what is erp?

This is a simple
definition of ERP.

Traditionally, enterprise resource planning (ERP) refers to a solution that streamlines the “back office” processes you use in your business such as accounting and financial reporting, project management, billing, HR, and supply chain operations. The primary goal of an ERP is to optimize and automate these processes to boost operational efficiency and company profitability.

Ideally, the applications that make up the ERP system will unify and share data across the various departments (accounting, sales, services, manufacturing, etc.) that generate the data. ERP ultimately facilitates information flow between all business functions so that its users gain meaningful insight to perform their jobs smarter and faster.

Who is ERP for?

For many businesses, ERP is the primary application required to accurately collect, bill, and report all financial transactions. ERP collects and manages the financial information related to your business (customer contracts, expenses, budgets, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, etc.) to provide management reporting and visibility into total revenue, cost, and profitability.

Some ERP solutions are limited to a single process/functional area (e.g., accounting or HR) while others work best for companies in specific verticals, e.g. manufacturing or healthcare. The various functional areas in ERP solutions include:

  • Financial Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Order & Inventory Management
  • Procurement
  • Revenue Management
  • Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC)
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Analytics & Reporting

Though ERP systems have been around for decades, many business leaders have recognized the need for more nimble and customer-centric solutions to accommodate recurring revenue models (e.g. XaaS, usage-based, subscriptions) and help drive customer satisfaction and retention. While legacy systems focus everything around the physical good or, for HR-based systems, around the employee, it has become clear that this model isn’t ideal for organizations with a major services component.

Customer-centric organizations have found that connecting all back-office functions and data (ERP) to the front office (CRM) to produce one master customer record is the proven path to success. A modern ERP should accelerate, not hinder, your journey toward becoming a more customer-centric organization.

The Power of ERP on Salesforce

11 amazing things you can do with ERP+CRM

Here’s why modern ERP matters to your business.

Major shifts in the market are happening faster than ever before. The relentless pace of change is exposing weaknesses in static business models and driving every organization to continuously blend revenue streams from products, subscriptions, and a wide variety of services. The customer experience is now at the forefront of every transaction.

Businesses that succeed today will be those that can swiftly identify new opportunities and preempt changing expectations, and doing so requires a modern customer-centric business suite that empowers your business to be adaptive to customer needs and optimize the customer experience.

learn more

Optimize cash flow and reduce revenue and margin leakage

Professional Services Automation: KPI

33-50%

Improved days sales outstanding (DSO)

Created with Sketch.

50-100%

Improved close times

Created with Sketch.

1 CLICK

Reporting in seconds, not hours

Here’s how a modern ERP system can help your
business today.

Connect your front & back office

To build a business that supports customer retention, you must be able to manage the entire customer lifecycle on one system. That can be done by connecting your back-office functions (ERP)—namely financials, billing, and product and service delivery—to your front office (CRM), so you can create a comprehensive view of your customers.

With modern ERP, everyone – sales, finance, service delivery, support, and beyond – gains real-time access to all the customer information that matters most. Instead of waiting days or even weeks for teams to be in sync, everyone from sellers to accountants can do their work with the same view of critical customer data.

Support new services & subscriptions models

Today’s customers expect your business models to meet their needs at every turn. Optimized for services-centric companies, a modern ERP system is flexible enough to help you more rapidly adapt your offerings to support subscription-based contracts, complex contracts, or a blend of business models.

Deliver full business transparency

Don’t wait for the monthly close or a quarterly review to make game-changing decisions for your business. Build predictability into your business enterprise-wide. A modern ERP enables users to make more intelligent decisions based on future impact and profitability, aligning actions at the individual and team level to overall business goals. Instead of guessing, know in real-time when to capitalize on product upgrades or cross-sells, or which customers need proactive outreach to prevent them from churning.

By empowering your front and back office employees with a more unified, continuous lens across the customer lifecycle, your business can be more transparent, data-driven, and easier to forecast.

Quantifying the Impact of Enterprise Resource Planning: An ERP Primer from SPI Research

Discover the key trends impacting the world of services and the value
cloud-based ERP applications bring to this market.

DOWNLOAD REPORT