ERP is Better for Business
Without the integration of ERP software, departments within a business operate independently from one another. And this disconnect is what reduces a corporation’s ability to become more self-aware.
Essentially, without ERP software, each department is all by themselves in their little corner, without much oversight on day-to-day tasks from upper management. While operating on a disconnected approach, each department becomes autonomous in a sense, and this can ruin the overall structure of a business as your day-to-day tasks run the risk of being grossly mismanaged.
The Key Takeaway
The greatest aspect of ERP software is the simple fact that these systems promote and nurture the unimpeded flow of information across an entire organization.
ERP software programs eliminate the need for redundant systems and administrators who simply crowd the plate when it comes to managing a large business. Redundancy also causes excess costs for managing these programs, and ERP software, once integrated saves hundreds of dollars that could be used for other purposes.
At the end of the day, ERP systems promote the sharing of knowledge and data in real-time across cloud-based technology. Company leaders can coordinate with integral team members from a touch of a device such as a smartphone or tablet from anywhere at any time. And this only adds to the proficiency and productivity of the company itself.
Becoming a cohesive unit is the goal of any team environment. This is as true in business as it is in sports and politics, though the latter is obviously lacking in cohesiveness. But, you get the point.