Acronyms are really annoying, but we like ERPs, so we’ll let it slide. ERP stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning,” but that doesn’t help anyone understand this type of tool. Let’s start by taking a step back.
Could you start to list all the resources you use to plan and track all of your business activities? Do you use email? What about a CRM or Customer Relationship Manager? Those are just a few common starting points. Calendars, invoicing systems, accounting, human resources, and more are all resources that most businesses need to maintain basic operations.
At its core, ERP software brings all of these functions together into one system. The best way to describe an ERP is as a business ecosystem. If you can see all of these elements, you can manage processes, information, and functionality. But, if you can streamline them, then you can create a balance across your entire organization. An ERP is a system that gives you the big and little picture for every resource-driven element of your business, and that can help you lead your company toward even greater success.
Are ERP Systems Worth It?
An ERP is worth the investment. ERPs do come with a hefty price tag, but the benefits of unifying your systems often provide a fast return.
Imagine how many more sales your team could make if they didn’t spend time in meetings discussing how to use a spreadsheet that someone spent hours creating. Not to mention the downtime your staff have while they continuously reload overcomplicated spreadsheets that crash every ten minutes.
What if your customer service and helpdesk staff didn’t have to hunt down information for your customers?
Think of all the time, effort, and money you will save on training when everything runs in one system. Instead of training your staff across multiple systems, you train them on one, and it has everything they could ever need.
Here’s the big-ticket question for most business owners: what if you could eliminate tedious tasks and instead pay people to do meaningful work?
With an ERP, you can identify and automate tedious tasks easily. ERPs usually come with a mobile compatible app so you and your staff can be anywhere and still access vital company data. These systems can make it easy to respond to customers faster, manage resources better, and increase ROI from your employees.
What about safety and security?
Having your data in spreadsheets or on various systems doesn’t make it more secure. If anything, it can lead to duplicate or inaccurate data leading to serious compliance risks. ERPs typically have multiple access levels, so you can control who can see, change, or delete specific areas of information.
Standardizing your software gives you a competitive edge without risking security gaps. Usually, ERPs have built-in risk management to establish compliance even with constant changes in work environments, security, and human resources regulations.
What is ERP reporting?
ERPs are well-known for their data capturing and reporting. With an ERP, you will immediately have access to better reporting with more reliable data. ERPs store data in a single database, meaning that every department can work with the same information rather than gather their own.
All that data can be organized, analyzed, and made into reports. Because your data is all in one place, you can easily generate reports that would have taken days of research when working with multiple platforms.
ERPs often have a dashboard where you can set custom reports and track specific KPIs to easily check-in on performance. These reports typically come with access levels to ensure that only relevant staff have access to valuable company data and reporting.
So why doesn’t everyone have an ERP if they’re so great? The price tag isn’t the only issue. Business owners often get stuck in analysis paralysis because of the overwhelming number of systems, options, and features. It’s overwhelming. These systems are also a beast to set up, especially while you’re also running the business.
ERPs are certainly worth the investment. We would be happy to help you find the right ERP for your business and to help set it up for you.
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-Off you go! Your horizon awaits.