When it comes to running a business, there are many ways to get things done. You can use an Excel spreadsheet, a project management program, or purchase a full-blown enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.
However, having an effective ERP system can save you time and money and help your business grow faster than it would if you didn’t have one. In fact, ERP solutions are a key component of digital transformation for businesses of all sizes today.
What Is ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a business management system that integrates all of your business processes, from accounting to manufacturing.
As one of the most high-profile software solutions in use today, ERP has become synonymous with “business management” for many companies.
ERP is often used to manage:
- Financial transactions within your company, such as tracking sales and purchases, inventory levels, bank accounts and cash flow
- Manufacturing operations like production scheduling, order processing and customer service
- Human resources services like payroll administration and benefits enrollment
- Project management tasks like resource allocation and task delegation
Which Industries Use ERP?
ERP is used in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, construction and logistics. In fact, any business that has multiple departments and needs to track data across those departments can benefit from ERP.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Healthcare: ERP can help healthcare organizations keep track of patient records, insurance information, billing and scheduling. In addition, ERP can integrate with other innovative healthcare technologies to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.
- Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry has countless moving parts. To keep track of it all, manufacturers use ERP to manage inventory, production scheduling, quality control and shipping.
- Retail: Retail businesses like department stores and eCommerce sites use ERP to track sales, inventory and customers. Furthermore, ERP can be used to manage loyalty programs and customer rewards.
- Construction: To stay on schedule and budget, construction companies use ERP to track project milestones, materials and equipment. ERP can also be used to manage safety compliance and risk management.
- Logistics: The logistics industry relies on ERP to track shipments, route planning and fleet management. In addition, ERP can help logistics companies manage customer orders and invoices.
- Education: Even educational institutions like schools and universities use ERP. In fact, ERP can be used to manage student records, finances, human resources and alumni relations.
- Entertainment: Behind the scenes, even the entertainment industry uses ERP. Movie studios and production companies use ERP to manage contracts, rights and royalties. On top of that, ERP can help entertainment companies track inventory, schedule events and coordinate resources.
5 Benefits of ERP for Any Business
ERP systems are not just for big businesses; they can benefit companies of all sizes. Many small businesses use ERP to get a leg up on the competition.
In particular, ERP can help you with the following:
1. Boost efficiency.
Effective enterprise resource planning systems are designed to boost efficiency in all areas of your operations. By integrating your business processes, ERP can help you eliminate duplicate data entry, reduce material waste and improve communication between departments.
In addition, ERP can automate tasks like invoicing and inventory management. This can free up your employees to focus on more important tasks, like serving your customers.
2. Reduce costs.
A rise in efficiency often brings a reduction in business costs. However, some of the most wasteful expenses in any business are due to human error, such as overstocking inventory or coding invoices incorrectly.
ERP systems can help you reduce these kinds of errors, as well as save on paper, printing, storage, and postage costs. In addition, ERP can help you negotiate better deals with suppliers by giving you visibility into your inventory levels.
3. Make better decisions.
ERP systems give you unparalleled access to data. This includes data on your customers, your suppliers, your inventory and your employees.
With this data at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions about every aspect of your business. For example, you can use data on customer buying habits to make decisions about inventory levels and marketing campaigns.
You can also use data on employee productivity to make staffing decisions.
4. Improve customer service.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s essential to keep them happy. ERP can help you do this by giving you the ability to track every aspect of your customer’s interactions with your business. Instead of guessing what your customers want, you can let the data do the talking.
Customer-related data such as purchase history, contact information and support tickets can give you valuable insights into your customers’ needs.
In addition, sharing this information with other teams, such as sales and customer service, can help you provide a better overall experience for all of your stakeholders.
5. Scale your business.
If you’re planning to grow your business, ERP can help you manage the complexity that comes with growth. Elements such as new locations, additional staff and increased customer demand can be managed with ERP.
In addition, ERP can help you manage multi-site operations and global supply chains. By integrating your business processes, ERP can help you keep track of your far-flung operations and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Build a Stronger Digital Foundation for Your Business with ERP
If you’re looking to boost efficiency, reduce costs, make better decisions and improve customer service, ERP is a good place to start.
Companies like Argano can help your business with the implementation of digital foundations. That includes helping you select and implement the right ERP system for your business.