Why ERP Software Isn’t Software
Business owners and managers who shift to scaled production or distribution typically agree that in order to be competitive, you need to put into place a series of efficient, tight processes that are automated and streamlined. Only then can you get superlative performance while expanding your bottom line. For this, you need a lot of knowledge about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and you need to identify the right software to implement that knowledge in real time.
In comes the research (or, shopping) phase. If your idea of “software” involves a well-packaged disc you might pick up in the store, or a simple pay-for-download application you find on the web, than shopping for ERP software for small business can be confusing.
Typically ERP software isn’t software at all: its a set of integrated applications and processes your company can lean on to receive, access, store, route, interpret and operate its data at every stage of the business cycle (product planning, costing, manufacturing, sales and marketing, managing inventory, shipping and payment).
An efficient ERP system allows you to integrate and automate the various internal aspects of the business–e.g. you can integrate manufacturing with product distribution, finance and accounts, inventory control; HR can integrate with documentation workflow, sales and marketing, CRM, customer service, etc.
The software doesn’t “do” all of this for you, but it certainly helps to manage, navigate, communicate and implement your ERP strategy by the minute. The primary feel-good from your ERP software will likely come from the enhanced the flow of information between any two or more departments, while making sure of the consistency of your communication within the company and without.
Here’s why business owners typically shift to ERP systems and software:
1) It can be fully integrated into all parts of your business
2) It can be integrated across your entire supply chain: integrated with your customer systems for total visibility and efficiency
3) It increases productivity, efficiency, and makes error-free process a true north. It also frees human resources from doing routine tasks data-related tasks unnecessarily.
4) It increases a company’s overall performance: continuity, coherence and seamless execution