Businesses and entrepreneurs are comfortable using ERP solutions for all the benefits and comfort they offer. Management professionals love the idea of maintaining and compiling all the business processes in one space; They want the employees to reach this data easily and use it whenever they need, without any time gap or hurdles in interpreting data. As per one report, over 5% of the businesses either installed ERP software or planned to upgrade it in 2019. As more and more businesses keep getting on board with the ERP solution, the market is developing each year. The present pandemic has caused even a greater push in the upward direction.
Let us understand what does ERP Software mean and how to use the system to keep with the changing market scenario.
What is ERP Software?
An ERP is software that can be integrated into the business system to control, manage and streamline end-to-end business operations via interconnected and complementary modules. Most businesses install ERP systems with the objective of boosting inter-departmental interactions, enhance processes, and offer credible and easy access to all business processes and data. Some of the primary functions of an ERP system include accounting, logistics, delivery planning, inventory management, sales, customer relationship management, and more. With a robust ERP system in place, your businesses can expect to integrate business operations, enjoy boosted visibility in day-to-day work, and can take better decisions.
Let us Explore the Different Kinds of ERP Systems:
At present, there are three types of ERP systems in the market:
- Cloud-based, and
Every type of ERP system has its own pros and cons.
An on-premise ERP system runs on the on-premise servers (at your location) which operate under your control. You enjoy the control, independence, and safety of relying on a personal IT system that your team or employees are well versed with. It is perfect for you if you want to and have to supervise and safeguard the data.
These systems are easy to customize and can be changed as per the business requirements. On-premise ERP systems demand you to have integrations with other business systems to perform day-to-day business operations. You must have dedicated resources to take care of software and server.
As the name suggests, Cloud-based ERP software is run on a cloud network. This lets businesses access data and specifications of the system via the internet. The software is hosted by vendors of their cloud and used by the businesses. This saves businesses from expenses like licensing fees.
A hybrid ERP is a software model that blends both cloud ERP and on-premise capabilities and features. It is a two-tier system. This is perfect for modern digital enterprises which have to operate in a dynamic business market 24*7.
In a hybrid ERP infrastructure, ERP apps are installed on the cloud, and ERP capabilities are run on an on-premises system.
Choosing the right ERP Software
Purchasing ERP software in Dubai is a considerable huge investment, and hence, businesses must make the best out of it. Optimum utilization of ERP system will ensure accuracy, quality, efficiency, reduction in costs and elimination of errors, and boost in businesses performance, better productivity, and more profitability.
Learn how you can achieve the best from an ERP system:
Reviewing Business Processes
Undertake a process review of business operations while determining the type of ERP system for your business. You can determine the business processes that need improvement (and plan for the same. This way, you can measure pre & post- ERP performances and review the ROI. Depending upon which business process needs more attention, you can decide to buy an ERP solution. If the accounting operations of the business are not up to the mark, you need something with a robust accounting solution. If you need a system that can take care of all the operations comprehensively, then you look for the solution accordingly.
Customize Your ERP Platform
Most ERP software offer a comprehensive solution that is developed to support all types of businesses across the sectors. If you wish to get the most of your ERP solution, then make sure you get it designed exclusively for your business, as per your business objectives and needs. Ask your vendor to design a system for your business specifically. Customization will offer you benefits like hiding unnecessary fields, facility to turn certain features on or off, adding new fields, and more.
Plus, you can also customize the ERP software by using integrations and plug-ins. Know what customization options are available to you if you go with a particular vendor, especially when it comes to connecting to other apps or deploying niche widgets.
Training your team always pays off. Do not shy away from training the staff and the users of the ERP system, as the training will add value to the business. Trained users can use the software to its optimum capacity and can easily adapt to updates. Users and staff can make accurate and improved decisions if they are aware of the functioning of ERP software.
Many businesses think that it is enough to provide the initial training. But this perspective is harmful, and the reality is otherwise. Your employees and the end-users of ERP software must be provided updated training to be able to use the latest versions and adapt to the changes in the ERP system. This way, as ERP systems advance, so should your end-users. It is an opportunity for the employees to level up their knowledge and stay market relevant. Educated and updated employees are more likely to add value to the business operations.
Pay Attention to Data Quality
A professional ERP system will offer you complete control over data. You can manage the how, where, why, and when of data flow. This data must be accurate, rich, and accessible to all the concerned parties; otherwise, it makes no sense. Businesses should spare some time to think about factors like design the standards of data entry and how to manage document versioning. Ensure you perform regular batch cleansing and data audits to ensure whether data standards are upheld. It is important to make sure the right data is being processed and used at the first place, as cleaning data takes a lot of time and efforts.
Futuristic and scalable ERP System
Like every technology, ERP software gets updates frequently. The ERP software you deploy today might become outdated in a few years. Hence, it is important that you ask the ERP vendor about the future map of the software he is offering. Find out how much they have invested in R&D of the product? Is the software flexible and scalable enough? Howe often do they run updates on the software? Remember that a beneficial and professional ERP system will not be static. It is be an evolving ecosystem that can adapt to changes and progress.
Think about Integration Options
ERP integration can assist you with improving your business’ operational effectiveness by adding features. Integrations connect two different applications and permit them to communicate with each other. Some integrations are so profound data that if we enter data into one application, it can be accessed via another.
Typical ERP software integrations may cover things like assembling and designing, CRM, supply chain management, and warehouse management, etc.
Use Mobile Apps
A cutting-edge ERP software usually comes with a smart device application, both for iOS and Android, and it has numerous advantages for your clients. Mobile applications offer better accessibility and boosted visibility for your ERP software system.
Applications permit your staff and users to effortlessly access critical data anywhere and stay updated on the business operations.
Think about The Total Cost of Ownership
Putting resources into an ERP system is a tremendous investment for most organizations. A business must pay attention to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to choose what sort of ERP they need. Expenses like cost of a software, hardware purchasing, maintenance, internal resource use, and future upgrade costs, etc must be considered.
Approval of The Senior Management
Senior administration approval is a vital indicator of how the deployment of your ERP system will go. The upper management does not have to get involved in the implementation process directly, but collaborating with them help you make a proper resource planning. As the famous saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Planning is crucial success factor in the software implementation process.
Develop A Cross-Functional Team of Employees
If you wish the ERP software implementation process to go smoothly and successfully, you are recommended to set up an ERP implementation team including professionals from different business departments. This will make sure that all important departments of your business are considered. This helps in collecting feedback from the multiple across these business areas (who are the end user of the system).
Determine A System’s Lifespan
The ROI you get from your ERP software system help you determine if it was the right decision for the business. ROI chances time to time and hence, you may need to modify and track business goals from often. The right ERP system will provide you an impressive ROI.
Many organizations use ERP systems; however, not every one of them winds up leveraging the maximum capacity. Understanding the functions and capabilities of the selected ERP system can assist you to get the most out of the system. Your ERP software framework is a crucial instrument for the achievement of your business goals since it assists you with expanding work efficiency, mitigate or eliminate mistakes, boost productivity, and eventually, increase profitability.