Every business, regardless of size and industry, needs proper methods in place to keep the business organized. After all, the organization is necessary to be able to run the business effectively and turn a profit. This is where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP, wiki) software comes into play. ERP software is designed to manage various aspects of your business, from inventory management and optimization to production scheduling and planning.
To be sure, there are many different ERP software options, and each provides their own set of assets. If you’re still on the fence about how ERP software can work for you, here are five benefits that can contribute to long-term growth:
Greater Supply Chain Visibility
ERP can help with certain supply chain management; a very necessary function for large and small companies that deal with shipping. But it can be a tricky ship to navigate. IBM, along with many others, sells their own version of supply chain software. But, a quality ERP management tool will interpret and crunch supply chain numbers so that purchasing and inventory control maximize expenditures.
Businesses are expected to manage interactions with a handful of manufacturers to get their goods to market. With ERP solutions, businesses have better insight into their supply chain operations. With greater visibility, business owners can then make informed decisions that help keep them ahead of competitors. Any issues that arise can be quickly identified and fixed. The system also makes it easier to establish and change parameters that the supply chain needs to operate.
Forget about navigating complex processes. ERP plays a huge role in reducing and ensuring users are using their time much more wisely. By eliminating manual entry and duplication, overall productivity is increased. This is especially important for business owners that are stuck in Excel and need to automate their processes.
The more you grow, the more important this becomes. With ERP, you can automate operations cross-departmentally to provide accurate, real-time information to all employees using the solution. Additionally, users will have more time to work on other business-related tasks.
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For growing businesses, access to real-time data can be leveraged by employees who choose to work on the go. This is a major win for executives who have to attend meetings and conferences around the world, and can’t run operations solely from their desks. Through integrations, you can house all information from multiple databases in one central location. Furthermore, when the business expands, the software is equipped to aid scalability and support that growth.
One of the biggest benefits of ERP software is that it cut costs without cutting corners. The accuracy and automation decrease operational and administrative costs. One of the reasons is because it allows manufacturers to better manage operations and prevents delays, and allows users to make quicker, more informed decisions. Decreased costs equate to higher profits, and once business owners understand where they’re saving money, they can discover other cost-saving opportunities in the business, too.
Choosing the right ERP solution involves considering several cost cutting factors, and there are many questions business owners should ask themselves when evaluating their options. According to Blytheco CEO, Stephen Blythe,
“ERP is about out-of-the-box flexibility. ERP needs to be flexible because laws differ from state to state, country to country. For example, our Sage X3 product, allows the business owner to immediately add import taxes from various countries, or sales taxes from a neighboring state. This improves operational efficiency and makes sure the SMB is accounting for all the small percentage point costs that bleed away profit.”
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Customer service (or lack thereof) can make or break any business. With an enterprise solution, it’s much easier to provide high-quality service to end customers. Through the software, customer service representatives have quick access to customer information and history and are therefore able to provide assistance much quicker.
With this information, representatives can prioritize VIP customers and provide appropriate discounts based on that customer history. With streamlined shipping operations, customers also receive their product much faster and the possibility of errors is significantly decreased. As a result, this increases customer retention and leads to more potential business opportunities.
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