Who Are the Primary Users of ERP Systems?
How Enterprise Resource Planning Benefits Departments Across Industries
Nearly every industry can benefit from implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. At its core, this type of solution is meant to centralize key business processes in a single source of truth, creating critical visibility into all operations across your enterprise. But who are the primary users of ERP systems that actually experience the day-to-day advantages?
An ERP system carries different benefits for different professionals. In this post, we’ll look at the core functions of an ERP system, and the roles and departments that benefit from these functions.
The Expanding Use of ERP Systems
Traditionally, ERP systems have been leveraged by big enterprise businesses with multiple operations and substantial budgets; however, changes in the market have increased ERP use among medium and small businesses as well.
The core functions of an ERP system apply to most primary business needs:
- Accounting and financial management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Business intelligence
- Artificial intelligence
- Human resources
- Demand planning and forecasting
- Inventory management
- Supply chain management
- Project management
With these core functions, it’s safe to say that ERP systems span most industries, regardless of size or budget. As we consider how ERP systems are benefiting individual businesses, let’s first understand what the business landscape for ERP solutions includes.
Industry-Specific ERP (or niche ERP)
These traditional on-premise solutions perform all the core functions of ERP systems but have additional features, such as material requirements planning, or batch manufacturing record-keeping, to meet a business’s unique needs. Because an ERP system is designed to centralize data across an enterprise, it requires a high level of customization and continuous management to ensure information is up-to-date in the system; however, the added capabilities of industry-specific ERP systems are available without special customizations, different products from third-party vendors, or pricy add-ons.
Small Business ERP
This ERP solution allows small businesses to pick and choose the functions that work best for their operations and best meet their needs. ERP services for small businesses are typically simplified to provide only the most necessary functions at a lower cost than a traditional ERP solution.
Remote companies or organizations with workers who are spread out or often traveling may benefit from a web-based ERP system, which simply makes the ERP system available online; accessible from anywhere, at any time, without interruption.
These solutions, which are hosted on a vendor’s cloud platform, are flexible, scalable, and offer the security of the cloud. They address the shortcomings of traditional on-premise ERP systems which can be too constrained for more agile businesses that are moving quickly to keep up with advancing technology and the pace of innovation.
Users of ERP Systems
For all of the different core functions of ERP systems that apply across industries, there are numerous organizations that benefit in specific ways.
Employees dealing with accounts receivable and accounts payable can leverage the ERP finance and accounting functionality to track the business’s financial health and future outlook. Financial planning and analysis also become simpler with easy-to-access billing, vendor payments, and profit and loss statements.
In manufacturing, production managers and schedulers need the visibility an ERP system provides for production planning, specifically to ensure raw materials and equipment are available to fulfill projects on schedule. Additionally, ERP systems allow employees to track and compare inventory with forecasted demand to ensure projects can be completed within the agreed-upon timeline.
Government & Public Sector
Within the public sector and in government operations, leaders, staff, and elected officials alike are looking for the ability to do their jobs better and deliver better experiences to the public, which includes increased efficiency and transparency. Legacy ERP systems are no longer hitting the mark. ERP systems can provide the public sector and government agencies with a tailored solution that avoids costly technology adoption and highly specialized implementations.
In a medical environment, there are a host of critical functions that require tracking and oversight, and failure to do so can result in poor patient experiences or, worse, impacts on patient health. ERP systems allow for inventory control of medicines, machines, and personal protective equipment, so facility administrators can ensure staff and patients have what they need based on data-backed planning.
HR personnel touch many aspects of workforce management from payroll to performance reviews. ERP systems streamline this information for easy access to eliminate confusion and reduce time-consuming tasks such as managing spreadsheets and manual data entry.
From financial planning to course management to student records, school administrative personnel can more easily manage educational operations with an ERP system. Track student tuition payments and access information from all areas of the educational institution, including finance, academics, infrastructure, communication, and administration.
Regardless of industry, modern ERP systems can fit into your operations to benefit individual roles and departments, and help improve the way your business and your employees operate. With a higher level of visibility into the functions that matter most to your business, you will be more agile, efficient, and able to deliver better experiences for your customers and your internal teams.