Benefits of an ERP system for your business
10 primary advantages of using
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software
The pace of change in the market, especially in the services economy, is relentless, which is exposing major weaknesses in static business models. To succeed and thrive, every business must be focused on the future and prioritize planning across the enterprise, which is why the benefits of an ERP system are hard to ignore.
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What is an ERP system?
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system centralizes all core business processes in one location, providing real-time visibility into all operations from supply chain to customer relationship management (CRM).
Because an ERP system is capable of tracking so many moving parts, it requires a high level of customization and continuous management to ensure information is up-to-date. However, once it is fully integrated and your business is utilizing all the features, it enables you to have seamless management over costs, inventory, people, and more.
Would an ERP system be right for my business?
While ERP systems have traditionally been utilized by larger enterprise businesses with bigger operations – and bigger budgets – the market has shifted such that medium and small businesses also find incredible benefits from integrating an ERP system.
To manage and have control over the fast pace of business today, everyone can benefit from implementing an ERP system. And these solutions can be as comprehensive as you need for the size of your business.
Some of the primary features of an ERP system include:
- Real-time access & visibility: Easily view business operations and instantly access domestic or global supply chains all in one place.
- Integration: Operational, business, and financial data are integrated on a single platform for easier management and greater visibility.
- Automation: Formerly redundant or manual tasks like invoicing or reporting are produced automatically and streamlined based on parameters you set up in the system.
- Finance & accounting: Financial data is tracked, stored, and managed all in one place.
- Analytics & reporting: Reporting capabilities provide data-driven, actionable insights.
- Security: Data is held securely and in keeping with your industry’s compliance requirements.
With these convenient and advanced features, there’s no question ERP software can help your business streamline activities and plan better for future growth and market changes.
But the best way to know it is worth the investment is to understand exactly what these features mean for your business.
What benefits will my organization get from adopting ERP software?
There are many different ERP systems out there, but for the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on the benefits of using ERP on the Salesforce platform. While many of the benefits are the same across the board, Salesforce enables additional capabilities and integrations to further connect business operations that would not otherwise be possible.
Here are the 10 primary advantages of a Salesforce-native ERP system that will help position your business for success.
1. Maximized planning and resource management
Enterprise Resource Planning is aptly named because it truly does enable planning across your organization so you know how to predict and forecast sales, costs, and the resources you need, whether that’s materials, equipment, or people.
ERP provides insights that enable you to effectively plan production schedules and forecast resource needs. When you can be predictive with events like equipment maintenance or order fulfillment, you can reduce unexpected downtime or production delays.
Better planning and resource management enable business leaders to make more effective decisions and overcome challenges across the entire business.
2. Greater enterprise collaboration
Personnel are often siloed across an organization, but ERP consolidates information from all departments into a single source of truth, making it simple to share accurate data in real-time.
Making all data available in one place, updated in real-time, has several operational benefits:
- Reduce errors often caused by using incorrect or outdated data
- Keep projects that otherwise could have been stalled due to a lack of information on track
- Graduate from merging disparate data sources and be confident in the accuracy, completeness, and security of your ERP-enabled data
- Eliminate human error that can come with manual data entry processes
3. Increased productivity
By automating major processes like inventory tracking or invoice generation, you can realize productivity gains across the board and place greater focus on tasks that may have otherwise fallen by the wayside.
And, we can’t restate enough the incredible time savings of having a single source of truth for data across departments. Manual data entry processes that took up valuable time in the past are now handled automatically – and with greater accuracy to save time on revisions.
ERP can perform advanced calculations quickly and automate tedious tasks. Your employees can place greater focus on a project, create more revenue-generating work, and use their time more efficiently and profitably.
Enabling teams to collaborate using accurate information enhances the success of your projects and ultimately brings about greater customer service.
4. Reduced overhead costs
When used properly, ERP systems can deliver significant cost savings to your organization.
- Prevent disruptions and delays that can be caused by a lack of accurate or available information, keeping projects on track and on time.
- Skip the additional personnel, software licenses, training on multiple systems, and administrative resources needed for traditional data unification software; ERP can be easily adopted and leveraged by existing staff.
- Streamline operations by making the tools for everything from product development to accounts payable available in one centralized system.
- Empower your team to use their time more efficiently by giving them the information and data they need, right at their fingertips.
Additionally, an ERP system provides greater visibility into changes in cost. Let’s say you typically pay $1 for a part, but suddenly the part costs $3. ERP will make it easy for you to see that cost differential so you can explore a different vendor or make adjustments to your budget to accommodate that additional cost.
5. Better customer relationships
Using ERP on Salesforce allows for integration with your Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, drastically expanding the visibility you have over your operations. All customer information from purchase history to personal data is stored in one place and feeds directly into your ERP system to enhance the customer experience.
Using your ERP and CRM together, you can automate customer services like payment notifications for existing customers, or lead nurturing tactics for prospects currently in the sales pipeline. You can also enable sales and marketing teams with greater information to help close a sale.
Here are some other key benefits of an ERP and CRM solution:
- Streamline invoicing and accounts receivable
- Close the books faster at the end of each month
- Reduce billing or invoicing errors for a better customer experience
- Put customers in the driver’s seat with customized dashboards and portals
- Connect product, sales, and finance teams for alignment on product offerings and available revenue streams
- Generate impactful global financial reports using built-in analytics powered by Salesforce Tableau/Einstein
- Offer actionable, easily digestible information to your entire team through real-time dashboards
6. Improved quality control
Quality management is a significant benefit of an ERP system. Let’s say you have a product that has just completed the manufacturing process, but before you can sell the product, you still need to review and sign off on the corresponding paperwork. You can tell your ERP system that the product must be blocked from sale until the paperwork is approved.
This type of control over your internal flow of supply reduces the chance for error; i.e. someone clearing out a product that has not yet been officially released.
Additionally, ERP provides checks and balances over the system itself, so you can allow only the appropriate people to create or edit information, but make the information visible to those who need to see it. This kind of quality control over sensitive and timely data reduces human error and saves time when processes move more seamlessly among departments.
7. Better inventory tracking
Tracking and monitoring inventory is a challenge, especially for large companies that constantly have products coming in and going out and a high level of customer demand.
ERP systems are able to track individual inventory using serial numbers or RFID tags, and simple system inputs allow you to maintain visibility over all of your assets, even at different locations or when they’re in transit.
Supply chain management is simple, too – ERP simplifies logistics and distribution, and can be programmed to manage inventory goals and reduce inefficiencies.
What’s more, inventory tracking using an ERP system provides highly accurate inventory data for metrics like customer demand, the cost to ship or store, and over-or under-stocked items. In short: ERP allows you to better manage your inventory and control how costs are allocated.
8. Simplified risk management & regulatory compliance
Every business takes on some form of risk in the process of creating and disseminating products. ERP helps minimize those risks by reducing the likelihood of errors in accounting and financial processes and allowing for greater visibility and control over operational details. With forecasting tools, you can see whether you’ll need to increase labor to handle a busy season or ramp up production to handle growing demand.
Where revenue is concerned, every industry carries recognition rules and other compliance regulations that can result in fines or penalties if not properly managed. For this reason, companies need to be extremely accurate for IRS compliance, and an ERP system allows you to manage your finances accurately, legally, and easily with built-in auditing tools and easily generated reports.
9. Enhanced data security
Using ERP on Salesforce is the most secure way to store your data, hands down. ERP systems in general have built-in security controls to ensure data protection, but when used on the Salesforce platform, you get the benefit of the massive investments Salesforce has made into its security, ensuring the most up-to-date capabilities for event monitoring, authentication, encryption, and more.
10. Predictability & scalability
Without question, an ERP system allows your business to be more predictive, driving better business results that enable you to scale. You’re able to combine real-time data with greater flexibility and visibility, which gives you an enormous advantage when it comes to efficient product development.
Not to mention, changes in the market won’t have you stalled and grasping for a plan. You’ll already have accounted for fluctuations so you can keep your business running smoothly.
Acheive a greater competitive advantage with cloud ERP
The advantages of adopting an ERP system, especially one that integrates with your Customer Relationship Management platform, far outweigh the initial cost of the software, and continue to deliver gains long after implementation.
When used correctly, modern ERP systems can edge you ahead of the competition with a higher level of operational intelligence that allows you to perform better, be more agile, and deliver more quality customer experiences.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can leverage ERP on the Salesforce cloud platform to streamline your operations and put your customers at the center of everything you do.