Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is software built to manage your business, from the planning of products, to the manufacture, marketing, warehousing, sales and shipping.
ERP software can take full control of the many functions of your business, integrating different systems and reporting all in one place, whatever your business function is.
From a business owner’s perspective, the main benefits of an ERP system are:
- Streamlining your business processes and reducing day-to-day issues allows more time to focus on growth
- Improving these efficiencies will result in increased customer satisfaction
- Integrated reporting from the different aspects and departments of your business identifies sales opportunities
- By reducing the inefficiencies in your business, costs can be saved in time and labour
- Identifying problems sooner gives you a greater opportunity to rectify them
- Report on departmental costs and efficiencies individually on a monthly basis
- Constant “real time” information and reporting, integrated into departments or even suppliers and clients provides instant access to key information
- Removes the need for out of system communication, with tracking of communication to monitor against agreed timeframes
- Identify resources that are being under utilised or not performing
- Access to system to measure, report and monitor performance against set objectives
- Remove inefficiencies that are holding your business back, remove duplication and the risk of mistakes
Every business is different and will have has its own way of doing things, processes and procedures will be different from one warehouse to another warehouse.
What is at the heart of all ERP systems that we build is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, after all, every business has clients or key stakeholders which need reporting to, against objectives. In creating a CRM system within the ERP allows all client communication to be tracked, managed and automated to ensure the clients are being managed, as a business owner would expect.
There are “off the shelf” ERP systems available for businesses to purchase, in many cases the cost of these are provided on a monthly licence basis so the start up costs are minimal which is attractive to the SME sector. Businesses looking to implement an ERP system will need to take into account the additional charges to adapt any “off the shelf” software to your business needs. Another factor is that licensed ERP software will never be the businesses property which can tie the business into the solution – whilst the solution works now is it adaptable to change as your business grows?
Cost is always a factor in business decisions; it can be a bigger factor for SME’s looking to streamline their business and all factors need to be taken into account. Analysis on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a system needs to be analysed over a short and long term period.
With technology advancing so quickly, there is a greater opportunity for businesses of 10 – 50 employees to receive greater value in a bespoke ERP system to manage their business. Open Source solutions have become available which are easily adapted to fit to a business requirement, as the solutions are Open Source the business can also own the software it employs, which provides greater flexibility and control.
One such solution we have been championing at Wirebox is the Odoo Open Source ERP platform Odoo is constantly evolving and improving offering businesses more flexibility at reduced costs – two of the key areas a business needs to consider when making such a business decision. For more information on an ERP system designed for the SME market, please contact Wirebox.