5 ERP Functions to Improve Your Business Processes

Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, creates an environment in which various systems and processes including inventory, accounting and personnel are integrated under one software solution.  

This is especially important for wholesale and distribution businesses that need to track product ranges over large distribution networks, while managing business processes.

Your ERP strategy should continually grow and adapt to your business.  A wholesaler or distributor with limited focus on day-to-day operations is not going to be as competitive as one working to forecast demand, price sensitivity and market fluctuations.

It is important to periodically assess the limitations of your current system, document your requirements and evaluate key goals for your ERP, especially as your business changes.

Whether or not your business already has an ERP, here are five key ERP functions you might not yet be using to the fullest potential.

Automating processes

Advanced ERP solutions have many options for streamlining departmental procedures and reducing reliance on manual processes, saving both time and money.

Better accounting, billing and reconciliation from an ERP system often contribute to a reduction in the number of days for accounts receivable, while improved inventory management leads to higher turnover and return on assets.

Enterprise Analytics

A graphical, user-friendly interface with trend analysis and exception reporting replaces pages of financial information, and a clear, top-level dashboard view is critical to effectively monitor business performanced

Integrated CRM

A traditional CRM operating separately to ERP misses many opportunities provided by an integrated solution.  It is now possible to fully integrate CRM in a more dynamic and real-time way to your traditional ERP transactional system delivering the ultimate goal of a single view of the customer.

A solution with integrated best-of-breed CRM and best-of-breed ERP provides the facility to retain and service customers more effectively, at the same time as focusing on growth and new customer acquisition.

Improved Mobility

Mobility is moving into the mainstream.  Its growing popularity comes from the ability for workers to use their ERP applications on their mobile devices—not just in the office. Warehousing staff no longer have to walk to a workstation to enter data, and drivers on the road can easily maintain records and check schedules.

The ability for users to now access inventory and customer information and process sales orders without needing access to a corporate network system provides significant improvements to service quality, productivity, data capture, and an increased competitive advantage.

Integrated Web

Businesses can reduce costs by providing self-service options to enable customers to help themselves.  With a web-based self service portal delivered through ERP, businesses can now offer customers 24/7 access to invoices, statements and sales promotions, without staff needing to be available around the clock.

An advanced ERP software system also allows deployment of a multi-channel strategy designed for convenience and flexibility in how customers make purchases.  A customer may place an order online and collect from a branch or store, and vice versa; a sales rep can create an order in the field, with goods then shipped to the customer from the warehouse.

In today’s competitive climate, businesses should be looking to gain competitive advantages through optimised productivity, streamlined processes, improved business intelligence and integration provided by these five key ERP functions.  

Is your current system providing the best outcome for your business?