The Operational Dream: Is ERP all it’s made out to be?
Enterprise Resource Planning.
If you’ve heard of ERP, I’m sure you have a good idea of its benefits and drawbacks.
Treat this blog as a reference point, a ‘go-to’ summary for the information you need to assess – or reassess – its value.
We’ll run through all things ERP, looking at definitions and key advantages to help you to decide whether the investment is justified. Today’s blog also marks the first in our weekly series of Guest Features, hosting some of the industry’s sharpest minds to gain their insight into the world of Cloud-Based Tech. So, is ERP all it’s made out to be?
What is Enterprise Resource Planning?
The simplest way to define ERP is to think about all the core processes needed to run a company, unified in one version of the truth. Finance, manufacturing, sales, and everything in-between integrated into a single system.
“Sounds great, but my warehousing facility is in the US and my Head of Sales is based in London, how can my operations stay in sync?” The answer; cloud-based software.
What is cloud ERP?
Cloud ERP is a type of enterprise resource planning software that runs on a provider’s cloud computing platform. It collects real-time data from all aspects of the business and makes it available via the internet. The selected users are granted access to accurate and up-to-date information from all of your business locations, anytime and anywhere.
Advantages of ERP Recent changes to the business landscape have placed added strain on company processes and operational efficiency. 2020 emphasized the importance of effective software and the benefits it brings to decision-makers.
With the basics of ERP now covered, let’s look at our top 5 reasons as to why the globe's most successful companies view ERP systems as cardinal.
1. Data Consolidation Data across all departments is collated centrally, enhancing operational visibility and efficiency. Greater data visibility brings a greater understanding of your customers, monitoring their orders and your inventory with clarity.
2. Expandable ERP systems are structured to allow the addition of new users, functions, and modules. The systems will grow in tandem with your business and facilitate your company’s future success. One initial investment compounding years of growth.
3. Improved Process Efficiency One of the core purposes of an ERP system is to save time. An ERP platform eliminates repetitive manual tasks through automation, increasing productivity and decreasing human error. Efficient and accurate.
4. Forecasting ERP software gives its users the tools they need to accurately forecast demand. Real-time information enables detailed planning from inventory management down to financials and customer service.
5. Streamlined Production As companies grow, their manufacturing operations become increasingly complex. Tracking items along varied production lines becomes a difficult task. Manufacturing software automates this process, streamlining business operations cross-departmentally and giving complete visibility through production lines and warehouses.
The decision to invest in ERP software should not be taken lightly. The cost of investment is undeniable, yet the cost of non-investment is even greater. The efficiency savings of ERP cast a shadow over the tried and true methods of the past. Don’t just take our word for it.
Guest Feature: Ramaswamy V Krishnamurti Kicking off our weekly Q&A sessions is a conversation with the author of ‘Selected Articles on ERP’ Ramaswamy V Krishnamurti (link for book below). Ramaswamy Krishnamurti (Ram) is a Senior Freelance ERP Project Manager and Solution Architect with over 21 years of experience in all areas of ERP Implementation. A graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Calicut University in Kerala, India, Ram obtained his MBA from Kolkata University and a Post Graduate Diploma from the prestigious IIM Bangalore. In a career spanning over 30 years, he has successfully implemented 25 ERP projects and maintained an average customer satisfaction of over 90%.
Q. What is the main benefit that an ERP system brings to your clients?
“Improved productivity, reduced errors, reduced customer and supplier disputes, smoother processes, automation of regular tasks, Process standardization, global benchmarks, integrated processes, real-time visibility, advanced analytics, improved quality of life and a sense of teamwork.”
Q. How does a company know they are ready to make the step into Cloud-based ERP software?
“Transitioning to the cloud is a cultural and trust issue. You must be able to trust data that is on a server that is not your desktop.
If the organization has a culture of accessing and modifying data and storing it back on an external server, the culture of accessing the same data from different devices like desktops and mobile devices, then the Organization is ready for the cloud.
Another element is flexibility to change. If the Organization is ready and has a habit of process changes to meet the requirements of technology, then it can smoothly adapt to the cloud.
Moving to the cloud calls for process modification, sometimes on a significant scale. So, a habit of flexibility in thinking, in decision making and in action is an important prerequisite to Cloud Adoption.”
Q. What is the most common hesitation your clients have before deciding to implement an ERP system? Is this Justified?
The most common hesitation is of storing company data on the cloud. There are two aspects, one is of data security and the other is of Geography. Once the data is in the cloud, the potential of the data being hacked goes up. Despite the big cloud vendors offering world-class security, there is still hesitation.
The geography aspect is storing your data in a server located in another country. You are by nature taking a Geography risk and subjecting your data to the whims and fancies of the government in power in the country where your data resides.
Take a look at Ram’s book, ‘Selected Articles on ERP’, which is available on Amazon. This book is a must-have for any ERP Professional or customers looking to implement ERP.
He is currently looking for opportunities. You can download his latest CV from his LinkedIn Profile www.linkedin.com/in/vkramaswamy. He can be contacted on LinkedIn, via Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and by phone (+919880179317).
He also posts ERP content on his Youtube channel "ERP Consultancy" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXUEtnD-eXSuKVKpXyRCJHw