Enterprise resource planning, (ERP) software allows organizations to create a suite of integrated applications that automate and manage back-office functions using a single system. It can integrate processes that are essential to running a business, such as development, product planning, human resources, accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), marketing and sales. While ERP programs are available as on-premises systems, you may find that a cloud-based ERP solution better suits the needs of your enterprise today and into the future.
You may ask: how does cloud ERP software benefit my organization? Let’s take a look.
When you implement cloud ERP software, such as NetSuite, the vendor stores the software and data, but your employees access it simply using a web browser. This setup eliminates upfront and ongoing ownership costs, as there is no need to purchase the related servers, software, and hardware to host the ERP software. In addition, your ERP provider maintains the system for you, ensuring that the applications are up to date and your data is stored in a maximum-security location.
Unified Development Strategy
A cloud ERP system offers an integrated, flexible and customizable PaaS, or Platform as a Service, solution that is all cloud-based. A unified development strategy allows employees to access an integrated system on a single database that supports all applications and contains real-time data for various front- and back-end systems. This streamlines training, encourages employee buy-in, and improves the ways that workers access, record and monitor information.
Unified API Strategy
One of the key components of an ERP system is the shared database that multiple departments within a business can access. A unified API gives employees access to the same real-time data, unless, of course, the system administrator elects only certain people are able to access specific information. This interface simplifies communication and syncs all information together for the company to analyze.
Increased Productivity & Improved Efficiencies
An ERP solution keeps an organization’s business processes running smoothly, allowing for proactive, agile decision making—thus increasing customer satisfaction. The software has a consistent look and feel across different modules; for example, if you are using NetSuite, your employees or upper management will know how to pull marketing reports, sales reports, etc. Furthermore, the automation and synchronized reporting that ERP software offers merges separate databases so information is more accurate and simpler to access.
When you implement a cloud ERP service, your provider offers the IT support required to set up and maintain the software. This eliminates the need to hire extra IT staff and enables workers to focus on their respective tasks and the goals of the organization.
An ERP program makes a company more agile and better able to adapt to the ever-changing market within our industries. Greater flexibility and agility allows the different departments within an organization to operate as a more cohesive unit. All departments are synced and have access to real-time analytics and customer behavior. In addition, different departments and even individual employees can have personalized dashboards tailored to their respective needs. For example, upper management can customize their dashboard to see certain trends for sales, accounts receivable, marketing, and shipping while a sales executive will only see their pipeline, closed deals, prospects, etc. A fully customizable dashboard helps management easily see reports and make more accurate predictions to better adjust to their market.
Upper-Level Management Support
ERP software gives managers real-time data about their organization so they can make more proactive decisions about concerns and execute improvements faster. Cloud-based ERP software allows management to pull reports from a central location rather than having each department gather their reports and submit them. Overall, an ERP combines all vital information about your business processes so there is nothing but transparency from the beginning of the sales cycle to after the sale has been made.
Enhanced Customer Service
Within an ERP system, an organization can access information about a customer, manage client accounts, track customer relationships, and implement CRM solutions all on one platform. Once again providing business transparency, a secret to surviving in today’s market.
When an organization stores data in the cloud, ERP providers use the latest security protocols to keep it safe from outside intrusions. At the same time, the provider works with you to implement control systems to ensure the safety of data in regards to employee access and use.
A cloud-based ERP system can bring about many efficiencies and cost savings to a business, so long as it is implemented in a strategic manner. It is imperative that your goals and processes are conveyed to your ERP provider so that the solution effectively meets your unique needs and overcomes obstacles that can hinder sales, customer service, and employee satisfaction.