If you’re a business leader, you’re surely always looking for ways to streamline your operations and make everything more efficient for you and your employees. One tool you might consider is enterprise resourcing planning (ERP) software. For many, this is the answer to all their operational hiccups, a promise that sounds really exciting. However, it’s not necessarily the right solution for everyone.
Do you and your organization need an ERP? Here are some signs that this type of platform is the answer.
What Is an ERP?
ERP software, often simply called ERP, keeps your organization’s systems, tools, and processes organized in a single repository. It brings together backend operations such as accounting, human resources (HR), inventory, manufacturing, project management, scheduling, and supply chains — basically, all your core business functions.
The main purpose of an ERP is to keep your data and information in one place. The software is secure, accessible to those who need it — and protected from those who don’t — and well-organized. Often, companies choose to customize the software to meet their particular needs.
Despite its name, an ERP can be used by businesses of all types and sizes, not just large enterprises. However, it’s important for you to understand that ERP is ultimately worth it in organizations that have complex operations that can benefit greatly from the centralization an ERP brings.
6 Signs You Need an ERP
1. You Have Countless Systems for Different Processes and Functions
A clear sign that you need an ERP is if you have separate repositories and software for accounting, budgeting, order processing, project management, HR, and scheduling. Having all of those platforms implies that your employees have to deal with different login information, which complicates their day to day.
A better, more streamlined way of keeping track of all these vital operations is through an ERP. With a single system, your employees won’t need a huge list of passwords to do their job, and they won’t have to waste time searching for correct software to do their vital tasks and responsibilities.
2. Your Current Software Is No Longer Meeting Your Needs
When was the last time you overhauled or updated your software? Was it before your team or operations grew to the size they are today? If you haven’t looked into an update since before you can remember, it could very well be the case that you’ve outgrown your current software and need to invest in something new.
When you’re looking to replace your systems, consider an ERP. Not only can it improve and expand the capabilities of your technology and the entire business, but it can also reduce the total number of systems you need.
3. You Have More Data Than You Know What to Do With
Businesses these days generate an overabundance of data. This data is often useful for a number of purposes, including marketing, finance, research, and much more. But you can only leverage it if you’re able to keep track of it.
With so much data available to you, it can be difficult to even know where it all is. And it’s only useful if you can locate it and put it in a clean, digestible format. A customized ERP can show you important data presented in reports, visual graphs, dashboards, and more, so you’re able to use it effectively to improve your business and operations.
4. You’re Not on Top of the Goings-on at Your Business
Do you know about all the intricacies of your business? Unless you have super-organized systems at your disposal, the answer is probably no. But you can still change that.
While it’s impossible to know absolutely everything that’s happening in your business, you can still be aware of the critical goings-on. For example, you should be up-to-date on key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, the general trend of orders and sales, overarching business strategies, and, of course, the important data we’ve discussed.
With an ERP, you’ll be able to keep track of all critical information, systems, and data in one place. You’ll be able to see an overarching view of important business matters, which is vital to make informed decisions.
5. A Majority of Your Systems Require Manual Manipulation
Manual operation of systems takes time and effort from your team— time and effort they could be spending on more pressing issues. There’s no real reason why they should have to, say, enter data for hours. Many of these crucial but time-intensive processes can easily be automated — just as long as your systems are comprehensive and up to date.
An ERP is one of the most comprehensive types of software available, and one of its most pivotal uses is to automate manual processes. Think importing key data with just the press of a button — no more relying on human talent to spend large portions of your day doing it for you.
6. Software Integration Is Eating Up Your Time, Energy, and Budget
When you have multiple systems and technologies from different sources and vendors, often, they simply won’t be compatible with one another. Software integration takes an enormous amount of time, energy, and money – but it’s a necessary evil when you’re contending with products that are different brands or created at different points. Even certain versions of products aren’t compatible with older versions of the same brand.
When you have an ERP, you’ll lessen the need for multiple integrations that cost you time and money. Instead, you’ll have the resources and tools you need in one place, a repository that combines your necessities into a single toolbox.
So, do you need an ERP? If one or more of these scenarios applies to you, then the answer is most assuredly yes. While it’s not a necessary tool for every single business out there, it can greatly improve your life, your team’s work, and the overall health of your business. What’s more, you’ll reap the rewards for a long time to come.